The awning reads Brooklyn Family Care, but Dr. Lawrence Bruckner operated Premier Dental, one of his two clinics under investigation for a Medicare bilking scheme, out of this Broadway location
Two Brooklyn dental clinics are under investigation in a Medicaid bilking scheme for allegedly performing unnecessary procedures on the homeless and poor, the Daily News has learned.
State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Controller Thomas DiNapoli are probing hundreds of possible false claims from Premier Dental at 1155 Broadway, Bushwick, and AA Dental Laboratory at 1218 Remsen Ave., Canarsie, sources said.
Schneiderman's office recently executed search warrants and raided the two clinics, while DiNapoli stopped processing the outfits' Medicaid claims, the sources added.
Both clinics are operated by Dr. Lawrence Bruckner, who is said to have used recruiters to bring in Medicaid patients on a near-daily basis.
"The recruiters would grab people off the streets in front of the clinics or head to nearby homeless shelters and soup kitchens and bring them in," one source said.
The scouts allegedly were paid based on the number of patients they brought in. Sources branded that as illegal kickbacks that violate the law against splitting Medicaid payments.
Bruckner, sources said, would pay the patients in exchange for doing unneeded dental work - orin some cases put in Medicaid paperwork without doing any procedures on them at all.
A source said DiNapoli's auditors found "hundreds" of such cases, with the possibility that there are "many many more."
A DiNapoli spokesman would confirm only that there is an ongoing audit. A Schneiderman spokesman had no comment.
Bruckner, reached at his rundown Broadway office, denied any wrongdoing.
"I have to wear two gloves," Bruckner said of his clientele. "Half these patients have HIV or hepatitis.
"There are very few doctors who want to come into an area and work on these patients. The ones that do it they should roll out a red carpet - and not try to prosecute me."
Bruckner confirmed DiNapoli's office audited him in February. Based on the initial findings, sources said, DiNapoli referred the case to Schneiderman.
The AG's investigators raided his office a few weeks ago, Bruckner said.
"They came in like gangbusters," he said. "They took all my charts."
While he denied billing Medicaid for services not performed, he wouldn't comment on how he recruits patients.
But an employee for a doctor who also works in the building told The News that Bruckner used to hire several men to drive a van to homeless shelters to round up clients but stopped the practice after the raid.
Bruckner has since laid off several people.
One of Bruckner's laid-off employees said he'd go into a homeless shelter and make an announcement asking if anyone wanted to go to the dentist.
"They get a ride there and a ride back," the former employee said. "He gives them a nice electric toothbrush."