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Dentist, guilty of fraud, still practicing

A federal jury in Abingdon on March 6 found Roy Shelburne, a Lee County dentist, guilty on 10 counts, including health-care fraud and racketeering. Sentencing is set for June.

The Bristol Herald Courier has reported he is still seeing patients and practicing dentistry.

U.S. Attorney John Brownlee wants to put a stop to that, and has filed a motion with U.S. District Judge James P. Jones.

This is one of those cases about what the meaning of is is.

An official at the Department of Health Professions says it can’t suspend Shelburne. The department got some legal advice, and it can act on a “conviction.” But the dentist has not been fully “convicted” yet; the conviction won’t be complete until the sentencing.

The Board of Dentistry can suspend a licensed member who poses a “substantial danger” to patients, but an official there declined to say whether it is investigating.

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