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Oral surgeon accused of overbilling state prisons

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An oral surgeon contracted for dental service at 26 state correctional facilities, including prisons in the north country, was arrested Friday for allegedly billing the state $14,000 for work that he never performed, according to the state inspector general’s office.

Timothy J. O’Keefe, 45, East Amherst, was indicted on a felony count of third-degree grand larceny and 40 counts of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing.

Dr. O’Keefe is accused of filing billing vouchers from 2009 to 2011, falsely claiming to have undertaken difficult more costly oral surgery procedures than he actually performed, the inspector general’s office said in a news release.

“Defrauding the state of money for services not performed, as alleged here, not only violates professional ethical obligations but constitutes a crime for which they will be held accountable,” Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott said in the release.

Dr. O’Keefe’s contract with the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision was terminated earlier this year during the investigation.

The inspector general’s office has not provided the list of north country prisons involved in the case.

He was arraigned Friday before Judge Peter Lynch of Albany County Court, who set his bail at $10,000 and ordered him to return to court June 11.

State police, the corrections department and the state attorney general’s office assisted in the investigation.

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