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The Investigators: Government finds deadbeat doctors defaulting on student loans

Source Date: 
Tuesday, September 23, 2014

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The government calls them deadbeat, local doctors and dentists living a life of luxury despite owing millions in student loans.

Many of the loans are from decades ago, but still haven't been paid back, hurting you the taxpayer.

They live in fancy houses, drive expensive cars, and according to the government, owe taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"You owe almost $700,000?" Eyewitness News Investigative Reporter Jim Hoffer said.

"I am unable to comment on that because that is on-going litigation," said Dr. Demi Turner, a New Jersey dentist.

They are doctors and dentists from New Jersey and New York who borrowed the money in the 80's and 90's to go to medical school on the promise to pay the government back.

"You're not going to run from us are you? Sir why don't you talk to us?" Hoffer asked a dentist from Wappingers Falls.

These doctors who are on the Department of Education's Defaulted Borrowers list had little to say about why they've failed to pay back the government that helped them to succeed.

Dentist Scott Kupetz has a successful practice in Dutchess County, New York. According to the government, he's defaulted on a student loan that dates back 25 years.

"You owe $149,000 to the government. Why wouldn't you explain to us, doctor?" Hoffer asked.

And there's Brooklyn dentist, Sammy Saadia. He owns the New York Smile Group. He wasn't smiling when we confronted him about his defaulted loan.

"My loans were deferred, we made special arrangements. That doesn't reflect the true value," Dr. Saadia said.

"Then why is your name on the list?" Hoffer asked.

"I don't know," Saadia said.

But the Department of Education says if they're on this list, they still owe. In Dr. Saadia's case he owes $156,000.

The road to success is always under construction
– Lily Tomlin
"There is scarcely anything that drags a person down like debt."
– P. T. Barnum
"Bankruptcy laws allow companies to smoothly reorganize, but not college graduates burdened by student loans."
– Robert Reich
“What I would like to do... once I take care of all my kids' student loans, is buy a red 1965 Mustang and fully restore it.”
– Mike Quigley
“This would be a much better world if more married couples were as deeply in love as they are in debt.”
– Earl Wilson
"Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood."
– Marie Curie
"If we don't change direction soon, we'll end up where we're going."
– Irwin "Professor" Corey