MNR partner Jeff Marcus was featured in Florida Bulldog after his client was wrongly accused of being part of the South Florida “Tooth Fairy Heist,” an alleged dental insurance fraud scheme that ultimately was found by prosecutors to have “no basis for action.”
Jeff represented defendant Mercedes Linares, One Care Pediatric Dental’s vice president of contract accreditation and quality assurance, who was one of five defendants who were victims of the politically motivated Operation Tooth Fairy, an investigation conducted by Florida’s Bureau of Insurance Fraud aimed at exposing an alleged $1.3 million insurance fraud. The operation collapsed after a series of defense team presentations to the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office that focused on exculpatory evidence. After a thorough review, the Miami SAO concluded that there was no evidence “patients had not received the [appropriate] treatment” nor were there any actual losses to insurers as claimed.
Now, Florida’s CFO Jimmy Patronis and lobbyist R. Paul Mitchell are under scrutiny for a questionable $50,000 political contribution to Patronis’ PAC that came from a party in a civil lawsuit against the dental company that employs Linares and the other defendants who were arrested, raising concerns about potential political interference in law enforcement actions.
“They were too afraid to go after the bigger fish as part of this escapade,” Jeff told Florida Bulldog. “They just picked on the little folks, thinking that they’ll scare them into lying.”
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