Former Dentist Pleads Guilty to $16.6M Medical Device Fraud Scheme
Former South Dakota dentist Robert “Larry” Lytle pled guilty last week to an enterprise that involved the marketing of a laser treatment known as the Qlaser System to treat more than 200 serious conditions, including autism, sciatica, HIV/AIDS, emphysema and cancer. Prosecutors asserted that Lytle promoted the Qlaser System without scientific evidence or FDA approval, and in defiance of 2015 injunction from a federal court directing him to stop selling the device and refund the purchases. Lytle and his co-conspirators allegedly used Lytle’s status as a retired dentist to boost the product’s credibility and smuggled hundreds of the devices to New York to prevent their seizure. According to the Department of Justice, Lytle retired from dentistry because he permanently lost his dental license for “defrauding and materially deceiving consumers,” many of whom were elderly and suffering from serious illnesses.
Over the last 12 years, prosecutors say Lytle admitted to making more than $16.6 million from sales of the Qlaser System. Lytle pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to introduce misbranded medical devices into interstate commerce with the intent to defraud and mislead, which may result in up to five years in prison and a monetary fine. He also pled guilty to one count of criminal contempt. His sentencing is scheduled for April 20th.
We caution dental and other healthcare providers seeking additional revenue streams to fully investigate their product endorsements and to conduct their business endeavors in accordance with all applicable regulations. For more information, contact Frier Levitt to speak to an attorney.