Valbona Yzeiraj, a 45-year-old office manager employed at a dental office in Bronx, has been arrested after it became increasingly clear that she posed as a dentist and offered “treatment” to patients who visited the clinic when the real doctor was away. According to NY Daily News, Yzeiraj masqueraded as a dentist herself and performed tooth extractions and even complex procedures like root canals on unsuspecting patients at Ultimate Dental Care in Riverdale. All this happened when the real dentist practicing there was away. According to the report, Valbona dubbed herself as “Dr. Val” and “treated” patients for several years until her bluff was called out.
On Thursday, Valbona was arrested and subsequently charged at the Bronx Supreme Court in a 13-count indictment, which included five counts of unauthorized practice of a profession, four counts of assault, three counts of reckless endangerment, and one count of attempted grand larceny.
Authorities found out that Valbona, who claimed to be a trained dentist from Albania, did not have the license to practice anywhere in the United States. That, however, did not deter her from accepting payment, often running into thousands of dollars from unsuspecting patients.
The following is according to Bronx Assistant District Attorney Patrick McCadden.
“She inspected patients, she diagnosed patients, she took X-rays, she injected patients with anesthetics, she even gave patients root canals.”
Several patients she “treated” ended up having severe infections and persistent pain even two years after the procedure was completed, a Yahoo! News report said. Several cases of botched root canal attempts, too, have come to light, McCadden confirmed. He added that several of the treatments happened during late 2012 to the summer of 2013.
Eventually, her employer, Dr. Schoengold, found that his employee was masquerading as a dentist and fired her before reporting her to the police.
“There was no record at all. This is a gross betrayal of trust to me and to the community,” the 61-year-old doctor told NY Daily News.
According to him, he had found Yzeriraj through Craigslist back in 2009.
“You hear about things like this. You never think it’s gonna happen to you and here I am and it’s happening,” he added.
According to police, Yzeriraj has also been accused of trying to pilfer $20,000 from Schoengold’s payroll department, leading to the doctor installing security cameras in his office to monitor the activity of his employees.
An emotional Yzeriraj pleaded not guilty on all charges and is currently being held on a $20,000 bail. If convicted, she could end up in prison for seven years. Her attorney told reporters that Valbona has been falsely implicated and that “she intends to fight each and every one of these charges.” Her husband, Petrit Yzeiraj, was also dismissive of the accusations and told that the charges on her were “absurd.”
“My wife, operate on people? It made me laugh. She absolutely did not do it.”
The news about Valbona Yzeiraj’s fraud comes just a few months after the Inquisitr reported about the arrest of a popular Connecticut dentist, Dr. Rashmi Patel, who has been accused of causing the death of a 64-year-old patient after he extracted 20 teeth as a part of a major implant procedure.
[Image via Bronx Police Handout/ABC Local]