Thousand Oaks Patrol deputies were dispatched to a report of fraudulent prescription activity in Newbury Park. The investigating deputy learned that Kristina Vargas worked in a dental office and had fraudulently used a dentist’s information to obtain Carisoprodol (also known as Soma) for herself on 11 separate occasions dating back to September of 2018. Once the initial information was obtained, the investigating deputy contacted the Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit for assistance. Detectives gathered evidence and conducted multiple interviews confirmed the fraudulent prescriptions.
On December 31, 2019, Vargas was located and arrested in Newbury Park for 11173(a) HS – obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, 470(b) PC –forgery and 459 PC – commercial burglary. Vargas was interviewed and then booked into custody at the Pre-Trial Detention Facility in Ventura. Vargas bailed out of custody and her next court date is set for January 17, 2020 for her arraignment.
While Camille Martinez Garza (born October 25, 1983) of Sunshine, FL, looks like she is having fun in this photo, she was probably having less fun when she was convicted of Grand Theft, Fraud, Organized Fraud of between $20,000 and $50,000 and a probation violation. She was sentenced to a year in prison plus ten years of probation.
These charges originated from her work in two Florida dental offices, and she is reported to still be working in the dental field.
She also has a long list of traffic violations, and your overall impression is that this is someone without much respect for society’s rules.
Ms. Garza personifies the need to conduct criminal records checks before hiring.
A former South Ogden dental office manager is facing 28 felony charges after she allegedly used $96,000 of company money to pay for her personal expenses, including food, rent, cellphone bills and Netflix.
Nikki Lee Martinez, 40, was booked into the Weber County Jail Thursday on 25 counts of forgery, third-degree felonies; obstructing justice, a third-degree felony; unlawful use of financial transaction, third-degree felony; and theft by deception, second-degree felony, her indictment stated.
People became suspicious of Martinez after blank checks from South Ogden Dental were found inside her vehicle by police after a vehicle accident in August.
The dental office filed an official complaint against Martinez on Oct. 14 after she had been fired.
Her replacement contacted police after she found several discrepancies with checks. Martinez had applied to fraudulent loans and issued several checks to people who have never been employed or treated at the office, according to an arrest warrant. She also discovered a notebook where Martinez allegedly practiced patient’s signatures.
After reviewing the numbers, police discovered Martinez had stolen approximately $96,000 from her employer over the course of two years.
Twenty-nine checks totaling $13,700 had been issued between May 2018 and Aug. 2019 to an “Anette Christiansen” from the South Ogden Dental bank account. Police say there is no record of “Christiansen” being a patient or an employee at the business.
Upon further investigation, the American First Credit Union bank account, where the checks were being deposited, was found to belong to Annette Christensen, Martinez’s landlord.
Christensen told police she and Martinez had come to an agreement that the 40 year old would rent from her, even after a $1,000 check bounced. Martinez claimed her employer agreed to pay her rent out of her salary.
Court documents state Martinez would pay her landlord twice a month for rent, but the payment was never the same each time.
A series of 39 checks written personally to Martinez between August to October totaled $63,045.
Each of the checks, which all had forged signatures, were meant for Martinez’s pay check, the dentist told police. But, she had overpaid herself each time she handled the money.
South Ogden Dental also found approximately 429 duplicate checks written to Martinez and to other vendors and individuals.
An arrest warrant claims Martinez also used the company’s American Express credit card to pay for her personal cellphone bill, car payment, Netflix account, groceries, Uber rides and food purchases at Domino’s Pizza, Pizza Hut and Burger King. The total amount used came to $4,950.
A series of Walmart Auto Checks, that pass through a system after payment and are given back to the customer, were used by Martinez at Walmart and Sam’s Club. The former office manager allegedly used $4,590 from the company’s checking account to pay for the groceries.
Martinez’s electrical bill was paid for by the company for almost two years, totaling $5,031.56.
On Dec. 13, a patient at South Ogden Dental told police Martinez had been demanding payment for services and requested she deposit the money into a bank account. The former office manager said she would make sure the money would be given to South Ogden Dental.
An indictment was filed against Martinez four days later in the Second District Court in Weber County.
Many of us have heard about Dr. Seth Lookhart, the Alaska dentist who was on video showing him riding a hoverboard while extracting a tooth on a sedated patient.
As outlandish as this activity is, there seems to be more to the story. Dr. Lookhart is also accused of diverting over $250,000 from Alaska Dental Arts, the practice where he was working as an associate.
Information gathered by investigators from the State of Alaska’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit in connection with some alleged Medicaid billing improprieties for IV sedation also suggested a plot between Dr. Lookhart and his office manager, Shauna Leigh Cranford, to bill some of their IV sedation work through a separate billing number and thus deprive the owners of the practice from their share of this revenue.
Shauna Cranford, who has also used the surnames Billings and Smith, was charged in 2017 for assault on a police officer.
The State’s investigators obtained a search warrant to seize and copy the phones of Dr. Lookhart and Ms. Cranford, and found the following exchange of text messages where the intent to divert some of the revenue from the practice is quite clear.
Ms Cranford entered a guilty plea in October 2019 for pushing excessive and often needless intravenous sedation for Medicaid patients. Her sentencing is scheduled for February 3, 2020.
12/29/2015 8:55:18 AM(UTC-9), – (Seth Lookhart) Weird side question but could we start running some sedation through my personal medi number Status: Read 12/29/2015 8:55:23 AM(UTC-9), – (Shauna Cranford) I agree. We are not here to kick start ADA as an IV practice and provide all of the leg work Status: Sent 12/29/2015 8:55:42 AM(UTC-9), – (Shauna Cranford) Yes we could Status: Sent 12/29/2015 8:56:32 AM(UTC-9), – (Shauna Cranford) I can send claims through their website for Lookhart Dental LLC Status: Sent 12/29/2015 8:57:42 AM(UTC-9), – (Seth Lookhart) I know it might prevent me from coming at them for back taxes with a law suit but it might be worth it Status: Read 12/29/2015 8:58:12 AM(UTC-9), – (Seth Lookhart) Our office production would drop and it would draw far less attention to the office Status: Read 12/29/2015 8:58:25 AM(UTC-9), – (Seth Lookhart) Will they be able to track it Status: Read 12/29/2015 8:58:33 AM(UTC-9), – (Seth Lookhart) I want it untraceable Status: Read 12/29/2015 9:03:36 AM(UTC-9), – (Shauna Cranford) They can’t look at your claims at all and the check would go to your house. If you are billing procedures as well as the sedation, only bill under your LLC for ones that don’t require auth Status: Sent 12/29/2015 9:05:17 AM(UTC-9), – (Seth Lookhart) Like sedation Status: Read 12/29/2015 9:06:11 AM(UTC-9), – (Seth Lookhart) It would be only sedation and probably not all of them Status: Read 12/29/2015 9:06:21 AM(UTC-9), – (Seth Lookhart) How would it look through dentrix Status: Read (Note: Dentrix was the internal tracking program used by the clinic) 12/29/2015 9:11:10 AM(UTC-9), – (Shauna Cranford) We just wouldn’t flag them as sedation Status: Sent 12/29/2015 9:11:37 AM(UTC-9), – (Shauna Cranford) And not put in the sedation charges Status: Sent 12/29/2015 9:11:57 AM(UTC-9), – (Shauna Cranford) So it would look like you’re doing less sedation Status: Sent 12/29/2015 9:18:01 AM(UTC-9), – (Shauna Cranford) I’m surprised the power hasn’t gone out Status: Sent 12/29/2015 9:31:08 AM(UTC-9), – (Seth Lookhart) I think that’s what I’d like to do Status: Read 12/29/2015 9:31:50 AM(UTC-9), – (Seth Lookhart) Even if we only do 50% of the sedations it will drop their production to a more “normal/reasonable” level Status: Read 12/29/2015 9:32:34 AM(UTC-9), – (Shauna Cranford) I would keep a separate copy of the sedation records that you bill under yourself Status: Sent 12/29/2015 9:32:46 AM(UTC-9), – (Seth Lookhart) Sure Status: Read 12/29/2015 9:32:57 AM(UTC-9), – (Shauna Cranford) I can photocopy them and give them to you to store off site Status: Sent 12/29/2015 9:33:33 AM(UTC-9), – (Seth Lookhart) I guess they could catch on if they manually went through charts and saw scanned record and compared to the ledger and they weren’t showing there Status: Read Read: 12/29/2015 9:33:35 AM(UTC-9) 12/29/2015 9:34:11 AM(UTC-9), – (Shauna Cranford) I don’t know that they are that smart Status: Sent 12/29/2015 9:34:49 AM(UTC-9), – (Seth Lookhart) I’m sure they aren’t Status: Read 12/29/2015 9:35:42 AM(UTC-9), – (Seth Lookhart) And as far as sedation goes it’s a pretty sure fire payment correct Status: Read 12/29/2015 9:35:56 AM(UTC-9), – (Shauna Cranford) As long as they are eligible Status: Sent 12/29/2015 9:36:22 AM(UTC-9), – (Shauna Cranford) It pays out right away Status: Sent 12/29/2015 9:51:49 AM(UTC-9), – (Seth Lookhart) How hard is it to set up? Status: Read 12/29/2015 9:52:01 AM(UTC-9), – (Seth Lookhart) And what’s the fee for 9243? Status: Read 12/29/2015 9:52:24 AM(UTC-9), – (Shauna Cranford) Set up what? You are already set up Status: Sent 12/29/2015 9:52:45 AM(UTC-9), – (Seth Lookhart) So it’s just start billing? Status: Read 12/29/2015 9:52:50 AM(UTC-9), – (Shauna Cranford) I would just have to login to their website and submit the codes manually through their portal Status: Sent 12/29/2015 9:53:03 AM(UTC-9), – (Seth Lookhart) Can they track that? Status: Read 12/29/2015 9:53:45 AM(UTC-9), – (Shauna Cranford) $170.76 Status: Sent 12/29/2015 9:53:56 AM(UTC-9), – (Shauna Cranford) They meaning BS? Status: Sent 12/29/2015 9:54:08 AM(UTC-9), – (Shauna Cranford)
BS cannot track it Status: Sent
(Note — BS is an acronym for the names of the owners of the practice_ 12/29/2015 9:56:39 AM(UTC-9), – (Seth Lookhart) Yeah Status: Read 12/29/2015 9:56:57 AM(UTC-9), – (Seth Lookhart) Or anyone else Status: Read 12/29/2015 9:57:13 AM(UTC-9), – (Shauna Cranford) Just Medicaid would know Status: Sent 12/29/2015 9:57:42 AM(UTC-9), – (Shauna Cranford) The RA would get mailed to your house Status: Sent 12/29/2015 9:57:57 AM(UTC-9), – (Seth Lookhart) Sure Status: Read 12/29/2015 9:58:00 AM(UTC-9), – (Seth Lookhart) Let’s do it Status: Read 12/29/2015 9:58:41 AM(UTC-9), – (Seth Lookhart) Do we incrementally reduce volume or take a decent cut? Status: Read 12/29/2015 10:01:19 AM(UTC-9), – (Shauna Cranford) That’s up to you. Status: Sent 12/29/2015 10:02:26 AM(UTC-9), – (Shauna Cranford) A decent cut would draw some attention but you can have some excuse Status: Sent 12/29/2015 10:03:03 AM(UTC-9), – (Shauna Cranford) An incremental reduction would likely go unnoticed until a certain level Status: Sent 12/29/2015 10:05:40 AM(UTC-9), – (Shauna Cranford) Attrition Status: Sent 12/29/2015 10:05:47 AM(UTC-9), – (Seth Lookhart) Sure Status: Read 12/29/2015 10:06:07 AM(UTC-9), – (Seth Lookhart) I would say our numbers shouldn’t not increase Status: Read 12/29/2015 10:07:41 AM(UTC-9), – (Shauna Cranford) Lol it actually reminds me about a rant LJ had about the maid stealing his socks and undershirts. He compared it to attrition. Status: Sent 12/29/2015 10:07:59 AM(UTC-9), – (Shauna Cranford) It was funny. The rant went on for like an hour Status: Sent 12/29/2015 10:08:52 AM(UTC-9), – (Shauna Cranford) Yes I agree or the numbers should be around the average for sedation. Like $40-$50k Status: Sent 12/29/2015 10:09:26 AM(UTC-9), – (Shauna Cranford) I would throw out our high of near $80k Status: Sent 12/29/2015 10:10:47 AM(UTC-9), – (Seth Lookhart) I would say within six months 50% get billed out under the cartel Status: Read (Note: Cranford and Lookhart often refer to their business and practices as “the cartel”) 12/29/2015 10:11:00 AM(UTC-9), – (Seth Lookhart) Reasonable? Status: Read 12/29/2015 10:11:26 AM(UTC-9), – (Shauna Cranford) Sounds good Status: Sent 12/29/2015 10:12:12 AM(UTC-9), – (Shauna Cranford) I’ll check out the portal a little today. I’ve never used it for sending claims but was trained on it by Joan. It was simple enough Status: Sent
12/29/2015 10:13:55 AM(UTC-9), – (Seth Lookhart) Lol Status: Read 12/29/2015 10:13:57 AM(UTC-9), – (Seth Lookhart) Ok Status: Read 12/29/2015 10:15:37 AM(UTC-9), – (Seth Lookhart) I would say we keep sedations around 25 a month under ak dental arts Status: Read 12/29/2015 10:16:19 AM(UTC-9), – (Seth Lookhart) And still keep a record on the sedation excel but may star those billed under the cartel Status: Read 12/29/2015 10:17:01 AM(UTC-9), – (Shauna Cranford) That’s around 20 sedations to ADA. So like month 1 Status: Sent 12/29/2015 10:19:13 AM(UTC-9), – (Seth Lookhart) Wait what? Status: Read 12/29/2015 10:20:22 AM(UTC-9), – (Seth Lookhart) Over the last 6 months we have averaged around 40 sedations a month of say we keep around 25 going to BS and the remaining 15 to the cartel Status: Read 12/29/2015 10:20:59 AM(UTC-9), – (Shauna Cranford) Got it. I thought you were talking $25k Status: Sent 12/29/2015 10:21:26 AM(UTC-9), – (Seth Lookhart) Or perhaps better to do a percentage so that it will naturally eb and flow Status: Read 12/29/2015 10:22:07 AM(UTC-9), – (Seth Lookhart) And I wouldn’t have a day sheet on the cartel cases correct? Status: Read 12/29/2015 10:22:50 AM(UTC-9), – (Shauna Cranford) Correct. But I would make something so that tracking claims would be easier Status: Sent 12/29/2015 10:23:18 AM(UTC-9), – (Shauna Cranford) So you would have a day sheet. Just not a dentrix one Status: Sent 12/29/2015 10:23:51 AM(UTC-9), – (Seth Lookhart) Sure Status: Read 12/29/2015 10:41:33 AM(UTC-9), – (Seth Lookhart) Do you think 40% of sedations is reasonable and not noticeable Status: Read 12/29/2015 10:41:50 AM(UTC-9), – (Seth Lookhart) Start with 15% for jan Status: Read 12/29/2015 10:42:09 AM(UTC-9), – (Seth Lookhart) Then 25 for feb Status: Read 12/29/2015 10:42:16 AM(UTC-9), – (Seth Lookhart) Then 35 for March Status: Read 12/29/2015 10:42:25 AM(UTC-9), – (Seth Lookhart) And 40 for April and forward? Status: Read 12/29/2015 10:42:30 AM(UTC-9), – (Seth Lookhart) Looks great Status: Read 12/29/2015 10:42:32 AM(UTC-9), – (Seth Lookhart) Thanks
The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigators determined that a total of $250,686 was billed to Medicaid and sent directly to Dr. Lookhart’s home address. Based on the 70% share that belonged to the practice, this suggests embezzlement of about $175,000.
Dr. Lookhart was convicted on 46 counts, including felony medical assistance fraud and scheming to defraud, as well as misdemeanor counts of illegally practicing dentistry and reckless endangerment.
Florida woman is charged with stealing $45k from a patient of the practice where she worked.
PALM BEACH GARDENS – Lisa Campbell, police say, handed a $45,000 check to a lawyer. She said the money, from a woman in her 90s whom Campbell had befriended, constituted gifts, but she felt bad and wanted to give it back.
It didn’t work. Campbell is charged with three counts each of grand theft of a person over 65, uttering a forgery instrument and criminal use of personal identification.
60, of North Palm Beach was booked Nov. 12 at the Palm Beach County
Jail. She left the next day after posting a $27,000 bond. A call to a
telephone number listed for her in a police report was not returned.
According to the Palm Beach Gardens police report, Campbell told investigators Nov. 12 that the woman wrote her the checks because she “wanted to do something nice for her.”
When pressed by a detective, the report said, Campbell admitted to
the fraud. She said she was having financial problems and needed the
The Palm Beach Post is not naming the older woman, who is
now 94 years old. The report said she told investigators that she’d met
Campbell, who was a dental assistant, during a visit to her dentist in
She said she and Campbell became friends and Campbell began
to help her with errands and appointments. The woman said she never paid
Campbell, saying “it was all done in friendship,” the report said.
woman was hospitalized in June and eventually moved to an assisted
living complex. Longtime friends who knew the woman from the New York
area went to court and obtained guardianship. They began checking the
woman’s bank records and found checks written to Campbell for $2,000,
$25,000 and $20,000.
The report said detectives later showed the
alleged victim the checks, and she said, “Oh. She went for the gold.”
She said she’d have no reason to write the checks to Campbell and the
signatures were not hers.
In August, Michael W. Connors, a Juno
Beach elder law attorney who represented the guardians, sent Campbell a
“demand letter” for anything she had belonging to the woman.
Connors said Monday that Campbell came to his office with a personal check for $45,000.
“She handed it to me and said, ‘I feel bad that I didn’t mention these gifts,’ ” Connors said Monday.
also said guardians cannot find cash and jewelry that had been in the
alleged victim’s home, which had been empty since she went to the
“We’re at a loss as to how to pursue that,” Connors said.
said the woman still is financial able to support herself but, “It’s
still a terrible act. Like stealing candy from a baby. Maybe worse.”
Court records show Campbell was convicted in 2000 of grand
theft and organized scheme to defraud more than $20,000 and was
sentenced to 18 months of probation.
A Palm Beach Gardens report said the dentist for whom she worked at the time alleged she wrote herself $25,000 on company checks, and also made as many as 50 fraudulent purchases on his credit card. The report said Campbell later confessed.
Editor’s note: A search of Florida criminal records reveals that a woman with the same name and birthdate as Lisa Campbell, living in the Palm Beach area, was charged four times for felony theft and fraud offenses in the years 1999 to 2000. This underscores the need to do a proper criminal records check as part of the hiring process.
First and Last Name Lisa J Campbell Booked Sep. 27, 2000 Source Palm Beach County Sheriff’S Office – Arrest Records (Florida) Charge 83102 – Utter Forged Instrument; 812014 2c – Grand Theft; 817034 3d – Organized Schemed to Defraud
First and Last Name Lisa J Campbell
Offense Oct. 10, 2000
Source Palm Beach Courts (Florida)
Charges/Offenses Grand Theft | Organized Scheme to Defraud>$20, 000
First and Last Name Lisa J Campbell
Offense Jun. 1, 1999
Source Dept Of Corrections (Florida)
Charges/Offenses Org.fraud – $20, 000 – 50, 000 | Grand Theft, 300 L/5, 000
First and Last Name Lisa J Campbell
Offense Aug. 26, 2000
Source Palm Beach Courts (Florida)
Charge/Offense Conversion: (812.014 (1, 2c)/ / /F/000/78 ) (Prob – X) Grand Theft
The former general manager of Afdent Dentistry, which has offices in Mishawaka and Fort Wayne, has been charged in federal court with defrauding the company of more than $3 million over six years.
According to an indictment filed in federal court, Brian Nordan, 42, embezzled money from Afdent beginning in 2012 for the benefit of himself, his partner and spouse, Dustin Coleman, and his sister, Angela Jasinski.
In addition to creating a separate company that sold marked-up toothpaste to Afdent for $25 a tube, federal prosecutors allege that Nordan used company credit cards to pay off his personal credit cards, make purchases at Lowe’s and pay his husband and sister salaries while they weren’t working for the company.
According to a separate civil case filed by Afdent, Nordan was terminated in June 2018 after the company discovered Jasinski and Coleman had been secretly receiving pay. Legal filings state that Afdent’s owner was unaware of Jasinski and Coleman’s ghost employment.
Nordan, Coleman and Jasinski were all arrested on multiple felony wire fraud charges on Monday and Tuesday, according to federal court filings.
“Employers hire individuals with the understanding that they will be honest and not exploit them for personal financial gain,” said United States Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II. “When, as alleged in this indictment, individuals do exploit their employers for illegal financial gain, my Office and our law enforcement partners will investigate and prosecute.”
According to the Minnesota Attorney General, Nadine Royter, 57, of Plymouth, an owner of Willow Grove Family Dental, billed for over $100,000 of services using the identity of dentist B.L. who had resigned from Willow Grove due to concerns with Royter’s unethical business practices. In one instance, Royter billed for dentures purportedly provided by B.L. to patient W.B. W.B. told investigators he never received dentures.
A bit of digging on Ms. Royter reveals that this is not her only legal trouble. She is also facing a 2018 shoplifting charge:
Nov. 1, 2018, 400 Prairie Center Drive: Eden Prairie police responded to Von Maur at 400 Prairie Center Drive on report of a theft, according to a Hennepin County criminal complaint. Upon arrival, officers learned that a woman later identified as Nadine Royter, 57, had shoplifted items with a total value of $1,001, the complaint said. Security video showed Royter selecting items throughout the store and leaving without attempting to pay. In a search related to arrest, officers recovered the stolen items from Royter, the complaint said. She is charged with felony theft.
There was also a person with the same name with several charges in Minnesota from 2000-2001:
First and Last Name Nadine Royter
Charges Filed Nov. 16, 2000
Source Administrative Office Of Courts (Minnesota)
Charges/Offenses Theft – $201 – $500 | Disobeying Stop or Yield Signs
Match Rating Based On:
First and Last Name Nadine Royter
Convicted Apr. 5, 2001
Source Dept Of Public Safety (Minnesota)
Charge/Offense Theft – Acts Constituting
A long-time employee of a local dental office has been arrested in connection with the alleged theft of nearly $300,000 from her employer over at least a four-year period beginning in 2015.
Malinda A. Downey, 47, of Madison, has been charged with one count of theft, a Level 5 felony, but additional charges could be forthcoming as accountants, Indiana State Police and the Jefferson County Prosecutors Office continue investigating the case.
Downey is currently free on a $10,000 cash bond. She appeared in Jefferson Superior Court Friday, for a reading of the charges and a “not guilty” plea was entered with her trial date set for 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020.
Downey, who was arrested by state police Wednesday, had been employed as an office worker at Pawlak Orthodontics, 160 Demaree Drive, Madison, for 17 years using both Ortho-Trac and Quickbooks programs to track customer payments, services and patient information before depositing receipts in the bank account for the business.
According to a probable cause affidavit, Dr. Elizabeth Pawlak, owner of the practice, had suspected discrepancies in receipts and deposits for some time but on July 11 and July 12 discovered that cash payments from two new patients were not properly documented. Pawlak then conducted a review that confirmed payments recorded in Quickbooks did not match those recorded in Ortho-Trac and an estimated $150,000 could not be accounted for.
At that point, Pawlak asked Indiana State Police to investigate the case and Det. David Makowsky advised Pawlak to seek a complete audit of her books.
The affidavit said Pawlak spoke with Downey about the discrepancies on Aug. 12 with Makowsky present and Downey indicated that she must have recorded the transaction incorrectly. When confronted with other discrepancies, Downey did not have an explanation for the missing funds.
Eventually, Makowsky asked Downey how much money was missing and she told him she “did not know.” He asked if she had taken any money prior to 2014 and she said she “didn’t think so” and that she “did not remember if she ever put any money back,” the affidavit said.
At that point Downey said she did not want to speak to Makowsky any further. They set up a time to meet the following day but prior to that Downey notified Makowsky that she did not want to meet with him further.
Autumn Dean, an accountant with Hartman and Williams LLC, completed an audit of the records at Pawlak Orthodontics and, based on a summary between the Ortho-trac and Quickbooks records, $292,251.32 was found missing between 2014 and 2019, the affidavit said.
Dean’s report indicated that a sample comparison of Ortho-Trac entries made under Downey’s login credentials compared to payments recorded in Quickbooks from 2015 to 2019 showed that payments were recorded in Ortho-Trac but not in Quickbooks and that $74,078.00 was missing in Quickbooks. Additional transactions still are being scrutinized.
The investigation led to Wednesday’s warrant issued for Downey’s arrest on the Level 5 felony charge of theft (over $50,000). She was booked at the Jefferson County Jail and later released on bond.
Pawlak has since issued a statement to reassure patients that the thefts that are charged were from Pawlak and not customers.
“We at Pawlak Orthodontics want to thank our patients for being dedicated to our office. We appreciate the loyalty you have shown us. We have had an unfortunate situation occur. A former employee has been charged with theft of funds from our office. We want to assure everyone that this has not affected any patient’s accounts. These were cash-only payments and only affected the bottom line for Dr. Pawlak.
“We want to assure everyone that we have taken measures to make sure that something like this will not occur again. Again, we sincerely appreciate the support and patience we have received from everyone while we deal with this issue.”
former receptionist of a Harrisburg dentist will spend a year and a day
in federal prison for forging 164 opioid prescriptions, according to the
Department of Justice.
Belinda Dietrich, 63, will spend three years on probation following her prison time, according to the DOJ.
was sentenced Monday on the counts of distributing a controlled
substance and making false statements in health care matters, which she
pleaded guilty to in April, the DOJ said.
Attorney David Freed said Dietrich was the former receptionist of a
solo dental provider in Harrisburg. Freed gave an example of how the
scheme played out.
Dietrich forged the signature of her employer on a blank prescription form on Feb. 13, 2017, Freed said.
prescription, written for her mother who was not a patient of the
dentist, was for oxycodone, Freed said. Dietrich’s mother was also a
had the prescription for 24 pills filled at a Harrisburg-area pharmacy
and kept the drugs for her own use. Medicare paid the claim, Freed said.
Feb. 17, 2016 and August 2017, Dietrich forged 164 prescriptions for
oxycodone and hydrocodone, the DOJ said. Dietrich filled out 10 of the
fake prescriptions under her own name, and the rest were written under
the names of 11 family and friends.
The prescriptions were filled and the drugs were shared between the group. More than 5,022 pills were obtained through these forgeries, the DOJ said, and all 11 people were prosecuted in connection with the case.