‘Dentist’ has no license to practice
Subject of IRS raid banned from dentistry in 2002
The owner of a Grand Junction dental practice raided by the Internal Revenue Service was disciplined 10 years ago for practicing dentistry without a license and appears to be in violation of a 2004 order prohibiting him from owning a dental practice.
Cory Everett-Lozano, spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, told The Daily Sentinel on Thursday that Colorado Community Dental owner Michael Ho doesn’t possess a license to practice dentistry, and records reviewed by the Sentinel indicate Ho has never been licensed in any state to practice dentistry.
“If an individual is practicing dentistry and they own a dental practice, they need to be licensed,” Everett-Lozano said. “If they’re not practicing dentistry, they’re just administering or working in an administrative capacity, they do not need to be licensed.”
The Colorado State Board of Dental Examiners in September 2002 issued a cease and desist order prohibiting Ho from performing any dental diagnostic or therapeutic services without a license or performing any dental procedure unless he’s in compliance with current Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines. The order followed a complaint that was raised earlier that year after Ho failed to use gloves during a dental procedure, a violation of state law.
In a written response, Ho indicated he had “never used gloves in 32+ years and I have always been the owner of my business,” according to the order.
Two years later, prompted by a complaint filed by the state board, a Mesa County district court judge issued an order prohibiting Ho from owning and operating Skyline Dental Clinic, a practice Ho owned at the time. Furthermore, according to the order, “Defendant may not own any corporation or other entity engaged in any activity that constitutes the practice of dentistry or engage in any activity that constitutes the practice of dentistry under the laws of the State of Colorado.”
According to the order, Ho incorporated Skyline Dental Clinic in 2001 under the name Five-O Enterprises. The clinic was located at 751 Horizon Court, Suite 106, and 2795 Skyline Court. The latter address is where Ho currently operates Colorado Community Dental, which was formed as a nonprofit group in 2010.
Federal agents spent most of the day Wednesday gathering documents and other evidence from Colorado Community Dental and Ho and his wife Randi’s home north of Fruita, 1957 N Road, as part of a criminal investigation. IRS officials have declined to discuss the details of the investigation.
A woman who was a patient with Community Dental told the Sentinel Thursday she saw a few weeks ago a newspaper advertisement promoting a discounted insurance policy offered by the Community Dental. The woman, who declined to give her name, said she gave Community Dental a $119 check. Given the IRS investigation, she said she plans to ask for the money back.
“We don’t have that kind of money to throw away,” the woman said, noting she and her husband are on a fixed income.
She said she and her husband have known the Hos for several years through her husband selling dental equipment to Michael Ho. She said they were patients when Ho operated a dental practice at a different location. She said Ho told them he wasn’t licensed to practice dentistry, and that he didn’t perform any procedures on them but “helped” by holding something in her mouth.
“He was very nice and honest,” she said. “We got our teeth done reasonably enough.”
The woman said she called Community Dental, which reopened Thursday, after learning about the raid. She said a woman who answered the phone told her the raid wasn’t related to the practice but someone connected to it.
“Even with an associate from there, it’s just not comfortable,” she said of being a patient at Community Dental. “I’ll go somewhere else.”
Messages left at Community Dental and the Hos’ home weren’t returned Thursday.