NEW YORK (AP) — An office manager was arraigned Thursday on charges she posed as a dentist when the real dentist was away and seriously injured patients after pulling their teeth, performing root canals on them and injecting their mouths, prosecutors said.
Valbona Yzeiraj, who said she trained as a dentist in her native Albania but isn’t licensed or trained in New York, pleaded not guilty in Bronx Supreme Court to five counts of unauthorized practice of a profession, four counts of assault, three counts of reckless endangerment and one count of attempted grand larceny.
One of the patients Yzeiraj treated between late 2012 and the summer of 2013 got an infection after a root canal, and another still feels pain two years after being treated by Yzeiraj, prosecutors said.
Yzeiraj, of White Plains, performed on patients at Dr. Jeffrey Schoengold’s Ultimate Dental Care of Riverdale in the Bronx while he was away, prosecutors charge.
When Schoengold discovered Yzeiraj’s unsanctioned side business, he fired her and she then tried to steal more than $20,000 from him, prosecutors said.
An attorney for Yzeiraj, 45, didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment. A judge set her bail at $20,000, and she was barred from going near any dental practices during the duration of her case.
Schoengold also didn’t return a message seeking comment.
If convicted, Yzeiraj faces up to seven years in prison.