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Feds: No charges against company in Kansas Guard probe

Aug. 18, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
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WICHITA, KAN. — Federal authorities said Thursday they have no plans to file any charges against a company that contracted for dental services with the Kansas Army National Guard.

Jim Cross, spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office, confirmed the Federal Bureau of Investigation has concluded its investigation into Dentrust, a Pennsylvania company that performs dental screenings and treatment for Guard soldiers. The Lawrence Journal World first reported last month the investigation into Dentrust, which received more than $585,000 under contracts in fiscal years 2012-2013.

Dentrust spokesman Ernest Baynard said Thursday that the investigation stemmed from “wildly inaccurate” allegations accusing Dentrust of entertaining members of the Kansas National Guard by taking them out skiing, on vacation and to dinner. Both state and federal governments prohibit employees from accepting gifts from outside entities.

“One dentist on one occasion gave one coupon to one Kansas Guard member that had a one-time value of $17 total,” Baynard said, noting the federal reporting limit for gifts is $40.

The dentist was a ski patroller at a resort which hands out coupons to get people to come to the resort, and the Guard member had mentioned in casual conversation that he was going skiing, Baynard said.

“It was a simple matter for the investigator to conclude that there was no wrongdoing,” Baynard said.

The Kansas National Guard said last month that when it was made aware of concerns related to Dentrust, it referred the matter to federal authorities for further investigation. Sharon Watson, spokeswoman for the state’s adjutant general’s office, referred any comment Thursday on the status of that investigation to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Medical providers contract with National Guard units across the country to provide health screenings and treatment for soldiers, supplementing the Guard’s own medical staff.

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