Oklahoma authorities say there may be as many as 100 victims in alleged dental scam

Elizabeth Hinojosa, 47, and Monica Salazar Orozco, 28, are charged with practicing dentistry without a license; one victim lost his front teeth after paying $4,500 to have them replaced.
by Tim Willert Modified: September 4, 2012 at 9:31 pm •  Published: September 5, 2012

Carroll Jarrett knew something was terribly wrong when he bit into a piece of fried chicken on the Fourth of July and his two front teeth fell out.

“It was gross,” Jarrett, 48, recalled Tuesday. “I had two little bitty nubs where my smile was.”

When the Anadarko man returned to Oklahoma City and the office of the dentist who had treated him and his 14-year-old daughter, she was nowhere to be found.

Jarrett was greeted by a different dentist who said she had no record of his previous visits.

“She acted like she didn't know what was going on,” he said.

The Anadarko man was among those duped by a mother and daughter who posed as dentists after hours while employed as office workers during the day and — if paid in cash — offered their services to uninsured customers who spoke little English, state dental board authorities allege.

Elizabeth Hinojosa, 47, and Monica Salazar Orozco, 28, both of Oklahoma City, were charged Friday in Oklahoma County District Court with practicing dentistry without a license, a felony. Hinojosa also was charged with one count each of forgery, medical battery and embezzlement.

Warrants have been issued for their arrest.

Susan Rogers, executive director of the Oklahoma Dentistry Board, said Tuesday that as many as 100 adults and children were victimized by Hinojosa and Orozco, who remain at large.

“This is a Pandora's box,” Rogers said during an interview at the board's office. “When we started this, we had no idea how big and bad it was.”

Hinojosa is believed to be in San Antonio, where she worked for a dentist until quitting Friday, Rogers said.

Hinojosa, also known as “Dr. Liz” by the victims, was a dental assistant and her daughter was a receptionist where the alleged crimes took place between September 2010 and May 2011, according to a probable cause affidavit filed with the charges.

Both worked for Dr. Salam Ramadan, who owns and operates Dental Spa locations at 1211 SW 44 and 3315 NW 63 in Oklahoma City.

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by Tim Willert
Education Reporter
Tim Willert is a native Californian with Oklahoma ties who covers education. Prior to moving to Oklahoma in June 2011, he was as an editor for FOXSports.com in Century City, Calif., and reported on courts for the Los Angeles Daily Journal and...
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