Police arrest couple accused of posing as dentists - WSMV Channel 4

Police arrest couple accused of posing as dentists

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Lana Richardson Lana Richardson
Michael Richardson (Photos from Maury Co. Sheriff's Office) Michael Richardson (Photos from Maury Co. Sheriff's Office)
COLUMBIA, TN (WSMV) -

Going to the dentist can already be a little scary for some people, but what if you found out your dentist wasn't really a dentist at all?

One Middle Tennessee couple is facing serious charges after they were accused of performing dental procedures without a license - all to make a quick dollar.

The sign on the door at Columbia business Amazing Smiles said, "Prepare to be Amazed!"

When Helen Kelly showed up Thursday and found crime scene tape on the door, she was.

"They need to stay in jail where they're at," said Kelly.  

Kelly recently shelled out her entire tax return for a new set of dentures.

"They charged me $1,590," said Kelly. 

But her false teeth might have come from false dentists.

"They're too big. They're horrible," said Kelly.  

Police said the people running the joint, Michael and Lana Richardson had phony licenses and were both operating under a fake name: Doctor Roberts.

Officers called them good old fashioned con-artists looking to make a quick buck.

"It was heartbreaking to see, people just breaking down into tears, just describing how they've saved for over a year to get their teeth fixed and now they're left without any teeth of the teeth that were supposed to be of the right quality. Teeth they can't wear," said Lt. Joey Gideon of the Columbia police department.  

Investigators said, while the Richardsons aren't professional doctors, they are professional crooks.

Police caught the duo doing the same thing in Warren County back in 1994, and when officers in Glasgow Kentucky recently caught onto the scheme, they said the Richardson's took off.

"We have reason to believe he's doing this, if not all over the state, all over the country," said Gideon. 

"Amazing Smiles" opened in Columbia in August 2012. Kelly is just one of their victims.

"I work hard for the money I do get," said Kelly

Police feared in that city alone, there are many more.

"Potentially there's hundreds of victims. The only motivation I've been able to see, so far, is pure greed, pure money," said Gideon.

Investigators said the duo specialized in false dentures but also performed procedures like extractions.

The Richardsons are being held in Maury County Jail on charges of Impersonation of a Licensed Professional and Unlawful Practice of Dentistry.

They are also being held as being fugitives from justice stemming from outstanding charges from Glasgow, KY.

Michael Richardson also has a criminal hold placed on him from Warren County, TN.

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