Criminal Justice

Dentist Gets 1 Year for Using Paper Clips in Root Canals and Other Medical Fraud

A Massachusetts dentist who allegedly used paper clips in place of standard steel posts, in order to save money, while performing root canals was sentenced today to one year in state prison after pleading guilty in a medical fraud case brought by the state attorney general, the Associated Press reports.

Michael Clair, 53, whose medical license is suspended, now lives in Maryland. He pleaded guilty last week to charges including assault and battery and filing false Medicaid claims, according to the Boston Globe and Reuters.

He also pleaded guilty to prescribing powerful painkillers to staff members who then gave some or all of the medication back to him.

Clair could have faced decades in prison in the Bristol County case and prosecutors sought a five- to seven-year term. However, Judge Richard Moses cited the defendant’s lack of a prior record, cooperation and “certain mental health issues” he is addressing when sentencing Clair.

Moses gave him a 2½-year term in the Bristol County House of Correction, with all except one year suspended, followed by five years of probation.

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