Dentists Lionel Guedj and Carnot Guedj risk ten years in prison, prosecuted for “fraud” and “voluntary violence resulting in mutilation or permanent disability”.
“A public health problem“: a doctor from the Health Insurance has painted a damning portrait of the “system“set up by two Marseille dentists tried since Monday, February 28 for having enriched themselves on the back of the”safeby mutilating hundreds of patients.
Head of the Bouches-du-Rhône litigation department at the time of the events, Sophie Ruggieri reported with clinical precision on the investigations and expertise carried out for two years by her department on the Guedj cabinet, upstream of the judicial investigation. Lionel Guedj, 41, and Carnot Guedj, his father, 70, are being prosecuted for “scam” and “willful violence resulting in mutilation or permanent disability“.
They risk ten years in prison. “Given the magnitude of the phenomenon, we can speak of a public health problem“, explained Sophie Ruggieri on Wednesday before the criminal court of Marseille. According to her, theGuedj system“was to”practice a large number of devitalizations of teeth that were not diseased, with the aim of placing a large number of prostheses that did not have limiting prices and thus invoicing high fees“.
3 million euros, compared to 150,000 to 200,000 euros for an average firm
“The Guedj firm billed 28 times more crowns than the average of its colleagues, with fees 14 times higher than the departmental average“, had underlined the consulting dentist, Isabelle Ferrari, now deceased, after an audit of the cabinet on the years 2008 to 2010. “In 2010, the turnover (of the firm), of nearly 3 million euros, against 150,000 to 200,000 euros for an average firm, had placed it in the lead at the national level, far ahead of the second, which totaled 1 .6 million euros“Insisted Sophie Ruggieri at the hearing, specifying that it was impossible to isolate the participation of Carnot Guedj.
The firm’s volume of activity also surprised the investigators of the “Secu“: “In 2009, the firm invoiced 30 to 50 daily acts over 68 days, 50 to 90 daily acts over 95 days and 100 to 180 daily acts over 16 days“. Based on the minimum time required for each act, and without counting 500 simple consultations, “it would have taken 41 hours a day in 2009 and 52 hours in 2010 for the dentist to do this. simply not possible“.
“What challenges is risk taking“, explained Sophie Ruggieri. “When we link acts in this way, at such a rate, on a large number of patients and over such a long period, we renounce rigor and the obligation of means.“, she summarized. “We now know the rest of the story“, she concluded, referring to the 322 former patients of doctors Guedj who have filed civil suits to testify to their suffering and obtain compensation for their ravaged lives. “Some young people have found themselves with devitalized teeth on a large scale, all their life they will have a destroyed mouth. If I came to testify today, it is thinking of them“, she let go, the voice knotted by the emotion.
During an initial investigation of 84 cases, 250 anomalies were noted, out of 30 files. Far from making amends, Lionel Guedj, sure of himself, had said he had nothing to fear, even threatening to file a complaint against the dental consultants. “Convinced of the dangerousness of the dentist’s practices“, the Health Insurance had then decided to control all its acts before payment, a practice which is no longer compulsory since 2003. Of 1074 invoices checked, 307 will be retoquées, including 57 for medical reasons.
According to Sophie Ruggeri, the investigation work was complicated by the absence of supporting documents: the first X-rays, supposed to show the state of the teeth before the operations, were non-existent, often unusable and, for five of them, clearly falsified. As for the estimates for the work carried out, few patients were able to provide them, and those sent by the firm were all “signed by the same hand“, she explained, suggesting that they were fake. The trial is scheduled until April 8.