Office of the Attorney General
Former Eastern KY Dentist Receives Five Year Prison Sentence For Defrauding Medicaid & Drug Trafficking
Attorney General Jack Conway and his Office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control today announced that a former dentist in Eastern Kentucky was sentenced to five years in prison. Craig Ralston, 47, formerly of Bell County, Ky., was indicted in December 2007 on charges that he defrauded the Kentucky Medicaid Program and three counts of trafficking in a controlled substance, Hydrocodone. Ralston pled guilty to all counts in Bell Circuit Court on Monday, November 16.
Ralston was sentenced today to the maximum of five years in the Kentucky Department of Corrections on each count, with each count to run concurrent. He was also ordered to pay $4,900 in restitution to the Kentucky Medicaid Program and $3,000 in investigative costs to the Kentucky Office of the Attorney General.
From March 1988 until September 2004, Ralston billed the Kentucky Medical Assistance Program (KMAP) for dental extractions, which were either not performed or were medically inappropriate. During this time, Ralston supplied drug-seeking clients with Hydrocodone, while billing for extractions of healthy teeth. Following action by Kentucky’s Board of Dentistry, Ralston surrendered his license to practice dentistry in 2004.
“Because of the hard work of our investigators and prosecutors, a dentist who was overprescribing pain medication and overbilling Kentucky taxpayers is now headed to prison,” said General Conway. “We will continue our efforts to hold providers who defraud the taxpayers of Kentucky accountable and collect restitution for the Medicaid Program.”
General Conway’s Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control Division handled both the investigation and prosecution of this case after it was referred from the Office of the Inspector General. Ralston was first tried on these charges in February 2009; however, a judge declared a mistrial after Ralston addressed jurors during a court recess. He was held in contempt following the mistrial.
Craig Ralston, 47