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05/17/2012

Texas dentist who did tummy tucks, breast surgery guilty of Medicaid swindle, feds say

A Laredo dentist with a penchant for performing illegal breast augmentation, and his wife, have pleaded guilty to submitting fake bills to Texas Medicaid, including "performing patient evaluations" while they Take a bite out of crime were actually on trips to Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Despite owing the state’s Health and Human Services Commission $688,545 in restitution, they will be sentenced to five years probation, the government says.

Carlos Armin Morales-Ryan, 45, and wife and orthodontist Nelia Patricia Garcia-Morales, 42, owned and
operated Orthogenesis International Centre, a Laredo dentistry and orthodontics business, and a substantial portion of their business was targeted to rendering services to Medicaid-eligible children.

Morales-Ryan currently is not licensed to practice dentistry in Texas following his arrest and indictment on thirteen counts of practicing medicine without a license.

Court documents say he engaged in non-dentistry and non-oral and maxillofacial surgeries including tummy tucks, liposuction, and breast augmentation. 

BreastsMorales-Ryan, who has ties to Plano and Dallas, has argued he was qualified to perform the challenged procedures because he is a surgeon and, under the Texas Medical Practice Act the terms ‘physician’ and ‘surgeon’ are synonyms.

In August  2009, Morales-Ryan pleaded guilty to seven counts of the third-degree felony offense of practicing medicine without a license. He was sentenced to five years in jail, but that sentence was also suspended, according to state court documents.

-- Darren Barbee

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