Cases are pending in at least two Tennessee counties against Michael and Lana Richardson, and the charges are similar to those the couple face in Barren County.
Michael Harold Richardson, 55, has pleaded guilty in Barren Circuit Court to multiple charges of theft by deception and to practicing dentistry without a license, first offense. His wife, Lana, 52, has pleaded guilty to multiple counts of complicity to theft by deception and to complicity to practicing dentistry without a license, first offense.
The Richardsons’ final sentencing in Barren County is scheduled for Monday. Meanwhile, they were arrested this month in Coffee County, Tenn., and they have a case under way in Maury County, Tenn. The counties are in different judicial districts.
Michael Richardson has a previous conviction in Simpson County, as well.
An October indictment from a Coffee County grand jury said that in March and April 2013, “Lana Ruth Richardson did solicit, direct, aid or attempt to aid Michael Harold Richardson in practicing or pretending to be licensed to practice a profession for which a license certifying the qualifications of the licensee to practice the profession was required, being dentistry …”
Lana Richardson was in court in Coffee County on Feb. 12 for an arraignment, but it was continued until this Wednesday, according to information obtained from the Coffee County circuit court clerk’s office.
Michael Richardson was arrested more recently than his wife, and as of Friday his case file had not yet been prepared. He does not have a court date set, according the clerk’s office.
The indictments were sealed until the time of arrest, but a copy of the indictment would not be available through the courthouse until the file is prepared, according to the clerk’s office.
According to Doug Richardson, chief investigator at the Coffee County Sheriff’s Office, which oversees the county jail, Lana Richardson was booked Feb. 5 and released the same day on a $30,000 cash bond, with 10 percent posted through a bail bond company.
Michael Richardson was booked Feb. 11 and was released that day under the same bail conditions, Doug Richardson said.
Winston Brooks, public information officer for the city of Tullahoma, said in a Feb. 17 press release that the couple are accused of operating a business as a dental provider in the city.
“Investigators of the Columbia Police Department notified Tullahoma Police after a search warrant in April 2013 revealed a possible connection to the Amazing Smiles location in Tullahoma,” according to the release.
Tullahoma Police Department investigator Tyler Hatfield is quoted in the press release as saying: “There was no signage at the office in Tullahoma. And the business had not been in operation for more than a month.”
“Investigators interviewed local individuals believed to be victims, and the Richardsons were picked out of a photo line-up, and other evidence was found that linked them to the victims,” the press release states. “The focus of the criminal operation was in Columbia, and only three Tullahoma victims have been identified.”
Brooks said he believes Michael Richardson is also due in court Feb. 26.
He said announcements have been placed in the local newspaper asking other victims to come forward, but because the business wasn’t really established in Tullahoma yet, he doesn’t believe there will be many more.