Hoverboard Dentist Accused of Embezzling from Practice

Dr. Seth Lookhart performing an extration while on a hoverboard

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 suggest 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.

Shauna Cranford

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.

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.

What do you do when you can’t steal from your practice? Steal from a patient!

Lisa Campbell

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.

Campbell, 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 money.

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 2017.

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.

The 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.

Connors 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 assisted-living complex.

“We’re at a loss as to how to pursue that,” Connors said.

He 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.

Content retrieved from https://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/20191119/police-friendrsquo-wrote-45000-in-checks-to-herself-on-older-womanrsquos-account


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

Wow! Former Manager of Indiana Practices Accused of Embezzling $3 million

Brian Nordan

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.”

Content retrieved from https://www.southbendtribune.com/news/business/former-afdent-manager-accused-of-million-fraud/article_24bbfe97-296c-518e-8970-4ecb7f9432b9.html

A non-dentist owner of a Minnesota dental practice is charged with $100k of Medicaid fraud

Nadine Royter

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.

Content was retrieved from https://www.ag.state.mn.us/Office/Communications/2019/09/27_MedicaidFraud.asp


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.

Content retrieved from https://www.swnewsmedia.com/eden_prairie_news/news/public_safety/police_reports/police-report/article_4b4b8f16-f614-5507-81b0-5ee21437207a.html


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 Name
Last Name
DOB
Age
County

First and Last Name Nadine Royter
Convicted Apr. 5, 2001
Source Dept Of Public Safety (Minnesota)
Charge/Offense Theft – Acts Constituting


Indiana Woman Charged with Embezzling $300k from Orthodontist

Malinda Downey

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.”

Content retrieved from https://madisoncourier.com/Content/News/News/Article/Employee-charged-with-300K-theft-from-local-dentist/178/961/117559

Pennsylvania Dental Assistant Sentenced to One Year for Forging Prescriptions

Belinda Dietrich

A 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.

Dietrich 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.

U.S. 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.

The prescription, written for her mother who was not a patient of the dentist, was for oxycodone, Freed said. Dietrich’s mother was also a Medicare beneficiary.

Dietrich 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.

Between 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.

Content retrieved from https://www.pennlive.com/news/2019/10/central-pa-woman-sentenced-on-charges-of-forging-164-opioid-prescriptions.html

NY Dentist Office Manager Arrested for Stealing from Employer

A woman from Montour Falls was arrested yesterday (October 15) and charged with grand larceny, after Ithaca investigators say she stole from her employer at a dentist’s office in the city while working as an office manager.

According to Ithaca Police, 56-year-old Kathy Harris “misappropriated 175 gift cards” belonging to her employer at Fall Creek Family Dentistry on N. Cayuga Street.

Officials say the thefts occurred over a period of five years.

Harris’ arrest comes at the end of a lengthy investigation by the Ithaca Police Department, Tompkins County Sheriff’s Department, and the Tompkins County District Attorney’s Office.

She was released on an appearance ticket to Ithaca City Court on October 23.

Content retrieved from http://www.wxhc.com/?p=60474

Wow — Albany NY Dentist sues, accusing ex-nun of bilking him out of nearly $1M

ALBANY – A former nun, who nearly 30 years ago was found to have defrauded a group of anesthesiologists, is being accused of draining nearly $1 million from an Albany dentist’s bank accounts.
Dr. James McMahon Jr., who operates McMahon Family Dentistry and J. McMahon Properties, LLC, filed the civil lawsuit Sept. 20, accusing Mary Ann Fuina, 80, of making 37 unauthorized withdrawals from his accounts, totaling $961,000, and using shell companies to hide the withdrawals from McMahon.
The lawsuit also names Fuina’s bookkeeping firm, Billing Electronic Systems Technology, of Colonie, Christine Mosher, an employee at the firm, Barbara O’Brien, the CEO of NorthEast IT Group, and Scott, Stackrow & Co., a Troy accounting firm that both McMahon and Fuina used.
The withdrawals went to cover unspecified personal and business expenses for Fuina, according to the lawsuit.
McMahon and his attorney, Donald Hillmann, declined to comment earlier this week.
Phone numbers associated with Fuina were disconnected; a message to Billing Electronic Systems Technology was not returned. O’Brien and Mosher could not be reached for comment. No one answered the door at an Albany house that records suggest is Fuina’s home.
A representative from Scott, Stackrow & Co., did not return a message asking for comment.
In 1991, a federal jury found in a civil lawsuit that Fuina, a former Sister of Mercy, defrauded Capital District Professional Management Systems by using company assets for her own benefit and made unauthorized credit-card purchases and took loans. The group sued Fuina in 1989 under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act of 1970, a law originally enacted to combat organized crime.
According to Times Union archives, Fuina worked for Professional Management Systems, a medical billing company set up by the anesthesiologists, for 16 years before resigning in June 1989 to form a rival company, Billing Electronic Systems Technology.
The jury awarded the group $750,000 in damages but did not find that Fuina violated the RICO Act. It does not appear that Fuina was ever criminally charged in that case.
At that time, Fuina was also sued in state Supreme Court for shifting $200,000 in corporate funds into her own bank account and criminal theft of trade secrets when she set up her bookkeeping company before resigning from Professional Management Systems, according to Times Union archives. That lawsuit also named Barbara O’Brien, who left the billing group to go work with Fuina. The results of that lawsuit were not immediately available.
The federal lawsuit alleged that while Fuina worked with Professional Management Services she ran up company debt to embezzle at least $60,000; submitted loan applications with fake signatures of company officers; charged to the firm thousands of dollars of personal purchases, including dog biscuits, bedsheets, a videocassette recorder and bicycle rack; billed the company for $5,510 worth of landscaping at her home; and sold to St. Peter’s Hospital for $19,330 part of the company’s leased telephone system.
It also alleges that Fuina diverted $15,500 through a company called Showcase Construction to one of the three employees who resigned with her and had the company pay about $30,000 to a firm she owned and operated, Management Advice Financial Planning, for work that was never done.
That firm, which was dissolved in 1990, played a key role in the new allegations, which lay out a simpler scheme.
Beginning in early 2017, Fuina allegedly made periodic withdrawals from McMahon’s accounts, typically by taking money from the dentistry’s account or line of credit, moving it to the property LLC and then writing herself a check or writing checks to Management Advice & Future Planning, according to the lawsuit. The LLC later received a check from Management Advice Financial Planning, the firm that Fuina dissolved in 1990.
According to the lawsuit and public records, O’Brien and Fuina are involved in each other’s businesses. The lawsuit claims, but does not exactly say how, that O’Brien either knew of the withdrawals or assisted with them.
McMahon hired Fuina and the other defendants in September 2006 to provide services for the dentistry practice he took over from his father, as well for his personal and business accounts. And McMahon appeared to have no cause for complaint until early 2019 when M&T Bank alerted him about several large withdrawals from his accounts. It was unclear why the bank did not alert him of the withdrawals for nearly two years.
Fuina allegedly made the first withdrawal on Jan. 4, 2017, taking $18,000 from one of McMahon’s accounts, according to a schedule of the alleged withdrawals filed with the lawsuit.
Another $18,000 was withdrawn a month later, followed by $45,000 on Feb. 6, 2017, according to the withdrawal scheduled filed with the lawsuit.
The withdrawals continued, with at least one a month through the end of the year. In August 2017 alone, Fuina allegedly withdrew a combined $101,000 from McMahon’s accounts.
The schedule filed with the lawsuit indicates she made at least some attempts at replenishing the funds. Over a three-day period at the end of December 2017 $200,000 was put back into McMahon’s accounts.
Five days later, Fuina allegedly made another $20,000 withdrawal.
The complaint also alleges that Fuina overcharged McMahon $20,000 for her services and assumed responsibility a $100,000 loan McMahon made to her sister.
Fuina allegedly used the funds for her personal use but the lawsuit does not specify what McMahon believes she spent the money on.
When McMahon confronted her about the missing money, Fuina was evasive and McMahon didn’t learn the full extent of his losses until May 2019, according to the complaint. McMahon said Fuina admitted to taking the money and proposed a restitution plan but also claimed that the money was a loan that she had always intended to repay.
In the complaint, McMahon’s attorney argues that Mosher, one of the Fuina’s employees who had access to McMahon’s check signature stamp, O’Brien, and the accounting firm all either had knowledge of the alleged thefts or should have realized what was going on. The lawsuit alleges, relying on the IP address, that Mosher’s computer was the one used to transfer funds. It does not allege that Mosher directly transferred the funds or received any of the money personally.
It also alleges that since the Scott, Stackrow firm was the accountant for McMahon and Fuina, the firm should have realized that the large, periodic withdrawals were improper and violated the firm’s fiduciary duties.
McMahon is asking for damages, interest and attorney’s fees. None of the plaintiffs filed a reply to the complaint as of Wednesday afternoon.

Content retrieved from https://www.timesunion.com/news/article/Dentist-files-lawsuit-alleging-near-1-million-14464901.php

Hiring Alert — Illinois

Do you have questions about embezzlement?  Give Prosperident a call at 888-398-2327 or send an email to requests@dentalembezzlement.com

This woman, who now goes by the name Courtney Lynn Smith, of Yorkville IL, has an extensive criminal record including both forgery and perjury.

She previously used the name Courtney DeWitt.

She is reported to have worked at several dental practices in the Chicagoland area, and there are some reports of missing money.

Here is a mugshot of Courtney. Please be sure to follow proper screening procedures before hiring an employee. Please see https://www.prosperident.com/how-not-to-hire-the-wrong-people-in-your-practice/ for some tips on how to check the background of an applicant properly.

Case OverviewCase TitleDEWITT COURTNEY LCharge (First)FORGERY/ISSUE/DELIVER DOCUMENT

Case #2018CF000415NameDEWITT COURTNEY LCase TypeCriminal FelonyJudgeHON JODY GLEASONCourtRoomROOM 114AAddress807 W JOHNYORKVILLE, IL 60560Show MapStatusPre-trial

Amount OwedParticipant TypeDefendant$.00Next/Last Court Date08/27/2019 at 1:00 PM

Colorado Woman Charged With Embezzling $250k From Orthodontist

June 30, 2004

Do you have questions about embezzlement?  Give Prosperident a call at 888-398-2327 or send an email to requests@dentalembezzlement.com

Cheryl Dunlap, the woman charged with embezzling more than $250,000 from a local orthodontist while employed there, waived her formal advisement of charges Wednesday. Her next court date was set for Aug. 19 so her attorney, Tom Silverman, has time to read through the “complex and voluminous” documents associated with the case. Dunlap, 46, worked as a bookkeeper for John Traul Orthodontics in Glenwood Springs for 10 years.

She is accused of writing 111 bogus company checks to herself totaling $252,087.62 between April 1999 and February 2004, the arrest affidavit said. Traul first discovered money was missing from his business in March when he was notified by his accountant that Dunlap was suspected of cashing an unauthorized check against one of the business accounts.”Traul stated that there were several checks signed by Dunlap, and there were also several checks that had been deposited but were not signed,” the affidavit said. Dunlap also might have used a signature stamp to forge some of the checks, the affidavit said. The affidavit said Dunlap admitted to police that she stole the money and she wanted to “make it right.”Dunlap told officers, “Everyone knows that I’m guilty, I did it and that it is time that I admit to it,” according to the affidavit. Traul’s orthodontics business has offices in Glenwood Springs, Carbondale, Basalt and Rifle.

If Dunlap is convicted on both charges, she could face 5 to 15 years in prison.

Content retrieved from https://www.postindependent.com/news/accused-embezzler-waives-formal-advisement-of-charges/