Man charged with practicing dentistry in basement

(AP) — Authorities say a man originally from Europe illegally practiced dentistry in the basement of his suburban Detroit home and allegedly used his church to get referrals.

Leka Gjokaj was arraigned Friday in a Macomb County court on a charge of being an unlicensed dentist. The 55-year-old Clinton Township resident was held on a $5,000 bond, but prosecutors say he may have overstayed his visa.

An Albanian interpreter was on the phone to assist Gjokaj.

Defense attorney Paul Lulgjuraj says his client is a legitimate dentist, but doesn’t know if he is licensed in Michigan.

A search found a dentist chair, an X-ray machine, molds for teeth and other items. Authorities say the man told them he was seeing one or two patients a day.

The felony is punishable by up to four years in prison. His next hearing is March 13.

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