Please be Careful When Hiring a Consultant!

blank Update October 29, 2018: It appears that this business is using a new name — East Coast Medical and Dental Staffing LLC.  Same website, same phone number.
Original Article: We are fortunate to work with some excellent consultants.  However, because consulting to dentists is an unregulated profession, there is nothing stopping people with very checkered pasts holding themselves out as consultants. The woman shown in the picture above, who has used many different names in the past owns a couple of businesses providing services to dentists. However, there is information about her that should make any dentist question the wisdom of hiring her. The name she is using for business purposes is Kari Swanson.  Some other names that she may have used in the past are Kari Lyn Swanson, L Schukman, Kari Lyn Schuckman, Kari Lynn Swanson, and Kari Schuckman Gomez. The two companies that she owns are:
  1.  Dental Temp Solutions, located in Virginia, which has a website that looks like this:
blank 2.  The second business is called KLE Dental Jobs.  Its logo looks like this: blank It seems that Kari has been in some trouble over the years.  Here are some of the criminal charges that we have identified: It is questionable whether Kari will be able to carry on her businesses for much longer, because in May 2018 she received a fifty one month federal prison sentence (to be served starting on January 1, 2019) for embezzling from a Virginia dentist.  She was also ordered to repay a six-figure amount at the lofty rate of $150.00 per month. Her sentencing document is here: [pdf-embedder url=”” title=”Kari Gomez Sentencing May 2018″] However, as alarming as it is that someone with this particular baggage is selling her services to unsuspecting dentists, this conviction was not the only brush with the law for Kari.  A search of Virginia state records revealed a number of other convictions including a least a few that were fraud-related.  Based on the number of names that Ms. Schuckman / Swanson / Gomez has used over the years, it is entirely possible that there is more, but here is what we found: blank We asked Kari for her comments but did not receive a response. Kari is not the only consultant who causes us concern.  Please see this post –
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Jury Acquits Whitfield Co. Woman on Theft Charges From DSO


On Monday, after a week-long trial, a jury in Whitfield County acquitted a woman who had been charged in 2012 for the theft of $112,000 in cash from a business known as Benevis, also known as Kool Smiles.

Defense Attorney McCracken Poston disputed the fact that McGill stole the cash, but did admit she didn’t deposit the $112,000 over the two-year period in question. He argued before the jury that the same amount the state claimed was stolen by McGill as a “fiduciary” of the company had been applied to an “intensive incentives program” for the office and its employees.

Poston countered that McGill was instructed by the then Chief Operating Officer of Kool Smiles, as well as her then District Manager who performed quarterly audits, to utilize the cash for what he described to the jury as “An ‘intensive incentive program’ that made the office operate at a frenetic pace to drive up the sales of Medicaid-billed services.”

Poston said of the almost constant contests, incentives and recognitions in this period of time at the Dalton office, that “the place was operating like something between a game show and a sweatshop. “

Poston said “Creature comforts were purchased and brought into the office for the benefit of the employees, including iPods, a popcorn machine, exercise equipment, visits from a masseuse. and a seemingly never-ending series of contests and prizes for the top-performing employees. or for the office as a whole, as its Medicaid sales numbers went up.” Poston said daily prizes included cash awards for employees who met and surpassed sales performance goals, and evidence was provided of the practice in the form of a receipt from a winning employee.

“This was all going gangbusters. until the United States Senate Finance Committee began to make inquiries of the practices of these dental chains, including specifically Kool Smiles, of using incentives to drive sales of Medicaid-billed services.” Poston continued, “And then an expose’ by the PBS series ‘Frontline’ was being produced.’

Poston added, “Evidence came out in the trial that the company, worried that employees would use their cell phones to become whistleblowers, went so far as to create daily incentives for locking up employee cell phones during work hours.”

Poston said that evidence was given at the trial that a box of the receipts for all of the items bought with the cash that would have proven his client’s innocence was removed from the building “without warning, and then two large men in dark suits who claimed to be from a security company hired by former Kool Smiles COO Bill Brigham showed up on February 1.”

Poston said one of the men, Robert Strickland from Strickland Security and Safèty Systems, Inc., of Atlanta, was “wearing an “NFL ring” which he spun around in McGill’s face as Strickland interrogated her with his colleague, Raymond Glaze.

Poston says McGill, who was five months pregnant at the time, was told by the men that unless she cooperated, she “would have her baby in prison and never see it again.”

McGill testified at trial that one of the men wrote out a statement for her to sign, and she signed it to get away from them. Poston says it was proven at trial that many of the things handwritten on the so-called confession we’re patently not true, but McGill ‘Was told to write it and she complied. An example of this is the written “explanation” for the crime, that her husband was laid off from work and that she had taken a pay cut to take the job. Poston said it was proven to trial that neither of these things was true, and put up expert witness Dr. Gregory DeClue, a forensic psychologist who had tested McGill and found her to be among an “extremely suggestible” personality type.

Dr. DeClue also testified about modern interrogation methods and training that ensure against false confessions, noting the lack of any recording of the contact between the men and Poston’s client.

“Strickland has claimed in multiple social media sites that he spent three years playing in the National Football League,” Poston said, ‘and so much of his work as a bodyguard involved intimidation. ” Poston added, “When I confronted him in cross-examination with the team rosters from the Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings and New York Jets from 1983-1985, Strickland had to admit on the witness stand that he was not on them and had never played a single game in the NFL. “

Poston said that it also came out in the trial from the then Human Resources director of Kool Smiles that she had not been the one who called Strickland’s company to interrogate her employee. but that they were called in by then COO Bill Brigham.

Poston said, “All the jury had to do ‘was connect the dots on the timeline. As long as things were going well, the fact that 45 of 52 weekly deposits in a year did not make it to the bank was no problem. It was all getting poured back into the company and was ensuring high Medicaid billings. When the United States Senate inquiry turned toward Kool Smiles, Jennifer McGill went from being a company asset to its greatest liability. Sending Strickland and Glaze to coerce a false confession out of her could give the company an explanation for the absence of over $ ] 12,000.00, an excuse that would fill a large hole on the books that could have been questioned in a potential Medicaid fraud investigation.’

After the week-long trial, the jury found McGill not guilty after four hours of deliberations.

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Former KY Bookkeeper Faces More Charges in Dental Office Theft

blankA bookkeeper accused of taking more than $17,000 from a local dentist office faces additional charges.
Jennifer Rose Priddy, 30, of Elizabethtown, a former employee of Dr. Douglas L. Baumgardner, was indicted by a LaRue County grand jury in January on one count of theft by unlawful taking.
Aaron Gabhart, a detective with Kentucky State Police, was given the opportunity in September 2009 to testify about the circumstances leading to the charge. In the preliminary hearing, he said an investigation uncovered several instances of deposit slips not matching daily receipts, discounts manually entered on a computerized bookkeeping system when cash receipts were involved and funds transferred between patient accounts without sufficient documentation. The inaccuracies, dating from March 2005 through June 2008, were discovered when “a large number of unprocessed claims” surfaced and the accounts were reviewed, according to Gabhart. According to court records, about $50,000 had not been billed through accounts receivable and a total of $17,032.42 was unaccounted for through deposit records. Gabhart said two employees were working at the dental office during the time and Priddy was the only one with access to the bookkeeping system and responsible for bank deposits. On July 19, a grand jury heard additional evidence and charged Priddy with theft by deception, over $300, and complicity. She is accused of acting alone or in concert with Eric D. Bradley, 23, of unlawfully obtaining property or services of another “by creating or reinforcing a false impression.” Bradley, of Eastview, was indicted on the same charges. Court documents indicate that Bradley – a relative of Priddy’s – was a patient of Baumgardner’s. Bradley is accused of not paying for dental services valued at more than $500. Priddy is accused of diverting payments from other patients’ accounts to cover Bradley’s bill. Priddy’s bond is set at $9,500 unsecured on condition that she have no contact with the dental office or Bradley. Bradley’s bond is $5,000 cash only on condition that he have no contact with the alleged victim or Priddy. They were arraigned Monday in LaRue Circuit Court.
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Worker Accused of Stealing $25,000 From Missouri Dentist’s Office


SUNSET HILLS • A woman who worked at a pediatric dental practice fraudulently sent refunds to credit cards she owned, stealing a total of $25,473.97, according to a charge filed Friday.

Sandra Howell, 49, stole the money between Jan. 1, 2017, and Tuesday from Pediatric Dentistry of Sunset Hills on Sunset Office Drive. Howell has now been charged in St. Louis County Circuit Court with one count of stealing $25,000 or more.

According to court documents, she confessed to her employer and then to police, admitting to fraudulently crediting the refunds to four credit cards belonging to her. She said she stole the money to pay medical bills.
Howell’s bail was set at $25,000.

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Like Mother, Like Daughter?

Sometimes we get interesting calls at Prosperident. In September 2018, we received a chat request from someone named Vanessa Harpold.  While the conversation took a few twists, eventually she told us that on one of the pages in our Hall of Shame ( the picture that we display is of someone other than the embezzler, who coincidentally has the name Connie Harpold. Vanessa’s story (which was basically that there were two people named Connie Harpold in the same town of 15,000 people in Nebraska) had some inconsistencies and generally lacked credibility.  Our research department confirmed that the picture we were displaying was, in fact, the right person, and that Vanessa is actually the daughter of the person convicted of embezzling. Here are a couple of pictures of  Vanessa, should she ever darken your doorstep: blankblank The transcript of the chat with Vanessa is somewhat amusing (particularly where the Prosperident team member responding to the chat was having obvious difficulty controlling herself) and a slightly redacted version is reproduced below.
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Vanessa Harpold 8:48 PM joined the chat (Prosperident staffer) 8:48 PM Hi, there. Vanessa Harpold 8:49 PM Hello! I have a few questions on an article. (Prosperident staffer) 8:49 PM Are you a dentist? Vanessa Harpold 8:49 PM No I am not. (Prosperident staffer) 8:50 PM OK. May I ask your connection with dentistry? Vanessa Harpold 8:50 PM I had a family member in that field. (Prosperident staffer) 8:51 PM Sure. I may not be the right person to answer your questions, but give it a try, and if I can’t answer them I will find somebody who can address them tomorrow. Vanessa Harpold 8:51 PM What happened to the woman in the article about embezzlement charges in Gering? (Prosperident staffer) 8:52 PM I am not sure which article you’re referring to. We have about 500 out there. Vanessa Harpold 8:53 PM “Nebraka woman recieves 30 days in jail and three years of probation” is the title. (Prosperident staffer) 8:53 PM And where do you see this article? Vanessa Harpold 8:54 PM On this website? (Prosperident staffer) 8:54 PM On Prosperident’s website? Vanessa Harpold 8:54 PM Yes (Prosperident staffer) 8:55 PM Ok. Not to be difficult, but wouldn’t the title of the article answer the exact question you were asking? Vanessa Harpold 8:55 PM I mean does she know about the use of her picture, and the sharing of all the personal information? (Prosperident staffer) 8:56 PM I have no idea what she knows. And to be clear, this is not “personal information”; it is information that is already in the public domain. Vanessa Harpold 8:56 PM I think you should take the picture down. (Prosperident staffer) 8:57 PM Why would we do that? Vanessa Harpold 8:58 PM Because, she didn’t consent to the usage of her photo. (Prosperident staffer) 8:59 PM I’m sorry, but her consent isn’t required. Perhaps you are aware of the First Amendment. Vanessa Harpold 9:00 PM Excuse me that is not the correct person. Basically you are slandering this woman. (Prosperident staffer) 9:00 PM So you are saying that the picture we have is not the same person as the one who was convicted of this crime? Vanessa Harpold 9:01 PM Yes. Vanessa Harpold 9:02 PM Take the photo down. (Prosperident staffer) 9:03 PM I am disinclined to believe you. It’s funny how your approach changed from “there is personal information there that shouldn’t be“ to “you have a picture of the wrong person” suddenly Vanessa Harpold 9:04 PM I am a relative of the woman I’m asking you to take it down, as it isn’t her. (Prosperident staffer) 9:04 PM Perhaps you should more fully explain your connection to this matter. I see that you have the same last name as the person convicted. Vanessa Harpold 9:05 PM Got me? (Prosperident staffer) 9:06 PM As I said, I am a bit skeptical. Nonetheless, since you have brought this up, I will pass your comments to our research department. What is the date of birth of your relative? Vanessa Harpold 9:07 PM 11/13/64 (Prosperident staffer) 9:08 PM Thank you. Our research folks will investigate. It will probably take them 2 to 3 days. If they are able to establish that the lightness on the website is a different person than the Connie Harpold in the article, they will remove the picture. In what city and state does your relative live? Vanessa Harpold 9:09 PM Scottsbluff NE (Prosperident staffer) 9:09 PM So if I understand this, there are two people with this name in the same city, of the same age. Vanessa Harpold 9:10 PM They are not the same age genius. (Prosperident staffer) 9:10 PM They seem to be pretty close. Do you happen to know the other Connie? Vanessa Harpold 9:11 PM Yes actually I do. (Prosperident staffer) 9:13 PM So I’m guessing then that you are also related to the other Connie. Vanessa Harpold 9:14 PM Not any longer (Prosperident staffer) 9:14 PM Does that mean she goes by a different name now? Vanessa Harpold 9:14 PM Indeed (Prosperident staffer) 9:14 PM Would you mind sharing? That is certainly the easiest way to get the one you were still related to off the hook. Vanessa Harpold 9:16 PM Why would I share that information with you (Prosperident staffer)? You would use it to make her into some kind of satanic, money guzzling person. So, im sorry but that information is classified. (Prosperident staffer) 9:17 PM OK. I understand. If we have printed the picture of the wrong person, I apologize. As I say our research folks will take a look at this, and we will let you know by email with the outcome is. Vanessa Harpold 9:17 PM So your researchers basically stalk these people? (Prosperident staffer) 9:18 PM Not at all. However, since you have raise this issue, we now need to deal with it. Vanessa Harpold 9:19 PM I think that they do (Prosperident staffer). That picture had to be searched for. By watching this woman for a long time. (Prosperident staffer) 9:20 PM I don’t know for sure, but I’m guessing that picture was taken from some public source. We certainly don’t send people around the country with cameras. Vanessa Harpold 9:21 PM I didn’t mean stalking like that. Someone waited until they saw Connie on some social media. Stalking her. (Prosperident staffer) 9:22 PM We millennials call that “creeping”. Stalking implies actual physical observation. Vanessa Harpold 9:23 PM Do you or do you not “psychially” watch this woman? You should leave these people alone. (Prosperident staffer) 9:23 PM As I said, we do not send people around the country with cameras Vanessa Harpold 9:24 PM Why do you need a photo of the person anyway? (Prosperident staffer) 9:25 PM We normally publish pictures of people with a history of embezzling from dentists. Vanessa Harpold 9:26 PM You cannot use this picture. (Prosperident staffer) 9:27 PM Yes, you suggested that before. As much as I’d like to continue the banter, I am the only person working here tonight, and I do have some other things to attend to. Is there anything else I can help you with? Vanessa Harpold 9:31 PM I would like someone else to speak with, higher power than you. (Prosperident staffer) 9:31 PM I think I just mentioned that I’m the only person here. Vanessa Harpold 9:31 PM Yes genius I can read. Don’t u have a supervisor? (Prosperident staffer) 9:32 PM Congratulations. You must be very proud. Yes, I do. Vanessa Harpold 9:36 PM Do you have contact information for a supervisor I can speak to? I’m sure they’d love to hear about a possible defamation case as well as your snide remarks. (Prosperident staffer) 9:36 PM Transcript of this conversation will be automatically sent to them. Vanessa Harpold 9:39 PM OK bye (Prosperident staffer)

Pennsylvania Woman Convicted of $100K Theft From Montco Dental Office; Receives Six Months House Arrest


NORRISTOWN — A Bucks County woman faces several years of court supervision and a hefty restitution bill after she admitted to embezzling more than $100,000 from her employer, a Montgomery County dental office.

Michelle Zonay, 40, of the 500 block of Barrington Court, Sellersville, was sentenced in Montgomery County Court to 60 months in the county’s intermediate punishment program, the first six months of which must be served under house arrest, after she pleaded guilty to a felony charge of theft by unlawful taking in connection with incidents that occurred while she worked for Celebrity Smiles along Bethlehem Pike in Springfield.

While under house arrest Zonay can leave her home only for court-approved purposes such as work and medical appointments.

Zonay will serve the remainder of the 60-month sentence under intensive probation.

Judge Todd D. Eisenberg also ordered Zonay to pay $103,849 in restitution in connection with the theft.

An investigation began in November 2017 when the owner of the dental practice reported to Springfield Township police that he discovered an employee, identified as Zonay, had been stealing from the business, according to the criminal complaint.

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Not one you see every day — California dentist has his LAWN stolen


When you go to the dentist, you might have a number of things extracted … molars, wisdom teeth, and, of course, your dignity, when the novocaine shot makes its first appearance.  However, there’s probably one thing you wouldn’t expect to see yanked out at a dental office … the lawn.

That’s right, I said the lawn. As in the thing children play on, dogs lie on and trashy people park on.

The lawn.

But that’s exactly what happened to one Southern California mom and pop dental office — because, you see, in Crime-afornia, not even our government-subsided plastic grass is safe from the barbarians at the gate.

Recently, the Hometown dental office in Hesperia had its artificial grass stolen after someone came in the middle of the day and measured it before sending a crew of people to lift it over the weekend.

Kara Sweeney, the office director and wife of the dentist, James A. Sweeney, DDS, told me that the timing of the theft came as a particular punch to the gut, because it happened at the same time that the couple were pouring their savings into renovations to improve their family business.

“Our office manager saw it and assumed that I asked him to come out [and measure the grass] as part of the renovations we were doing. Then that weekend a neighbor across the street saw three men pulling the grass up. Apparently a police officer stopped them with a pedestrian check and one of them took off into the desert. The police officer shooed them away, I guess, but they returned that evening to finish stealing the grass! I guess they already had their measurements and knew it would be the piece for their project.  We reported it to the police and I am hoping the pedestrian check helps them find who did it,” Sweeney explained.

Apparently, “taking off into the desert” after being confronted by the cops didn’t raise enough red flags to prompt further questioning. But with Propositions 47, 57 and AB 109 essentially giving criminals a free pass for crimes exactly like this, I guess you can’t really blame the police. They have bigger fish to fry than chasing “John Wilkes Tooth” through the Mojave Desert over some stolen Astroturf.

I asked Sweeney if she had any evidence that might be helpful for the police. She told me, “We did have cameras and they came and stole them too. We actually watched the man climb the ladder and snip the wire … that being said we are putting better new ones in and hopefully it will deter people. It’s an older neighborhood but doesn’t seem particularly scary to me or anything like that. It’s sad. I feel like with all the effort they should just get a real job … I think they would sleep better at night.”

Hopefully they will soon get in touch with the neighbor, and she’ll give them the tooth, the whole tooth, and nothing but the tooth, so these thieves can be brought to justice.When I asked Sweeney what she plans on doing to pretty up the barren eyesore that now sits in front of her office, she said that part is still unclear. “We’re going back and forth on whether to file an insurance claim or not on the grass. We’re not even sure if it’s covered, to be honest with you. We got a quote for fixing our landscaping, not even replacing the grass because it’s so expensive, and it’s over $10,000. So that part is the part that makes me frustrated the most, of course,” she fretted.

That’s modern day California in a nutshell, for you — emboldened criminals take what they want with complete impunity, and law-abiding taxpayers get kicked in the grass.

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