TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

Local News

July 18, 2013

Motion to dismiss dentist case overruled

CORBIN — By John L. Ross /  Staff Writer

A motion to dismiss the case against a Corbin dentist facing multiple counts of defrauding the state Medicaid program was overruled by Judge Paul K. Winchester in Whitley County Circuit Court Monday.

That means Ronald Ray Hungerbuhler, 59, is still scheduled for trial on Jan. 21.

He faces seven counts of engaging in a scheme to defraud the Kentucky Medicaid Program of monies valued at $300 or more — he was indicted on those charges in December 2009.

However, that’s at least the third trial date that has been set in this case.

According to court documents, the case was set to go to trial Aug. 29, 2011 — but officials with the circuit clerk’s office said then there would be no jury trial that day.

The next known trial date set for Hungerbuhler was March 19 — however, that trial also failed to take place.

Monday was the day to hear motions, and Hungerbuhler’s name was on the docket.

After Hungerbuhler’s case was called, his attorney, David O. Smith, approached the bench.

After a short conference with Winchester during which little could be heard from the gallery, Smith left, and the next case was called.

According to the circuit court clerk’s office, Smith made the motion to have the case dismissed, which was overruled. The office also verified the trial was still slated for Jan. 21 at this time.

State Attorney General Jack Conway announced the seven-count indictment in December 2009.

The charge is a class D felony which carries a one- to five-year prison sentence and a fine of $1000 to $10,000 for each count.

The indictment alleges that each January, beginning in 2003, Hungerbuhler billed for services he did not render by submitting fictitious and fraudulent claims valued at $300 or more, according to a press release from Conway’s office.

Hungerbuhler allegedly received a list of Medicaid recipients residing at Christian Health Care Nursing Home in Corbin and billed for oral exams on each resident without performing the exams.

Investigators and prosecutors from Conway’s Office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control investigated and continue to handle the prosecution of the case.

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