DALLAS - All Smiles Dental Center has filed for bankruptcy.
But even today, at least one of its clinics is still advertising "Frenos Gratis Con Medicaid," or free braces with Medicaid, flaunting state regulations which were never supposed to routinely provide free braces.
For the past several months, the chain has been shrinking. From dozens of clinics a year ago, to a handful now. One high-volume clinic on Garland Road in Dallas has closed.
In Chapter 11 filings, All Smiles lists $50-100 million in liabilities, and $1-10 million in assets.
Founder Dr. Richard Malouf is listed as owning 28 percent of the company, while Valor Equity of Chicago owns the remaining 72 percent.
At one point, All Smiles billed as much for Medicaid braces as the entire State of Illinois.
Founder Malouf flaunted two corporate jets, a Bentley in the garage and a Porsche Carerra in his driveway.
And the driveway is connected to a mansion that is a counter to any argument that says a dentist can't make money under Medicaid. The French chateau, listed on tax rolls at $11 million, is nestled among Dallas' most ostentatious properties on Strait Lane.
The mansion is untouchable in the bankruptcy.
In March, Malouf agreed to settle a Medicaid billing case for $1.2 million. The federal government charged him with fraudulent Medicaid billing for four years, ending in 2007, before his biggest billings for Medicaid braces. In settling the case, he admitted no wrongdoing.
Those troubles behind him, he is expanding the mansion. Construction crews are at work doubling it in size.
Various Malouf family trusts say they are owed money in the bankruptcy, according to court papers, but the house that braces built appears intact.