Monday, October 08, 2012

Former and Unlicensed Dentist Roben Brookhim Arrested for Stealing Deceased Dentist's Identity

Roben Brookhim (Photo: New Jersey Attorney General)

There have been many cases lately of unlicensed dentists and dentistry, but here we have a case of a former licensed dentist stealing the identity of a deceased dentist in order to practice.

Roben Brookhim of Short Hills is accused of having seen patients at Associated Dental offices in New Providence, Springfield, West New York, and West Orange even though his dental license was revoked in 2004.

“What he was doing was continuing to practice using the license of a dentist who was deceased,” New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa said.

Chiesa said the dentist who died, Dr. James Kirkland Jr., applied for a license a day before he died last year. So, he said, Brookhim stepped in and used it.

“Which creates health issues. It creates safety issues and it creates public confidence issues,” Chiesa said.

There is no word on any relationship between the dead dentist and Brookhim, who Chiesa said lost his license eight years ago after he was suspected of insurance fraud.

Well, somebody at these various offices know who Brookhim was and perpetuated the fraud.

Brookhim was taken into custody October 2 at Associated Dental in New Providence, where he allegedly practiced dentistry under the assumed name and license number of Dr. John Kirkland, Jr., who died in October 2011. Authorities say he used Kirkland’s name at the New Providence office, at Associated Dental offices in West Orange and Springfield and at a Family Dental Center office in West New York. Kirkland was registered to practice dentistry at all four offices before he died.

The relationship between Brookhim and Kirkland, along with the owners of the dental offices is under investigation. Kirkland died of natural causes; foul play is not suspected in his death. Although Kirkland is deceased, his license to practice dentistry in New Jersey is officially active, with an expiration date next year. Kirkland’s license was last renewed on October 14, 2011, a day before he died.

“This is someone who no longer had a license to practice dentistry who was using the license of a deceased dentist who had renewed his license the day before he died,” said State Attorney General Jeff Chiesa. “It was an active license and he was using it illegally and putting patients at risk. Individuals who practice dentistry, medicine or any other healthcare profession without a license, or after their license has been revoked, create a significant danger to the health and safety of those who rely on them for help.”

Brookhim, a formerly licensed dentist, is charged with the third-degree crimes of unlicensed practice of dentistry and identity theft along with the second-degree crime of healthcare claims fraud.

There will BE some jail time for Brookhim and his co-conspirators.

Again the State Boards of Dentistry have to do a better job of credentialing dentists and keeping an online database with photos for the licensed dentists and hygienists.

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