LIHUE — Lihue dentist Dr. Terry Allen was ordered to pay restitution to Hawaii Medical Service Association (HMSA) by a state Circuit Court judge Wednesday.
But his family maintains he isn’t guilty of insurance fraud, and the doors of Allen’s current practice, Lihue Dental, are still open.
“He’s not guilty. He hasn’t lost his license and we’re seeing patients,” said Allen’s wife, Marilyn Allen, on Friday. “We’re just working away up there.”
She said Allen pleaded no contest and settled because it was less expensive than a lengthy trail to prove innocence.
State Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Watanabe sentenced Allen to pay $20,878 in restitution to HMSA on Wednesday, as well as a fee of $2,500 to the Crime Victims Compensation Fund, and other court fees.
Allen will be paying the fines and restitution for the next four years as a result of the no-contest plea.
“With this ‘no-contest’, there’s no admission of guilt,” Marilyn Allen said. “We talked it over and instead of going through a very expensive trial, he decided to plea no-contest and move on with life.”
Recently, Terry and Marilyn Allen signed a confidentiality agreement surrounding the case, which prevents them from sharing too many details.
Friday, Allen was busy with patients at his current practice, Lihue Dental, when Marilyn shared parts of their story, some of which are discussed in a Sept. 19 press release from the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.
That release details incidents that happened when Allen was owner of Kalaheo Dental Group — a practice that he sold on April 15, 2014.
The release says that, while in practice, Allen fraudulently billed HMSA and Hawaii Dental Service with the help of Office Manager Diane Maldonado.
Maldonado was sentenced in July of 2018 by Watanabe, allowed a deferred acceptance of guilty plea and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $3,413 to HDS.
The Allen family maintains that’s untrue — that Maldonado and Allen didn’t even work at Kalaheo Dental Group at the same time.
“There is absolutely no conspiracy between Dr. Allen and Diane,” Marilyn said. “Totally made that up.”
The release also says Allen, “a non-participating HMSA physician, used the names and numbers of his dental associates, who were participating HMSA physicians, to charge HMSA for work performed.”
But Marilyn Allen maintains the allegations were never proven and Terry Allen wasn’t found guilty.
“These charges were from a long time ago and lots of people know what happened, but I can’t talk about it,” Marilyn Allen said.
She continued: “Dr. Allen is over 70 (years old) and I feel if we’d have went to trail, we’d have won.”
While she couldn’t provide details, Marilyn Allen said “there’s been false allegations of insurance fraud about Dr. Allen that were given to the state. I can’t say who or what, but I can say he’s 100 percent innocent.”
Allen has been a dentist on Kauai since the 1980s, and before that worked in Seattle. He has a long list of community-service activities — like free programs for children and seniors.
Jessica Else, staff writer, can be reached at 245-0452 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.