NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A woman who was arrested after allegedly pretending to be a dentist in the Bronx now faces upgraded charges, including assault, unauthorized practice, attempted grand larceny and reckless endangerment.
Valbona Yzeiraj, 46, is now accused of telling a patient he needed a root canal and proceeding to inject the patient with anesthetics, officials said. Yzeiraj allegedly took $900 from the patient for the procedure, according to police.
According to investigators, Yzeiraj was actually the office manager Dr. Jeffrey Schoengold. She would slip on a lab coat when Schoengold was away and perform dental work on unsuspecting patients at his Riverdale office at 3800 Independence Ave. between November 2012 and August 2013, prosecutors alleged.
The dentist became suspicious when patients returned with complaints and complications for work he had never performed, Jones reported. Some patients became sick, and one even got a terrible oral infection, prosecutors said.
Yzeiraj claimed she had dental training in her home country of Albania, but prosecutors said she was neither trained nor licensed in the U.S. A judge has barred her from working in dentistry for the duration of her case.
Yzeiraj pleaded not guilty to two counts of 2nd degree assault, two counts of 3rd degree assault, five counts of unauthorized practice, three counts of reckless endangerment, and one count of attempted grand larceny. She has been released on her own recognizance, but will have to pay an additional $10,000 in bail on her next appearance in court on Feb. 23.
If convicted, Yzeiraj could face up to seven years in prison.