Daly City Dentist Sentenced for Performing Unnecessary Work, Identity Theft

A dentist was sentenced Tuesday to 20 months in jail after pleading no contest in December to charges of performing unnecessary work on several patients in Daly City and then stealing someone's identity to seek other dental jobs, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

Amishi Patel, 43, was a part-time dentist at Campus Heights Dental Care in Daly City, where she performed unnecessary dental work on at least eight patients between April 2014 and May 2014, prosecutors said.

Among the patients was a then-16-year-old girl who Patel recommended receive 16 fillings. Patel did eight of the fillings before the girl's father became suspicious and took her to another dentist for a second opinion, according to the district attorney's office.

Three subsequent dentists all agreed that the girl had no signs of cavities and did not need any fillings, and said the eight fillings from Patel were performed so poorly that they needed to be replaced, prosecutors said.

The insurance fraud case involving the unnecessary work came to the district attorney's office from the state Department of Insurance, which had contacted by the Dental Board of California that received the initial complaint from the family of a patient.

Patel was charged in February 2017 and a judge ordered her not to practice dentistry as a condition of her release on bail.

However, investigators learned that she had altered the order to make it look like it had been rescinded days later, then used the altered order to gain temporary employment at a dentist's office in Fremont, where she treated four patients, prosecutors said.

Patel also used the license number from a dentist in the area with a similar name to hers to apply for several dentist jobs in Fremont, including one where she had an interview with an undercover officer, prosecutors said.

She pleaded no contest in December to felony insurance fraud, assault, identity theft, and forgery and was eventually remanded into jail last month.

San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Donald Ayoob sentenced her Tuesday morning to the 20-month jail sentence and eight years of probation. A restitution hearing in the case has been set for June 22, Wagstaffe said.

Prosecutors had sought a sentence of up to five years in state prison.

Patel's defense attorney Jonathan McDougall was not immediately available for comment on the case.

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