Former South Dakota Bookkeeper Accused Of Embezzling From Dental Offices


Update August 26, 2019

After being convicted of stealing $122,000, Ms. Cheryl Callies was sentenced to 90 days in jail.  The maximum sentence for her crime was 15 years in prison.


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – A former bookkeeper at two Sioux Falls dental offices is accused of embezzling more than $100,000 in seven years. Cheryl Callies faces up to 15 years in prison, and two counts of grand theft embezzlement. She made her first appearance in Minnehaha County Court on Thursday. Court documents detail how authorities allegedly caught Callies, and a key reason may have been a change in ownership where she worked.

Callies has worked for two dental offices in the same location. 10th Street Dental used to be Montoya Dental Office, before owner Thomas Montoya sold it in February.

In June, Montoya reported Callies, his bookkeeper of 40 years, and accused her of embezzling more than $121,750. Court papers say a financial report found several payment discrepancies from 2011 to 2018.

According to court papers, Callies’s legal troubles started a month before Montoya’s claims and with a much smaller amount of money. In May, a 10th Street Dental employee allegedly noticed a missing $100 cash payment for a dental exam. That employee discovered someone was manipulating cash and check payments. Callies is accused of embezzling more than $8,400 from 10th Street Dental.

Callies allegedly admitted to adjusting payment records at both businesses. She allegedly told investigators she would accept cash payments, change the entry in the software system, remove the money from the nightly deposits, and later adjust the daily financial report so it matched payments and receipts.

According to investigators, the deleted transaction records show an employee login initials for each transaction. The initials “CC” were listed in the “deleted by” column for these alleged manipulated transactions.

In the court papers, Callies allegedly told investigators she was stealing money for video lottery, and because of “payday loans and loneliness.” She also claims she and Dr. Montoya had an understanding she wouldn’t have to charge her family for dental visits.


Have questions or concerns? Call us toll-free at 888-398-2327 or click the button below.

Contact Us

Content retrieved from https://www.keloland.com/news/local-news/former-bookkeeper-accused-of-embezzling-from-dental-offices/1627651585

Florida Man Uses Identity Theft To Obtain $41,000 Of Dental Implants

Timothy Powell, 52, of Plantation, FL, has new $41,000 teeth and an almost $10,000 dog. He paid for none of it. One of his victims, a man by the name of Harry Brenner, suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, police said. The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said Powell used stolen identification to rack up the fraudulent charges for the teeth implants and the pet. He applied for credit to get his teeth fixed through the Friedman Dental Group and filled out credit card applications Aug. 1, according to court documents. Powell produced a fake Connecticut driver’s license with the name Harry Brenner. He also provided Brenner’s social security number. The credit applications were approved, and Powell received dental implants during three appointments from Aug. 2 to Aug. 9, documents show. The implants were not completed and some of his teeth were only temporary, he said. In total, the procedure costed $41,154.01. Shortly after, Brenner, who lives in DeBary, FL, began receiving bills from the dental company and alerted police. Investigators with the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office contacted the Friedman Dental Group and later identified Powell as a suspect through fingerprints from his applications. Police later found out that Powell used Brenner’s identity to purchase a French bulldog for $9,958.69 from Petland in Plantation, FL. Powell told the police he was given Brenner’s information by a man named “Rico,” who also provided him with the fake driver’s license. He said Rico encouraged him to get his teeth fixed at the Friedman Dental Group and drove him to and from the place. Rico told him that if he got his teeth fixed, he’d “look better for conducting fraudulent transactions at other locations in Florida.” Investigators received photos from the dental company showing Powell with damaged and rotting teeth. He said that Rico got Brenner’s information from the “dark web.” Powell also fraudulently withdrew $9,650 from a bank in Daytona Beach, FL, on Sept. 27, using the name “Larry Gene Kelly,” according to the Daytona Beach Police Department. He told authorities that he purchased Kelly’s identification from an “unknown male” for $100. Powell is charged with grand theft, using ID without consent and false report of a crime. He is also charged with unauthorized possession of a driver’s license and fraudulent use of personal identification, among other charges.
Have questions or concerns? Call us toll-free at 888-398-2327 or click the button below.

Contact Us

Content retrieved from https://www.wsfa.com/2018/11/21/florida-man-uses-fake-id-steals-k-dental-implants-k-french-bulldog/

Audit: University Of Iowa Dental College Staffer Misspent $57,000

IOWA CITY — The University of Iowa has shored up its training and procurement practices after discovering a College of Dentistry administrative specialist amassed $57,313 in improper and unsupported spending on things like bath bombs, essential oils, luggage, iPad and camera equipment, and a canning system.

The Iowa State Auditor’s Office began investigating spending in the college’s Department of Periodontics for the period between Aug. 1, 2012 and Aug. 31, 2016 after UI officials flagged potential improper transactions, according to a report made public Thursday.

The suspect spending involved Amanda Shumaker, hired as the department’s administrative specialist on Aug. 27, 2012. Among her responsibilities, Shumaker bought the college’s books and supplies and arranged travel for staff. She had access to a university procurement card with a spending limit of $10,000 a month and a director Pcard capped at $4,000 a month, according to the audit.

Amid tightening budgets and Board of Regents demands its campuses run more efficiently, UI in 2015 developed a new Shared Services Department focused on trimming administrative costs, minimizing redundancies, improving policy compliance, and reducing errors. That department assigned staff to specific colleges, including the College of Dentistry in June 2016.

During a routine review of purchases in July 2016, Shared Services flagged a mismatch in what Shumaker said she bought and what the vendors said she got. Specifically, Shumaker reported purchasing textbooks but actually bought clothes, according to the audit.

Investigators suspect Shumaker had been doctoring documents to hide her personal use of university money for years.

UI placed her on administrative leave Aug. 1, 2016, and she died at age 34 on Aug. 20, 2016, according to the Scott County Medical Examiner’s Office. No criminal charges were filed against Shumaker before her death, according to online court records.

Based on personal purchases investigators believe Shumaker made in June and July 2016, the university withheld from her payroll and vacation payout $11,246.77. Shumaker’s family after her death launched a GoFundMe page for her three young children’s education. It has raised more than $5,000.

In breaking down the auditor findings, Shumaker is accused of making $52,897.26 improper disbursements and another $4,416.10 unsupported payments, meaning investigators couldn’t determine whether the charges were for personal use or department operations.

Throughout the report, auditors note misspending could have been higher — but verifying documentation didn’t always exist.

Shumaker’s improper purchases included $38,473.86 on Amazon for things like a “premium series” bed pillow, manicure and pedicure sets, kitchen utility spatula set, and gift cards to Starbucks, Nordstrom Rack, and Sur La Table; $5,202.50 on things like a Samsung Nook, magazine subscriptions, books on yoga and beer brewing, and journals from Barnes & Noble; and $9,220.90 on things like iPad accessories and essential oils from vendors like Plant Therapy.

Auditors, in their review, found the university could have done more to prevent the misspending — noting department officials did not always review claims closely. Had they, according to the audit, they would have found repeat purchases of the same book for the same doctor or library; mathematically inaccurate invoices; and other flags of suspicious spending.

Among the state’s recommendations is implementing procedures ensuring sufficient purchase documentation or explanation, allowing thorough supervisor reviews.

“Given the number of documents altered by Ms. Shumaker, the university should require original supporting documentation scanned into the university accounting system be retained for a year,” according to the audit.

Auditors also suggested the university establish and maintain inventory records to ensure proper insurance coverage and safeguard property; conduct periodical equipment inventory checks; and implement procedures to ensure the university disposes of equipment properly — including equipment kept in employee homes.

UI officials in response to Thursday’s audit release — which comes as the campus grapples with state funding cuts that have prompted a tuition hike, pay freeze, construction moratorium, center closures, and layoffs — reported the university ramped up training in budget review and oversight for all department chairs “immediately following the discovery of the unauthorized purchases.”

“The University of Iowa takes seriously its fiduciary responsibility to spend taxpayer and research dollars wisely and has several procedures in place to ensure this happens,” UI spokesman Anne Bassett said in a statement.


 

Content retrieved from https://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/education/audit-university-of-iowa-dental-college-staffer-misspent-57000-20180719

Why Caution Is Needed When Checking References

Reference Check Essentials: Helping You Master Your Hiring Process

We recently received the following email from a dentist:

“My embezzler passed my references check. I asked for 6 references, and she passed with flying colors. And then proceeded to rob me blind. I thought that maybe y’all needed to make a post about it, or SOMETHING, to the world of dentistry, because seriously, this is why we can’t trust references. When people fabricate deception like this, how can we trust anything as employers, to be able to find someone worthy of hiring?”

The dentist was referring to a website that, for a fee, will supply false references to help someone pass reference checks. Here is what one such site claims:

“Paladin Deception Services is here to assist you in obtaining the fictitious reference, the little white lie, or the alibi that you need. Our agency can provide you with either male or female testimonials over the phone in the local area code that you require. We’re confidential, professional, innovative, and affordable. Most importantly, we keep it legal. Get the verification that you need!”

People with tainted pasts are aware that dental offices are great places to seek jobs because background checking done by most offices is superficial and easily defeated.

Here is what one (illiterate) convicted felon said about working in dental offices:
“Dental game is great. No back round checks unless u work with kids. Great money easy hrs and its the same thing over and over.”

We’d like to mention two sobering statistics about the people who apply for jobs with you: one in four US adults has a criminal record, and some studies suggest that the prevalence of resume falsification or enhancement exceeds 50%.

To help you avoid a hiring mistake similar to that of the dentist who emailed me, here are some essential steps to follow when checking references:

1. Check photo identification (and some other institutionally issued card or ID) for every applicant you interview. One of the easiest ways to hide an unsavory past is to use someone else’s name.

2. You must speak with all former employers for the past five years. There is no value whatsoever to “character” references; the only people you want to speak with are former employers. What someone’s 8th-grade science teacher thinks about them isn’t of much value.

3. Have a conversation with every single work reference listed for the past five years. Written reference letters, even if addressed personally to you, are worthless. Many people leaving a workplace “borrow” a supply of letterhead and envelopes so they can forge reference letters as needed. One study found that 17% of the employers surveyed had detected forged reference letters. You need to pick up the phone and call. No exceptions.

4. On the subject of calling, never call any phone number given to you by an applicant. You may end up speaking with a relative or friend pretending to be a former employer or a “deception” service like the one described earlier. Find phone numbers independently, and call those numbers to ensure you are speaking to the correct former employer.

5. Ensure that the office you are calling is a real business. If it is a dental office, the dentist will be registered with their State Board. Another place you can check is www.ratemds.com, which has patient reviews for virtually every dental practice. If the work experience was with a non-dental business, do they have a website? Another good place to check for legitimacy is Equifax, which maintains listings on almost every legitimate company. (https://sb.econsumer.equifax.com/bizdirect/companySearch.ehtml?advancedSearch=true).

6. When you call the office of a former employer, make sure you speak to the right person. If you are calling a dental office, speak to the practice owner first. He or she may hand you off to their office manager but start with the dentist. For any non-dental small business, identify and speak to the owner. Larger companies typically have HR departments that provide job reference information. Often, calling an HR department means that the information you obtain is limited, and you will probably not have the benefit of speaking with anybody who supervised your applicant, but make the call nonetheless.

7. You should ask the following questions to every former employer you speak with:
a. What were the start date and end date of employment? Please ask the former employer for these dates; do not provide them and ask for confirmation. Applicants trying to hide something will often manipulate employment dates.
b. Confirm job title for the position(s) held by the applicant. Job applicants often embellish their resumes so that, even though their former position was “receptionist,” on their resume it becomes “office manager.”
c. Ask each former employer who the applicant worked for previously and subsequently. Often former employers do not know this information, but sometimes they do. Comparing what you learn with the resume provided may uncover a discrepancy.
d. Ask who ended the employment relationship. This question may not be one that gets answered, but you may learn something valuable if it is.
e. You should always ask whether the organization or individual you are calling would re-hire the applicant. If you are speaking with an HR department, you may get better results if you ask the question in the negative, i.e., “Is there any reason why this person is not eligible to be rehired by you?”.

8. You must get a reference from an applicant’s current or most recent employer. Often an applicant will ask you not to contact their current employer because “he/she does not know that I am leaving”. This statement may be true, but alternatively, this may be a strategy to prevent you from calling a “current” employer only to find out that your applicant was fired from their employ two weeks ago. An applicant who asks you not to contact their current employer must be told that you do not hire anyone without speaking with their most recent employer. You may offer to defer this conversation, but you must make it clear that a discussion with their current employer must take place before you finalize an offer of employment.

While most applicants for the vacancy you need to fill are honest and will make excellent employees, there are those who need to be filtered out.

We see “serial embezzlers” all too frequently, and many of them would not have secured employment with the practices they stole from if those offices had known about and implemented the hiring strategies we have outlined here. Historically low unemployment rates and the perception that there is a shortage of qualified applicants for positions in dental offices put a great deal of pressure on practice owners to rush the hiring process. I would like to urge you to resist the temptation to expedite your hiring process. The cost of hiring a rotten apple far exceeds the value of conducting a proper screening.

To watch a webinar on how to prevent people with “baggage” from getting jobs in your practice, click on the button below.

Forensic Hiring Webinar

Former Office Manager Of Boston Dental Practice Sentenced To 41 Months For Bank Fraud, Identity Theft And Tax Fraud Related To $348k Embezzlement

BOSTON – The former office manager of a Boston-based dental practice was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Boston for bank fraud and tax fraud stemming from her embezzlement of funds from her former employer. Yuliya Vaysglus, a/k/a Julia Vaysglus, 36, formerly of Hopkinton and now residing in Campbell, Calif., was sentenced by U.S. Senior District Court Judge Mark L. Wolf to 41 months in prison and three years of supervised release. In June 2020, Vaysglus pleaded guilty to eight counts of bank fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft and three counts of filing false tax returns. From 2009 until she was terminated in February 2015, Vaysglus was the office manager of a Boston-area dental practice where her duties included tracking client invoices, depositing insurance payments into the practice’s bank account, and recording those deposits for accounting purposes. Between 2009 and December 2014, Vaysglus embezzled more than $348,000 from the dental practice by diverting to herself at least 276 checks from various insurance companies for services rendered to patients. As part of the scheme, Vaysglus made the checks payable to herself, forged the signature of the dental firm’s owner on the checks, and deposited them into her bank account. Vaysglus failed to report the embezzled funds on her federal tax returns. United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Joseph W. Cronin, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Boston; and Joleen Simpson, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations in Boston made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sara M. Bloom and Victor A. Wild of Lelling’s Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit prosecuted the case.
Have questions or concerns? Call us toll-free at 888-398-2327 or click the button below.

Contact Us

Content retrieved from:  https://www.justice.gov/usao-ma/pr/former-office-manager-boston-dental-practice-sentenced-bank-fraud-identity-theft-and-tax