Alameda County District Attorney's Office
Nancy E. O'Malley, District Attorney

Meet DA Nancy E. O'Malley

DA’s Office Secures Restitution for Victim of Dentist’s Illegal Business Practice

OAKLAND, CA – Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley announced today that her office’s Consumer, Environmental and Worker Protection Division has settled a civil law enforcement action against Livermore Dentist Dr Rakhibahen Tejas (Rakhi) Jani, owner of Smiles Unlimited in Livermore, CA.

Dr Jani advertised in the PennySaver weekly flyer delivered to a residential senior facility offering dental implants to new patients at a cost $1,200. Ms Evelyn M., age 80, read the advertisement, went to the dental office, and began the implant process at this agreed upon price. The dental office immediately signed her up for Care Credit, a dental credit business that charged 27% interest without informing her of this fact. Additionally, Dr Jani charged the victim in excess of twice the advertised amount once the lengthy dental procedure had begun.


Ms Evelyn M receives her restitution check from DA Inspector Bermudez.

Ms Evelyn M. reported this bait-and-switch to her residential facility’s social service coordinator, who then contact the District Attorney’s Office. The DA’s Office investigated the matter and filed a civil complaint. The defendant has now paid full restitution to the victim and is also enjoined from falsely advertising the price of dental procedures.

“I am pleased that my office was able to quickly respond to this predatory scam,” states DA O’Malley.

“Ms Evelyn was able to recoup the money that she should not have had to pay for her dental implant and Dr Jani will no longer be able to prey upon patients in need of dental care. I hope this also serves as a cautionary tale to the elder population of our county to take great care when paying for services that are offered at a price that seems too good to be true.

"I always advise that everyone should consult with a trusted advisor, relative or friend before agreeing to pay a large sum of money for a service, or when allowing another person control of financial decisions,” DA O'Malley said.

Through our Speakers Bureau, staff from the District Attorney’s Office are available to speak to community groups about financial safety, scam prevention tips and other issues impacting the elder community. Please call Teresa Drenick on (510) 272 – 6280 to request a speaker at your next meeting.

If you think you have been the victim of a scam similar to this, please contact our Consumer Division on (510) 383 – 8600.

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Contact:
ADA Teresa Drenick
(510) 272-6280
Teresa.Drenick@acgov.org

Posted on Aug 25, 2015