« Can consumer claims that may not be litigated in a class action nonetheless be settled on a class basis without the consumer's affirmative consent (and, if so, when)? | Main | Noll Article on Regulating Arbitration, including the CFPB's Proposed Regulation »

Friday, August 19, 2016


Chris U

I agree with Russel Matthew.

Matthew Chan

Hello Russell,

Thanks for your suggestion.

I had previously filed a complaint in 2014 with the Georgia Board of Dentist over the "bait and switch" incident. They declined to pursue the matter and I just let it go. It is old news. The only reason why it is even an issue of discussion today is only to explain why I wrote my review to begin with 2 years ago. I've had no contact or interaction with Patel or his office in over two years so I cannot speak to what he does today. I have no desire to communicate with him or cross paths with him if I can help it.

I figured my prior consumer reviews to the public was sufficient action over the matter. People can make their own decision if they want to use Patel as their dentist.

I am certainly willing to file a complaint to the Georgia Board of Dentistry against Patel but I am being patient for now. Perhaps more information will surface later.

Mr. Levy wrote in his latest post: http://pubcit.typepad.com/clpblog/2016/08/georgia-dentist-mitul-patel-acknowledges-that-consent-order-was-a-fraud-but-claims-he-is-the-real-vi.html that (through Patel's lawyer Stuart Oberman) Patel denies the accusations. Mr. Levy also writes, "Stay tuned" and I am doing just that for now.

I am looking forward to Mr. Levy's next update post on this matter whenever that might be. I don't think anyone knows more about what is going with this whole fiasco than he does given his contacts and resources. I have no problems saying that I implicitly trust Mr. Levy's work and judgment. His tremendous career and reputation precedes him.

Matthew Chan

Russell Winer

Matthew, if you haven't already done so, it seems like filing a complaint with the Georgia Board of Dentistry would be a reasonable step. I'd leave off the part about bait and switch and the substance of your grievance, and focus instead on the apparent perfidy of the Maryland litigation.


Russell Winer

Matthew Chan

First, let me publicly thank and acknowledge Mr. Paul Alan Levy of Public Citizen for being at the forefront of this case and bring it to light. I have long known about Mr. Levy's extensive work, reputation, and interesting cases he takes on. A case that I was following when my case appeared out of nowhere is the Prestigious Pets case in Texas concerning a Yelp review. It is worth paying attention to and concerns the legitimacy and enforcement of non-disparagement clauses.

It appears there is a growing phenomenon of businesses using very "creative" means to remove undesirable Yelp reviews. What I never imagined is that out of the five Yelp reviews I have written (as of this writing) of which only two were "negative reviews", I would get caught up in a situation that would become a story and the interest of Public Citizen, a well-known consumer advocacy organization.

Mr. Levy has done an excellent job covering so many of the finer points of the issues at hand. He articulates them very well, far better than I could. I am fortunate that I have not been overtly harmed by this so far. As Mr. Levy has pointed out in his analysis, it is only because of Yelp that I ever found out about it. I am not a traditional "Yelper", nor do I write many consumer reviews as a general rule. And so, Yelp deserves great credit for reaching out to me wanting to find out what my intentions were regarding the "consent order". And they have been receptive receiving updates from me on this case. I was pleasantly surprised when Yelp placed a Consumer Alert on Mr. Patel's business page listing. I did not know that occurred until a friend following this case informed me.

Mr. Patel has MANY other negative consumer reviews which largely substantiate different aspects of what I wrote in my original review. However, my review appeared to be of particular interest for removal because of the specificity of my review where it included extra references to the 2008 disciplinary documents I found on the Georgia Board of Dentistry website and I complained that he engaged in "bait and switch" tactics with me which there are laws against in Georgia.

Other smaller facts I would like to note shows the level the level of deception that occurred.

1). My contact address was not the only address that was grossly wrong. Mr. Patel's own contact address in the court documents were non-existent according to an address verification check on USPS.com. The street number does not exist for that street and the Suite number appears to be intentionally omitted which ensured that any court notices would not be successfully delivered to or be seen by anyone at his office. That is what I believe based on the information I have now.

2). Even the part where Mr. Patel asserts in the Complaint that he resides in Gwinnett County, Georgia (a very minor point ordinarily), that appears to be false. From what I have been able to find and discover, he has a sizable house in Fulton County only a few miles from his dental office. That seems to be his likely residence. I only bring this up because it is simply one of many pieces of false and deceptive information.

3). I find it difficult to believe the Mr. Patel devised or developed this consumer review expungement scheme. I believe the inspiration and mastermind of what occurred originated with someone else who understood loopholes of removing unfavorable content from websites as well as an understanding of how to take advantage of small cracks in the legal system. Let me be clear. I do not at all blame anyone at the Baltimore Circuit Court. I see no easy way it could have been prevented. If someone is determined to perpetrate a fraud, as in this case, people will always devise a way.

4). I along with a few other knowledgeable people I have conferred with believe that crimes were committed by someone. There is no doubt that my signature was forged. There is no doubt that the judge and court were mislead. There is no doubt there was abuse of the legal system. There is no doubt that my reviews were the ones that were targeted for removal. There is no doubt that Mr. Patel was the clear beneficiary of the illicitly-obtained "consent order". There is no doubt that defamation claims as described in the Complaint about me are untrue. In my opinion, there is clearly a criminal action component that ultimately has to be acknowledged and dealt with.

5). What I have tried to avoid discussing of which Mr. Patel has only reinforced (even prior to this Yelp incident), is that the dental industry perpetrate certain "sales-enhancement" schemes that, in my view, are unethical and dishonest. They prey upon people's fears and inability to self-diagnose. Further, the sales incentive often extend towards those people we would not normally associate with being "incentivized" such as office management and the hygienists that clean your teeth! Everything prescribed and sold in the dental office is often available at local pharmacies for far less money. I could go on and on but I won't because this really isn't the proper forum.

In conclusion, I have been privileged with the light that Mr. Paul Alan Levy and Public Citizen has clearly shown on this matter. Mr. has shown great initiative and I have been honored to cooperate with him to help serve the greater good. Legitimate consumer reviews are important to our society. It helps keep businesses in check. And when a business finds a way to cheat and circumvent the system, it is bad for the public who want to be informed. As a last personally comment, do not be silent and SPEAK OUT when you see these kinds of things being perpetrated against you. If it is happening to you, there is a good chance it is also happening to other people.


Matthew Chan


The signatures of Patel and "Chan" on the consent order look remarkably similar.

The comments to this entry are closed.