Michigan Dentist Busted In Florida Pizza Fraud

EAST LANSING (WWJ) – Police near Orlando, Florida, say an East Lansing-area dentist tried to use a military veteran’s lost credit card to buy dinner.

Investigators say 54-year old Dr. Richard Ludwig found the card in a grocery store parking lot Saturday and tried to buy two pizzas at a nearby restaurant.

WWJ Newsradio 950 spoke with Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

“We’re obviously going to report him to the Board of Ethics in Michigan, because we’ll think they’ll have an interest in a doctor having three felony charges against him,” Judd said.

Ludwig, who told police he was in town for his son’s baseball tournament, signed his own name to the card, which belonged to a 14-year Navy veteran and college student. The vet noticed the card missing while buying his son a birthday cake.

During questioning, Ludwig told deputies he is a successful dentist and a University of Michigan dental school graduate, with an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering. 

Deputies asked Ludwig if he was having financial problems which would cause him to act in such a way.  Ludwig laughed and said “absolutely not,” and admitted to investigators that he is worth three or four million dollars. 

He had about $250 in his wallet at the time of the crime.

“He’s gone to jail, he’s embarrassed himself and his family.  He’s probably damaged his own dentist practice, when some of his clients see how he really acts when he’s out of the community,” Sheriff  Judd told WWJ.

“This is the epitome of arrogance.  Dr. Ludwig appears to be an intelligent, successful person who could have bought pizza for everyone in Davenport, but instead, he risked his career to steal from a military veteran,” Judd said.

Deputies said Ludwig admitted that risking his dental career and reputation for two large pizzas with extra olives was “dumb.”

Ludwig has been charged with three felonies. He could face 10 to 15 years in prison if convicted.


More From CBS Detroit

Best 4th Of July Concerts In Metro DetroitStaying home this weekend? Celebrate the 4th of July by rocking out at one of these shows.
Hump Day Drinks: 8 Cheery Cocktail RecipesNow that you've made it through half the work week, it's time to celebrate!

Watch & Listen