Ex-employee of Arkansas Dentist Gets 12 Years for $218,000 Theft; ‘you kind of disgust me,’ Judge Says

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Angela Kay Henson

The former office manager for a Little Rock dentist was sentenced to 12 years in prison Monday for stealing at least $218,000 from the practice over a five-year period.

The prison term is symbolic — one year in the penitentiary for each year Angela Kay Henson worked for Cobb Family Dentistry on Baseline Road and Dr. Donald Cobb, Pulaski County Circuit Judge Barry Sims said.

He told the 48-year-old Little Rock woman, who had been paid $42,500 a year, that she had done more than just steal money, but also robbed Cobb and his wife of their ability to trust and the efforts of their years of hard work.

“You kind of disgust me,” Sims told Henson before pronouncing the sentence. “They cared for you. You abused their trust. You took more than just their money. You took their lives as they knew them.”

Henson pleaded guilty last month, and she has repaid Cobb $168,000, the amount remaining after the insurance reimbursed him. That payment was a loan from a cousin, she told the judge.

Henson received character endorsements from her pastor, Tommy Jones of Grace Church, and her husband Andy’s cousin Kyle Jones, who each described her as being genuinely contrite.

Henson was tearful and apologetic during her eight minutes of testimony. She denied accusations by the Cobb family that she had deliberately tried to sabotage the dental practice.

“I am sorry. I never meant to be mean. I never meant to cause you stress,” she said. “I come from a good family. I raised good kids. I know Dr. Cobb cared about me … and what I did was wrong. But I wasn’t always bad.”

The Cobbs have known Henson since she was 19, and over the years have lent her money when she needed it, such as when her husband was laid off, according to testimony.

Confronted by prosecutor Sharon Strong, Henson said she could not explain why she stole the money.

“I don’t have a logical reason for that,” Henson told the judge. “I can’t make any rhyme or reason out of that.”

Henson denied Strong’s accusations that she had spent Cobb’s money on a swimming pool for her home, a trip to New York or a cruise for her daughter, testifying that she had used other resources for those expenses.

Henson faced a 20-year maximum sentence. Her attorney Matthew McKay asked the judge to consider probation, taking into account her remorse, the restitution and her lack of criminal history.

Strong requested at least five years in prison, the minimum sentence for the Class B felony theft, arguing that Henson feels bad about what she did only because she was caught.

Sims pointed out that the dentist was out substantially more than just the money Henson stole. The cost of the accounting that uncovered the theft was $20,000, while Donald Cobb testified that after Henson was fired, the dentist’s wife discovered about $10,000 in expired insurance checks.

The judge also noted that Henson could have stolen more than authorities know. Cobb could afford only for a five-year forensic audit, which allowed for a review of the finances from January 2013 to January 2018 when Henson’s scheme was uncovered.

Henson had been more than an employee; she was also a friend, Donald Cobb testified. He said he had trusted her absolutely to do a job he could not do himself — managing the business.

Henson’s thievery was discovered in January 2018 after he decided to sell his practice because profits had been falling dramatically, he told the judge.

“I was working harder than I ever did, and I was making less money than I did 10 years ago,” he said.

He hired an accountant to put together his financial records, but Henson dragged her feet about providing the requested documents, he said. Once she did turn over the records, what she had done was obvious, Cobb told the judge.

“It kind of broke my heart and broke my spirit. I didn’t want to have a practice anymore,” he said. Cobb did sell the business in November.

Bills were unpaid. Patients had not been billed. Tax penalties were owed. Cobb described finding 46 pages of insurance claims that had gone unfiled while insurance checks had not been cashed.

“It was like there was an attempt to bankrupt my practice,” Cobb told the judge.

His wife, who took over for Henson, also told the judge that Henson’s stealing seemed to be malicious.

“It was just total disorganization,” Margaret Cobb testified. “Ms. Henson literally caused us so much anguish and put us through hell.”

She said Henson would steal cash payments, but credit patients’ accounts. Henson even stole the rent one tenant paid, Margaret Cobb said.

She “robbed us of our money … our joy … and also of our trust,” Margaret Cobb told the judge.

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Content retrieved from https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2019/may/29/ex-employee-of-dentist-gets-12-years-fo/

Prosperident Pulse #83 – June 2019- Education Special Edition

Dental Prosperident Pulse from Prosperident
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Issue #83 — June 2019
Podcast
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Our CEO is honored to be a guest on the Dentist Money Show. Check it out HERE.
Learn from the Experts!
Did you know that there are some topics that we will ONLY discuss at closed-door, live events?
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Do you know who this is? You should – Irina Fooks is one of the most prolific serial embezzlers ever.
See us live if you want the full story on embezzlement.
Here are some places where we will be speaking soon:
Jul 8 University of the West Indies
Sep 13 Orthopreneurs Summit, Dallas TX
Sep 19 Dr. Brad Crump, Dallas TX
Sep 21 Dallas Dental Symposium, Dallas TX
Oct 7 Colorado Prosthodontic Society, Denver CO
Nov 11 Thunderbird Study Club, El Paso TX
Nov 19 Memphis Dental Society, Memphis TN
To book us for your meeting or study club, click HERE or call us at 888-398-2327.
Did you miss a previous newsletter? We archive them HERE.

Prosperident Team Members Complete Certification
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Prosperident’s Wendy Chediac and Sonya Hudson have recently completed the study requirements necessary to be awarded their Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) designations from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.
Wendy is Prosperident’s Chief Operating Officer, and in this capacity, she oversees all of Prosperident’s investigations. Wendy is often the first point of contact for new clients.
Sonya is one of our Senior Fraud Examiners, as well as one of Prosperident’s longest-serving team members. Sonya’s specialty is investigations for our Canadian clients.
Congratulations to you both on all of your hard work in earning this accreditation!
Something to Talk About…
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Education. A word that evokes powerful reactions and commentary. An excellent education is the hope of every parent for their children. Lifelong learning is the quest of every enlightened human. Continuing education, well, that’s a bit of a different story.
CE credits are a requirement for members of almost every association of professionals, and for good reason; they ensure that a practicing member invests the time, and often the expense, to stay involved in gaining fresh insight into topics and trends in their field as they mature in their careers.
June may seem like an odd time to broach the subject of education and continuing education, after all; the school year for our kids is winding down, as is the regular CE season for most associations and societies. However, for those of you thinking ahead to next season, or who may be responsible for helping your group or organization find educational speakers, we want you to know that Prosperident has one of the best groups of professional speakers, available to you through our Speakers Bureau.
Our Speaker’s Bureau members are seasoned educational speakers, who present at over 100 meetings, conferences, and special events each year on topics ranging from embezzlement to hiring to dental office etiquette. If you are a general dentist or dental specialist, chances are you have already had an opportunity to see one of our speakers in action. From Hinman to the CDA, as well as at countless national, regional, and local study club events, our educational speakers get around, and we are happy that they do!
We take great pride in offering presentations that are not only educational but incredibly entertaining. Moreover, we never use our educational speaking engagements as a platform to have you buy Prosperident’s services. No infomercials here, just incredible facts and case studies to enlighten, educate, and entertain. When was the last time you described a CE event as “highly entertaining”?
So, as we all head in to the summer of 2019, I hope that you all have a wonderful summer, however you spend it, and that for those of you tasked with finding educational speakers for the upcoming 2019 – 20 CE year, that you will consider one of our talented and in-demand Prosperident speakers.
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David Harris
CEO
We are Prosperident, Dentistry’s Embezzlement Experts

Florida Bookkeeper is Accused of Embezzling $156,000 from Oral Surgeon

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Heather Hushelpeck

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WGFL) — A Gainesville bookkeeper is accused of embezzling more than $156,000 from an oral surgeon over the last couple of years

Alachua County Sheriff’s investigators on Friday arrested and charged 45-year-old Heather Hushelpeck with grand larceny over $100,000, embezzlement and fraud. Hushelpeck is being held without bond at the Alachua County Jail pending a court appearance Saturday morning.

An arrest report says Hushelpeck was fired in December from her job as bookkeeper at the oral surgery office of Marvin M. Slott D.D.S after she couldn’t explain a $1,300 charge onto her credit card and a $7,500 transaction in a former employee’s name.

“Heather didn’t have any reasonable explanation why that money was gone,” says Financial Detective Kyle Reedy, from the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office.

The report says she returned to the office three days later to reinstall the accounting software she had deleted. The report says Hushelpeck started crying and told the staff she “f***ed up.”

The report says Hushelpeck admitted to taking money for at least a year, through a variety of ways, including writing checks to herself, charging back refunds to herself, taking money clients paid, and only partially deposit funds. Investigators say Hushelpeck told her former employer the total amount taken was over $100,000.

Court documents allege Hushelpeck took payments from the oral surgeon’s office and wrote out checks payable to the Star Center Children’s Theatre and the Howard Bishop Middle School PTA by coding them as payments for supplies. Investigators say as treasurer for both organizations, Hushelpeck was able to then withdraw the money for her own use. WGFL

Hushelpeck attempted to settle the case with Slott’s attorney without involving police. Deputies say she wrote an email to the attorney offering to settle by paying back $75,000 and borrowing another $25,000.

An email from Slott’s attorney to Hushelpeck, however, says a preliminary analysis found she stole more than $403,000. The email gave Hushelpeck 30 days to pay the full amount or be sued. Investigators say so far they’ve only been able to prove the $156,000 amount.

“I have never seen an embezzlement case like this,” says Reedy.

Slott in December filed a 42-page lawsuit against Hushelpeck, her husband Erik, Star Center Children’s Theatre and the Howard Bishop Middle School PTA. The lawsuit alleges Hushelpeck paid the PTA more than $6,700 and Star Theatre more than $26,000. Eric Hushelpeck has not been charged with a crime. Both he and his wife responded to the lawsuit by asking for more time.

The PTA responded by denying any knowledge of the allegations and asking the court to dismiss it from the case. It also says Hushelpeck is no longer its treasurer.

Star Center has not yet filed a response to the lawsuit, according to court records.

“You are going to get caught at some point,” says Reedy. “And when you do, it’s going to cost you more to get yourself out of the situation.”

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Indiana Employee Fired for Embezzlement; Hacks Dentist’s Social Media

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NEW HAVEN, Ind. (WANE) – An ex-employee from Downie Family Dentistry is accused of hacking into the dentistry’s phones and sending messages to customers saying the dentistry was closing due to the dentist having a drug problem. The dentist’s office says neither are true.

The employee was fired from Downie on Thursday over an embezzlement scandal, office personnel said, but before he left, he promised revenge, according to the dentist’s office.

“He told us many times ‘I’m going to take the ship down,'” said Downie Chief Operating Officer T.J. Wagner. “If you let go of me, I will take the ship down with me.'” 

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Downie Family Dentistry said the employee had access to the website and its Facebook page and changed both to display the message “Unfortunately, due to the escalation of Dr. Downie’s chronic substance abuse problem, from cocaine to methamphetamines, we’ve had to close our doors. If you believe you have been treated by Dr. William Downie while he was under the influence of a controlled substance, you should immediately call the Indiana Dental Association.” 

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The Downie Dentistry’s Facebook page has been taken down. Dr. William Downie called the accusation of him abusing drugs “ridiculous.” He said the schedule for Friday is “slammed” and he does not plan to make any changes to business hours. In addition to the misinformation, Downie says the ex-employee stole a company vehicle. He says he went with police to recover the car. When he returned to the dentistry, he found out what else had been done. Downie and the rest of the dentistry’s management staff are talking with police to determine the next steps that should be taken. Some customers are worried about what could happen next. 

“We have, if anything, in the process of learning how to run a business, which again is quite a learning process and always is a learning process, learned about parameters in place that secure patient information to make sure that things like that are the topmost of importance,” said Downie. 

When the employee was let go over embezzlement accusations, Downie said the Dentistry was not planning to press charges because “everyone deserves a second chance.” Now, the plan is to get the word out that Downie Family Dentistry is not closing and Dr. Downie has never used illegal drugs. 

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Content retrieved from https://www.wane.com/news/local-news/ex-downie-dentistry-employee-spreads-fake-message/1975207162


Editor’s note — the ex-employee has been identified in other media coverage as Shannon Martin. A search of his background reveals several misdemeanor charges for assault and intimidation.