PAULDING COUNTY, Ga. — A woman accused of working as a dentist without a license must now answer to additional charges, along with her husband. On Wednesday, a Paulding County grand jury indicted both Krista and John Szewczyk on charges related to their alleged illegal dental office.
It’s the second indictment in Paulding since August for Krista Szewczyk, who is also charged with practicing dentistry without a license in Cobb County. But it is the first time her husband, a former Paulding sheriff’s deputy, has been criminally charged in the case.
The Szewczyks, who live in Dallas, are accused of racketeering, practicing dentistry without a license, insurance fraud and writing an unlawful prescription in the 56-count indictment obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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“Neither Krista Szewczyk or John Szewczyk are licensed dentists but owned and operated a business that provided dental services,” the indictment states.
The pair is charged with two counts under Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, known as RICO. RICO is often used by prosecutors to prove that a legal business was being used for illegal means. In the Szewczyks' case, the dental office was a licensed business, but according to investigators, the two schemed to provide illegal dental services and then billed insurance companies fraudulently.
Investigators believe John Szewczyk owned the business and paid bills while assisting his wife in managing the office. Krista Szewczyk, 47, allegedly pulled teeth, applied fillings, replaced crowns and wrote prescriptions for pain medications in the dental office. She has no medical license and isn't even a dental hygienist, records show.
Additionally, the pair is accused of billing insurance companies as though a licensed doctor performed the procedures, the indictment states. Insurance claims were also allegedly submitted for dental work that was never done.
On Aug. 23, Krista Szewczyk was arrested after a Paulding grand jury indicted her on 48 counts, including 40 counts of practicing dentistry without a license, three counts of writing unlawful prescriptions, one count of forgery and three counts of insurance fraud. Two weeks later, Szewczyk was arrested in Cobb, where Marietta police also believe she performed dental work.
As early as 2012, Krista Szewczyk was performing illegal work on the mouths of customers, according to her previous indictment. She was accused of posing as a dentist, but at that time, her husband was a Paulding sheriff’s deputy, and the DA’s office there determined it was a conflict of interest to pursue the charges. Instead, Szewczyk was offered a pre-trial diversion program, the DA’s office previously said.
But investigators allege Krista Szewczyk continued to run her practice. She later closed the Paulding office and re-opened in Marietta.
The Georgia Board of Dentistry, whose prime responsibility is protecting dental patients, knew by at least 2014 that Krista Szewczyk may have been violating the law, according to an investigation by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. But rather than issue a cease and desist order and impose fines, as the board has done nearly four dozen times in similar cases since 2000, the board referred the case to prosecutors.
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