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Jilted dental patients get $543K in restitution from state

January 16, 2014

Nearly 300 former patients of Allcare Dental & Dentures have received partial or total refunds of upfront payments they made before the national dental chain abruptly closed multiple Indiana locations in 2011.

Indiana’s Consumer Protection Assistance Fund has reimbursed the 294 consumers more than $543,360 for services they never received from Allcare, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said Thursday.

“Allcare’s actions were particularly egregious as customers were left in the dark and many paid thousands of dollars upfront for their dental procedures or dentures,” Zoeller said.

Victims who applied for the CPAF funds reported they had lost more than $642,600 in total to Allcare. The state was able to pay each victim the total amount owed to them up to $3,000—the maximum allowed under CPAF.

Zoeller filed a complaint in 2012 against Allcare, which had closed offices in Anderson, Avon, Evansville, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Mishawaka and Muncie. The complaint alleged multiple licensing violations against company president Robert Bates.

The complaint said Allcare failed to reimburse patients who paid upfront for services that weren’t completed; failed to complete dental procedures in progress; and didn’t provide dentures that were fabricated.

Zoeller received a consent judgment last year against Allcare, but the company declared bankruptcy and consumer restitution was not paid.

CPAF is made up of monies awarded to the state via judgments against companies caught violating consumer protection laws. Zoeller’s office can then use the funds to reimburse consumers in certain cases where judgments are granted, but restitution cannot be collected.

The Indiana General Assembly passed legislation in 2011 creating the CPAF.
 

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