Former Bell County dentist gets prison for Medicaid fraud, drug trafficking

Former Bell County dentist Craig Ralston, 47, has been sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to charges that he defrauded the Kentucky Medicaid Program and trafficked in hydrocodone, a controlled substance.

Attorney General Jack Conway's Office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control announced the sentencing.

Ralston also was ordered to pay $4,900 in restitution to the Kentucky Medicaid Program and $3,000 in investigative costs for the attorney general's office.

According to the attorney general's office, from March 1988 until September 2004, Ralston billed the Kentucky Medical Assistance Program for dental extractions that were not performed or medically inappropriate. "During this time, Ralston supplied drug-seeking clients with hydrocodone while billing for extractions of healthy teeth," the release from Conway's office said.

Ralston surrendered his license to practice dentistry in 2004.

He was first tried on the fraud and trafficking charges in February, but a mistrial was declared after Ralston addressed jurors during a court recess.

Ralston pleaded guilty to all counts in Bell Circuit Court on Nov. 16.