SWANSEA — A federal judge on Thursday sentenced a dentist to a year and a day in prison despite a request by both prosecutors and the dentist’s lawyer for probation.
Lawyers on both sides said Dr. Yun Sup “Andy” Kim cooperated with investigators, agreed to give up his medical license and paid back the $671,845 he had fraudulently billed.
But U.S. District Judge Staci M. Yandle said probation would not be appropriate or harsh enough to deter other medical professionals from committing fraud. Yandle, during a sentencing held in U.S. District Court in Benton, Illinois, and via video conference, said such a sentence would reinforce some people’s impression of white-collar crime and that “there are two separate justice systems, one for the privileged and one for the underprivileged.”
Kim falsely claimed to have filled cavities for more than 1,300 patients, over-billed for simple extractions, submitted false bills and falsified dates of service to evade Medicaid billing rules, prosecutors have said.
In a court filing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathan Stump wrote Kim “undoubtedly caused some of his patients physical harm” by failing to properly treat cavities, failing to properly extract their teeth or by extracting too many teeth.
Defense lawyer Marc Johnson said letters from colleagues, relatives and patients spoke about Kim’s commendable qualities, including his work ethic and acceptance of responsibility. “The sum of his life far exceeds this unfortunate situation,” Johnson said.