France: two ex-dentists sentenced for large-scale mutilations

Two former French dentists, a son and his father were sentenced Thursday to eight and five years in prison respectively, for having mutilated hundreds of patients with unjustified and botched operations, enriching themselves on the back of Social Security in passing.

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The convictions of Lionel Guedj and his father Carnot, who practiced in Marseille (south-east), but have since been struck off by the order of doctors, were accompanied by immediate deposit warrants.

Placed under judicial supervision since their indictment in November 2012, they have not spent a single day in pre-trial detention.

The cabinet Guedj was established in 2005 in a popular district of Marseilles, with a patient exempted from advancing the part of the care reimbursed by health insurance. To this modest patient base, Lional Guedj promised “a star smile”.

He received up to 70 patients a day, to whom he devoted barely a quarter of an hour on average, according to an expert report from Health Insurance. Fifty-seven hours a day would have been necessary for such acts.

France: two ex-dentists sentenced for large-scale mutilations

For the president of the Marseille criminal court, Céline Ballerini, the two men had put in place “uniform and systematized treatments” which “destroyed” lives, which had become “without a smile” and “with intolerable pain”.

The magistrate justified the sentences by “the number of victims”, the number of years during which the facts took place (six years), “the very serious prejudice” for Social Security, the social protection system allowing the access to care for all, and the “very large sums committed to repair” these patients.

According to a calculation by the Marseille public prosecutor’s office, Lionel Guedj had devitalized 3,900 healthy teeth, without any therapeutic justification, out of 327 patients, for the sole purpose of placing very profitable bridges on them. He posed 28 times more prostheses than the average French dentist, had estimated Social Security.

In 2010, he became the highest paid dentist in France, he drove a Ferrari, earned between 65,000 and 80,000 euros in monthly income and had accumulated an estate of 13 million euros.

The prosecution had demanded ten years in prison against Lionel Guedj, 42, tried for willful violence resulting in mutilation for acts committed between 2006 and 2012, and five years in prison, including one year suspended probation for three years, against Carnot, says Jean-Claude, 71 years old.

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