Lionel Guedj, 41, was a multi-millionaire dentist in France who has been sentenced to eight years in jail for deliberately mutilating patients from low-income neighborhoods of Marseille. In the horrifying money-making scheme, Lionel Guedj performed thousands of unnecessary procedures carrying out work on healthy teeth of low-income patients.
His father, Carnot Guedj, 70, who worked part-time for him, was jailed for five years, France24 reported. In a rare move, the judge ordered both men directly to prison, regardless of whether or not they decide to appeal.
Presiding judge Celine Ballerini said the father and son had set up a “systematic” scheme that had “destroyed” the lives of patients who could no longer bear to smile and suffered “intolerable pain.”
The trial for the pair ended in April, during which prosecutors said Lionel performed an estimated 3,900 root canal operations on the perfectly healthy teeth of 327 patients, requiring them to be pulled out and replaced with bridges, RFI reported. He also fitted 28 times more bridges than the average dentist. The country’s national health service paid a majority of the dental bills.
Lionel sought to make maximum profits by forcing unsuspecting patients to undergo unnecessary procedures, showing “total disdain” for his patients’ health, and then reaping payments from social security, prosecutors said.
Lionel also cut corners when performing procedures, law officials said, doing dental procedures that normally took 45 minutes to an hour in about 10 minutes. Many of the patients suffered infections, complications or permanent damage.
One 18-year-old female patient went to Lionel for a minor tooth enamel issue. He pulled out 24 of her healthy teeth without properly disinfecting the roots, The Guardian reported.
The dentist used his fees to purchase property, paintings and luxury cars. In 2010, Lionel was France’s highest-paid dentist, when he billed some 2.9 million euros ($2.9 million), France 24 reported.
French ex-dentists Lionel, rear, and his father Carnot Guedj, second right, arrive at the courthouse for sentencing. Getty Images