What do you do when you can’t steal from the dentist? Steal from patients!

Arieta Gouvakis

ROCKY POINT, Long Island (WABC) — A Long Island dental assistant is under arrest, accused of stealing jewelry from patients.

Arieta Gouvakis, 38, worked as a dental assistant to Dr. Elliot Koschitzki at Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry in Rocky Point.

She is accused of removing jewelry worth between $1,000 and $3,000 from two patients who were being treated at the office under her care on January 31 and February 1.

The patients were in “twilight,” under Nitrous oxide, Suffolk County police Chief Stuart Cameron said.

Neither patient realized their jewelry was missing until after they left the office, according to authorities.

The Suffolk County Police Property Recovery Squad recovered the stolen jewelry from local pawn shops.

The dental office cooperated fully with the investigation once they were notified of the allegations.

Gouvakis was arrested at her home in Manorville at approximately 12:30 a.m. Friday. Authorities say she has prior arrests and that her motivation may have been to feed a drug habit.

She is charged with grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property.

Dr. Nick Augenbaum, with the dental practice, said Gouvakis was hired only three weeks ago. She has since been fired.

“As soon as we were notified by our patients, we called the Suffolk County PD,” Augenbaum told Eyewitness News reporter Kristin Thorne.

He thanked Suffolk police officers for quickly recovering the patients’ stolen items.

Anyone with information or other patients who think they have also been victimized by Gouvakis are asked to contact the Seventh Squad at 631-852-8752.

Content retrieved from: https://abc7ny.com/dental-assistant-charged-with-stealing-jewelry-from-patients/5127540/

Embezzlement by A Spouse? Yes, it Happens!

The conventional wisdom is that you are completely protected from embezzlement if your spouse runs your office.

While it is true that, in normal circumstances, your economic interest and that of your spouse line up perfectly, embezzlement can still take place even if your spouse manages your practice. In other words, most of the time, it would give your spouse no advantage to steal from your practice.

First, the embezzler may be someone other than your spouse, such as a receptionist or financial coordinator.

Second, there are times when your spouse’s interest is no longer harmonized with yours. The most common example is when they have decided to leave the marriage and simply haven’t told you this yet.

If your spouse is your employee (and therefore has no income that in independent of your control), they may have a need to put some money aside for the day when they tell you that they are leaving. Their expectation is that you will terminate their employment in this circumstance and they will have expenses for making new living arrangements and paying an attorney, all while deprived of their normal salary.

So embezzlement sometimes happens in this situation. The court case below shows an example of alleged embezzlement from a spouse in the context of divorce.

Stephanie Negron
Ross-v.-Negron-Ross

Look out for this person!

Alexandra Counts-Thompson’s lengthy rap sheet has over 30 convictions, including several for embezzlement. Most convictions are from North Carolina and Virginia.

She is known to work in dental practices.

She uses several variants of her name including:

  • Alexandra Counts Thompson
  • Alexandra Nikole Counts
  • Alexandra N Counts
  • Alexandra Nicole Counts
  • Alexandra Nikol Thompson

We would urge extreme caution in dealing with this person.

Head of IT Department Accused of Embezzling $800k from California Non-profit Clinic

The former head of information technology at the nonprofit North County Health Services, which provides services to low-income people, pleaded not guilty Friday to siphoning nearly $800,000 from the organization.

Hector Ramos, 55, was charged with 49 counts related to the loss of the money, which authorities said happened over the course of eight months in 2015.

The Murrieta man faces 36 years in state prison if convicted of all charges, said Deputy District Attorney Anna Winn.

During Ramos’ arraignment in a Vista courtroom, his attorney, Thomas Warwick, said Ramos was “a very credible individual,” and had “lived a blameless life for 30 years.”

Warwick declined comment after the hearing.

According to Winn, North County Health Services hired Ramos — at an annual salary of $200,000 — to run its IT department in January 2015.

Winn said that Ramos created two fraudulent corporations, then submitted false invoices from those corporations to North County Health Services.

Winn said that Ramos would create a sense of urgency by telling staffers in the purchasing department that the entire computer system might shut down if the invoices were not quickly paid.

Ramos’ assistant grew suspicious, investigated the two corporations and found that Ramos was on the board. The assistant reported it to organization officials, according to Winn.

Winn said bank statements revealed that while the payments were made to Ramos’ companies, the records do not show purchases of computer equipment or software to match what North County Health Services had been billed.

Rather, she said, the bank statements show “lavish spending,” including international vacations and thousands of dollars in purchases from a wine website. Other spending was on cigars, clothing, and a $44,000 check written to a Porsche dealer, the prosecutor said.

Several employees attended Ramos’ arraignment, but declined to comment after the hearing.

Winn said that the loss of the money “was very demoralizing” to the organization’s employees, and that they had suffered a sense of betrayal.

Superior Court Judge David Danielsen set Ramos’ bail at $1 million, and granted Winn’s request that, should Ramos make bail, he must prove that the source of the money was not illegally obtained.

Aside from the criminal case, the clinic’s insurance company filed a civil suit against Ramos in July to recover nearly $800,000. That case is pending.

Content retrieved from: https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/courts/sd-no-embezzle-arraignment-20171201-story.html

Connecticut Dentist has $18,000 Payroll Theft

GRAFTON — A local dentist office reported the theft of $18,300 after a hacker instructed a payroll company to make a payment to an unauthorized bank account.

According to Grafton police, dentist Karen Deak of Deak DDS and Kramer DDS Inc., reported Monday that on Aug. 10, her son, Andrew Deak, also a dentist who works for the business owned by her and her husband, completed and emailed the company payroll request.

Karen Deak told police that unknown individual(s) then used her son’s email login and password to access the account and sent a request to Service 1st Payroll, 1008 Vivian Drive, Grafton, for a payment of $18,300. The payment request indicated the payment was for a subcontractor at 9:15 a.m. Aug. 10. By 11:18 a.m. the same day, another email was sent from her son’s account, once again requesting $18,300. On the second request, an IRS W-9 form was attached with the name “David Micheal David” with an address of “21 Weasel Road, Rolling Hills 82637.” No state was indicated. The bank information was used in the email for the transfer the funds to the Navy/Army Community Credit Union, Corpus Christi, Texas, police said. As indicated by the ZIP code, the address is in Glenrock, Wyo.

After the first attempt successfully received funds, a second attempt was made to have a subcontractor payment provided, this time in the amount of $23,900 to Bank of West in Casper, Wyo.

That is when the payroll company contacted Andrew Deak, who informed the employee that neither he nor his parents authorized payment of either $18,300 or $23,900.

Since the theft crossed state lines, the FBI was contacted, Grafton police said.

The case remains under investigation.

Content retrieved from: http://www.chroniclet.com/cops-and-courts/2017/08/24/Grafton-dentist-39-s-office-reports-more-than-18-000-stolen.html

Unhappy UK Dental Employee Steals from Practice

A disgruntled dental nurse stole almost £4,000 from the practice where she worked – and spent it in Iceland .

When caught, Rebecca Seymour told police she couldn’t get the time off work she wanted, and didn’t like where she worked.

The 31-year-old, worked as a dental nurse for Genix Healthcare when she started helping herself to money.

She deleted random patient payments, took cash for herself and fiddled records, backdating payments to cover her tracks, Teesside Crown Court heard.

She thought the game was up when members of head office came to the Middlesbrough practice.

She left without explanation, believing they had arrived to investigate her at the two surgeries on Linthorpe Road.

In fact, it was her nervous behaviour and rapid departure which aroused suspicion, said Michele Turner, defending.

Iceland trip A manager found CCTV footage which showed Seymour in the surgery on a Sunday.

Prosecutor Harry Hadfield said: “She had no reason to be in the practice at that time.

“She had gone in to steal money from her employer.”

The audit trail revealed 164 transactions to the value of £3,997 over almost a year.

Seymour went to the police and confessed to taking the money, but said she was shocked at how much she had stolen.

She said she spent it straight away on shopping, “going to Iceland”, and was ashamed and sorry for her dishonesty.

She told officers she did not have money problems and her motive was dissatisfaction with her workplace.

She was not happy with the practice and believed less qualified people were earning more money than her.

“She said she felt undervalued. She didn’t like where she worked,” added Mr Hadfield.

“She couldn’t get the time off she wanted and she wanted to try and find employment elsewhere.”

New employers ‘might find out’.

Seymour, of College Road, Thorntree, Middlesbrough, admitted theft between May last year and April this year, her first conviction.

Ms Turner said Seymour showed obvious remorse for her crime.

She now had a new admin job and was doing well, but had not told anyone of her conviction because she was so embarrassed.

“They might find out,” said Judge Simon Bourne-Arton QC, the Recorder of Middlesbrough.

Sentencing, he said the theft was a “gross and obvious breach of trust”.

He told Seymour: “Over a period of nearly a year you were stealing from your employer.

“And you were doing so in a very well-organised manner.

“This was planned, it was well-executed and it was persistent.

“You took steps to cover your tracks so that you would not be detected, but eventually you were.”

She was given an 18-month community order with 140 hours’ unpaid work and a tagged curfew between 7pm and 6am.

Content retrieved from: https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/disgruntled-dental-nurse-stole-4k-13238401

Pennsylvania Woman Arrested for Stealing From Community College Dental Clinic

A former employee of Luzerne County Community College was arrested today after money went missing from one of the departments at the college.


Eyewitness News was the only news crew there when Melissa Sue Taney turned herself into Nanticoke police on Wednesday.

 She had  No comment when we asked if she denied or admitted taking the money. .
Detectives say she stole nearly $8,000 from the Luzerne County Community College Dental Clinic.

 Taney worked as a receptionist-secretary at the clinic located in the Health and Sciences Building in Downtown Nanticoke. 

College students who are interested in a career in dentistry work on patients from the community to get hands-on experience.. Those patients pay a small fee for those services. 
Taney was in charge of taking cash payments..

 “She would receive cash from patients and then she would alter the documents to show that less money was taken and she’d pocket the remaining money,” explained Chief Tom Wall of the Nanticoke Police Department.

 “I think that’s a real tragedy,”  said Daniel Whitman, 

Daniel Whitman is taking summer classes at LCCC  

“I think it does put a black mark on the college but as long as they got it under control and is no longer part of it anymore we can keep going in a positive light.” 

Luetter Jacobs lives near the clinic. She wonders if there was some underlying reason for the alleged theft.

  “It’s a hard time you know and people are really struggling. They are taking what little they have to accomplish the bills and things like that.”

The President of Luzerne County Community College called it a violation of trust..and issued this statement which reads in part..  “We are committed to honest practices and won’t tolerate anything less which disrupts the confidence of the community and our students.” 
Investigators did not say why Taney allegedly stole the money. They say the alleged thefts took place in 2016 and 2017. 

Taney faces upto 10 years in prison if convicted.
     She is free on  her own recognizance tonight but would have to pay $75,000 dollars if she fails to show up for future court hearings.

Content retrieved from: https://www.pahomepage.com/news/i-team-dental-clinic-theft-investigation/1373659610

Women at Center of U of Louisville Basketball Scandal Arrested for Stealing Checks from A Dentist

Katina Powell, the self-proclaimed escort queen at the center of a scandal involving University of Louisville basketball recruits, was ordered Thursday to pay restitution and serve two years of diversion after pleading guilty to theft and forgery charges.

Powell pleaded guilty Oct. 26 to criminal possession of a forged instrument and theft by deception using cold checks, according to online court records.

Powell, 45, was arrested in May and accused of stealing checks from a man in April and attempting to cash three of them at a liquor store, according to an arrest citation. The checks totaled $2,900.

Thomas Tyre, a Louisville-area dentist, was listed as the victim on the arrest citation. Tyre told the Courier Journal in May that he and Powell were close for several months.

According to court records, Powell must pay Tyre $2,900 in restitution and complete diversion. Fulfilling those requirements would allow Powell to have her case dismissed and expunged from her record.

Powell’s arrest in May came after a judge ordered her to vacate her Louisville home. That eviction stemmed from an incident in which Powell’s daughter allegedly pointed a handgun at a man outside Powell’s house, according to the past arrest citation.

Powell also has a pending case stemming from a theft in January of $32.12 worth of merchandise from the Walmart at 175 Outer Loop, according to online court records.

Content retrieved from: https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/crime/2018/11/02/judge-tells-katina-powell-pay-back-money-dentist/1858286002/

NJ Woman is Accused of Writing Checks to Herself From Dental Practice

A 21-year-old woman from Hackensack is accused of writing herself a series of checks with stolen money from the dental practice she worked at, authorities said.

A two-month investigation found that Prime Dental Group employee Tanija Pate stole and wrote herself five checks worth $2,988.62 from the Lincoln Avenue practice, Chief Dean Ackermann said.

Pate was arrested by Detective Lucas Doney on March 15, Ackermann said. A court appearance is scheduled for March 30.

Content retrieved from: https://dailyvoice.com/new-jersey/fairlawn/police-fire/police-employee-stole-almost-3k-from-glen-rock-dental-practice/734494/

Mashpee, MA Woman Charged With Embezzling More Than $400,000

A Mashpee woman is charged with embezzling nearly a half-million dollars from her former employer, a dental specialist in Yarmouth, over the course of 14 years.

Mary Lou McGrail, 69, allegedly falsified records and stole $427,742 from the owner of Professional Endodontics between 2002 and 2016, according to court files.

Ms. McGrail, who was arraigned Wednesday, December 5, in Barnstable District Court, faces one count of larceny over $250 and one count of falsifying/omitting entry in books.

Her employer first approached Yarmouth police in October 2016 to report his employee and longtime friend had been stealing money from his dental business. According to court files, in 2017, Ms. McGrail admitted to embezzling approximately $14,000 and her husband offered to repay $16,000.

The doctor refused this offer because he believed Ms. McGrail had taken “in excess of $20,000,” according to a report. He fired Ms. McGrail from her role as a bookkeeper and administrative assistant.

A detective informed the doctor he would need to complete a full audit of his records, recommending he solicit a forensic accountant to examine them.

The doctor’s own accountant completed a review and determined between $85,000 and $100,000 had been embezzled. Later, an outside consulting firm assisted with an official audit of all financial records since 2002, arriving at the figure of more than $400,000 in embezzled funds.

The audit found 487 different transactions where either financial records or medical services had been “altered or omitted by Ms. McGrail to ensure that the missing money was not detected,” according to the report. For instance, in August 2014, a service to a client was listed as a “free consultation” although the client had paid Ms. McGrail $1,095.

As part of the investigation, a Barnstable County Superior Court grand jury granted a detective permission to obtain Ms. McGrail’s bank records from Citizens Bank, the report says.

Ms. McGrail is due back in court for a pretrial hearing on January 22.

Content retrieved from: https://www.capenews.net/mashpee/news/mashpee-woman-charged-with-embezzling-more-than/article_9e470426-6601-5310-9880-f8b935a5af48.html

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