Texas Dental Association’s pension plan is a victim of embezzlement

Austin Area Man Sentenced To Federal Prison For Stealing Millions From Pension Plans

In Austin today, 64-year-old Lakeway resident Ricky Lynn Richardson was sentenced to five years in federal prison for stealing millions from pension plans announced United States Attorney Robert Pitman and Federal Bureau of Investigation Acting Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Division.

In addition to the prison term, United States District Judge Sam Sparks ordered that Richardson pay
approximately $ 4,362,813.59 restitution and be placed under supervised release for a period of three years after completing his prison term.

On March 18, 2014, Richardson pleaded guilty to a one-count Information charging him with theft and
embezzlement from an employee benefit plan. According to authorities, from 1998 to 2013, Richardson stole money from four separate pension plans for which he provided administrative services, namely approximately $941,234 from the Texas Dental Association in Austin, approximately $2,504,258 from D.W.D. Engineering in the Houston area, approximately $687,520 from Green Leaflet, Inc., in Austin and approximately $229,800 from Albert T. Gross, M.D. in Austin. During the scheme, Richardson, doing business as Benefit Consultants, Inc., in Spicewood, TX, secretly misdirected or misappropriated money that belonged to the plans and provided customers with false statements, leading them to believe they still had the retirement money.

This investigation was conducted by agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Employees
Benefits Security Administration of the Department of Labor. Assistant United States Attorney Alan M. Buie prosecuted this case on behalf of the Government.

Content retrieved from: https://www.justice.gov/usao-wdtx/pr/austin-area-man-sentenced-federal-prison-stealing-millions-pension-plans

Prosperident nails another one — woman charged with defrauding Ontario dentist of $554,000

Niagara Regional Police say that officers began investigating a situation last November after they were contacted by a local dentist who suspected his General Manager was defrauding his Ridgeway dentistry practice.

As a result of their investigation, a St. Catharines woman is facing charges after allegedly defrauding her employer of over $554,000 and the NRP’s fraud unit put out a warrant for the suspect’s arrest.

Yesterday the suspect, 37 year old Jennifer Leslie, was arrested at the Rainbow Bridge crossing into Canada and is charged with fraud over $5,000 and laundering the proceeds of crime.

Leslie is being held in custody pending a bail hearing today, March 15 at the Robert S.K. Welch Courthouse in St. Catharines.

Content retrieved from: http://www.niagarabuzz.ca/2018/03/15/police-reports/fraud-st-catharines-woman-facing-charges/

Former OK dental office employee facing charges after allegedly stealing patients’ credit card information

NORMAN, Okla. – A former dental office employee is charged with stealing patients’ credit card information and using it for herself.

Carla Wynn is a former office worker in at least two dental offices around the metro area, one in Midwest City, and one in Norman.

The initial complaint came from Midwest City Family Dentistry and an investigator with the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry began the investigation.

“Called us that the office manager was embezzling other items, and potentially taking credit card information out of patient files, and potentially forging prescriptions as well,” said Oklahoma Board of Dentistry Executive Director Susan Rogers.

An employee who did not want to be interviewed on camera told News 4 several patients came forward saying their information had been stolen. That’s when the office checked with one of Wynn’s past employers, Gentle Family Dentistry in Norman, and discovered there were more allegations.

According to court documents, while Wynn was a receptionist there in Norman, she used the doctor’s credit card to pay her daughter’s court fees, and made two phone service charges to Cricket Wireless.

While there, she also allegedly stole a patient’s information and made two $500 charges to a California bill-pay service.

“She actually already has prior criminal charges for similar things,” Rogers said, “which is part of the reason that we decided to file the charges that we did.”

Previous convictions against Wynn include concealing stolen property, false personation, uttering bogus checks, and uttering false instruments.

According to the affidavit, investigators said she “prepared a written statement outlining her use of credit card information” in the victims’ names.

Wynn is charged with embezzlement and identity theft. A warrant has been issued for her arrest.

Content retrieved from: https://kfor.com/2018/07/17/former-dentist-office-employee-facing-charges-after-allegedly-stealing-patients-credit-card-information/

Police: Former Dickson City, PA dental worker changed payment records to steal cash

A former employee at a Dickson City dental practice changed billing records to pocket $3,406 in cash that 13 patients paid over the course of seven months, borough police said.

Toniann V. Lagreca, 32, 449 Delaware St., Jermyn, also is accused of taking a prescription booklet and writing prescriptions to herself for Percocet and antibiotics by forging a doctor’s signature, Officer John Wilson wrote in a criminal complaint.

Lagreca worked at Aspen Dental on Business Route 6 until she was fired July 10 for theft, police said.

Employees at the dental practice became aware of the thefts once they noticed numerous payment changes made under Lagreca’s username.

Police said Lagreca accepted cash payments from patients trying to settle their bills. Between November and June, the amount she entered into the payment system, though, was lower than the amount the patient paid. She pocketed the difference.

Lagreca also changed some patient addresses in the payment system so their outstanding bills would be rerouted to the office rather than the patient’s home, police said. One patient had his $76 balance referred to a debt collection agency because his address was changed.

Police interviewed Lagreca on Wednesday and she admitted to the theft and to forging prescriptions. Wilson noted that Lagreca was “very cooperative” during the investigation.

Lagreca forged eight prescriptions for Percocet between November and July. She forged two prescriptions for amoxicillin between June and July last year, police said.

Lagreca is free on $50,000 unsecured bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. July 26.

Content retrieved from: https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/news/police-former-dickson-city-dental-worker-changed-payment-records-to-steal-cash-1.2361144

Colorado woman admits to embezzling $500,000 from dental office

A 49-year-old Durango woman has been arrested for embezzling an estimated $500,000 from her former employer at a local dentist office over a six-year period.

Robin Bernazzani was booked this week into the La Plata County Jail on felony charges of theft from Dental Associates of the Southwest. She is free on $25,000 bail.

Calls to Bernazzani were not returned. Her attorney, Richard Jaye, also did not return calls seeking comment.

Dental Associates of the Southwest, a group of three or four dentists located at 801 Florida Road, also did not return calls seeking comment. The dentist office’s attorney, Michael McLachlan, said he was unable to comment because the case is actively under investigation.

“Until the investigation is terminated, we do not feel it’s appropriate to comment at this time,” McLachlan said.

According to an arrest affidavit, Bernazzani stole an estimated $500,000 by using methods such as writing checks to herself or using a doctor’s credit cards to pay for personal bills and online shopping.

Durango police issued the arrest warrant Monday.

Court records show Bernazzani and her lawyer went to the dental offices on May 1 to confess she had been embezzling for up to six years.

On May 9, Bernazzani gave McLachlan and the dental office a written confession that explained “why and when she began to embezzle the money,” according to the arrest affidavit. She also took “full responsibility for committing the crime,” the affidavit says.

McLachlan notified Durango police of the situation on May 29.

On May 30, Bernazzani submitted a second confession letter that went into greater detail on how she stole the money, along with a more accurate estimate of how much money she stole.

Among the methods used, Bernazzani would write checks to herself or one of her business accounts by using a signature stamp or forging a dentist’s signature. She would then enter the amount in QuickBooks as an expense to a dental lab or supply company.

Bernazzani also used a dentist’s credit card to pay for personal bills or online shopping, entering her charges as a bulk payment to a dental supply company, the arrest affidavit says.

The affidavit doesn’t say how long Bernazzani worked at the dental office or what her job title was.

Court records show Dental Associates of the Southwest has hired an accounting firm to complete a forensic audit to confirm the loss suffered by the dental office.

Bernazzani was arrested on suspicion of theft between $100,000 and $1 million, a Class 3 felony. Bernazzani also has a Facebook page for her work as a real estate agent.

Bernazzani is out on a $25,000 personal recognizance bond, which means she did not have to post any money to get out of jail but could be ordered to pay the full amount if she violates the terms of her release.

Bernazzani’s attorney, Jaye, filed a motion Thursday to disqualify the District Attorney’s Office, saying District Attorney Christian Champagne is a patient of Dental Associates of the Southwest.

“It goes without saying that neither a prospective juror or a presiding judge would be allowed to sit in this particular matter were they patients of the dentists,” Jaye wrote.

“To lower the bar for the prosecutor seems anomalous, and not in the furtherance of a transparent judicial system.”

Content retrieved from: https://durangoherald.com/articles/231594

Former PA dental office manager charged with theft

A North Strabane Township woman was arraigned Tuesday on theft charges after she allegedly stole more than $68,000 through falsification of pay records while working as an office manager at a Peters Township dental practice.

Heather N. Smith, 43, of 14 Smith Place, was charged by Peters police with theft by deception, receiving stolen property and tampering with records or identification.

Township police were contacted in April about suspected fraud at the office of Leonard Radnor, DMD, 157 Waterdam Road. Radnor and his wife told police they had learned Smith might have been fraudulently inflating her own pay over the last few years.

Through an audit and an extensive review of employee payroll documents, police said it was determined that Smith was claiming work hours that had not been approved and which could not have been reasonably worked.

Smith is accused of improperly claiming holiday hours and sick time, as well as overtime, from 2014 through 2017. Police indicated in court documents holiday and sick time are not offered at the practice.

Unauthorized pay increases also were allegedly identified on Smith’s earnings records. Smith had been responsible for recording her own hours on a time sheet, as well as consolidating hours of all employees on a worksheet. She then reported the hours to the office’s payroll company.

Police allege Smith repeatedly falsified the documents to account for her inflated hours. Some of those documents and records were missing from the office.

Police indicated it was suggested Smith did work at home to account for some or all of the overtime hours, but the Radnors did not believe the work needed to be done remotely. The laptop Smith had available for use outside the office did not have the necessary software to process patient claims, police said.

Smith was arraigned before District Judge Jesse Pettit and released on $68,000 unsecured bond. She is scheduled for a July 10 preliminary hearing before District Judge David Mark.

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Content retrieved from: https://observer-reporter.com/news/localnews/former-peters-dental-office-manager-charged-with-theft/article_3d661e12-7a36-11e8-ae43-2b8fb12ec48b.html

Oklahoma woman pleads guilty to embezzling more than $280,000 from dental office

OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma woman has pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $280,000 from a dental office.

Officials with the United States Department of Justice say Annette M. Straily, of Comanche, pleaded guilty to bank fraud and singing a false federal income tax return in connection with a $283,000 embezzlement scheme from a Duncan dental office.

Officials say on May 24, Straily was charged with one count of bank fraud and one count of filing a false federal income tax return.

From April 2012 until June 2017, Straily worked as the office manager of a dental office in Duncan, Oklahoma.

As part of her job, she prepared checks, paid invoices, managed the accounting system, and maintained the petty cash fund.

Yesterday, officials say Straily pleaded guilty to preparing an unauthorized office check, in the amount of $1,266.80, made payable to herself in February 2017.

Straily reportedly admitted that she forged the signature on the dental office’s check and later presented that check for payment against the dental office’s bank account at a local bank.

As part of her plea, Straily further admitted that she embezzled funds from her former employer from around April 2012 through June 2017.

Straily stipulated in a plea agreement that the total restitution due to the Duncan dental office from the embezzlement scheme is $283,005.11.

In addition to pleading guilty to bank fraud, Straily pleaded guilty to signing a false tax return.

She admitted that on April 13, 2016, she signed a personal federal tax return for the 2015 calendar year that she knew was false because it reported only $49,127 in total income.

At yesterday’s plea hearing, Straily admitted that she omitted on the 2015 return more than $100,000 of embezzled income for that year from the dental office.

As part of her plea agreement, Straily agreed that she owes $54,286 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service for the tax loss.

At sentencing, Straily faces up to 30 years in prison on the bank fraud count, plus five years of supervised release, and a $1,000,000 fine.

Straily also faces up to three years in prison on the tax count, in addition to one year of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.

Straily will be sentenced in approximately 90 days, officials say.

Content retrieved from: http://kfor.com/2018/06/07/oklahoma-woman-pleads-guilty-to-embezzling-more-than-280000-from-dental-office/

Kansas preacher accused of string of crimes against dentists

OVERLAND PARK, KS (KCTV) –

An accused thief who targeted dental offices in Johnson County and elsewhere has been caught by police.

Bruce Byrd appeared in a Johnson County court on Wednesday as he went before a judge to answer to a dozen charges ranging from identity theft to burglary.

 

 

 

He had been on the radar of investigators for a while, accused of targeting the dental offices of Dr. Frank Wolfson at College and Quivira.

Wolfson told KCTV5 News off camera that no one saw a thing when Byrd allegedly walked right through the door, opened the doctor’s briefcase and wallet and left with his credit cards.

He’s accused of charging thousands of dollars worth of merchandise on the card.

Byrd, who’s charged with the same type of crimes near St. Louis, was a preacher before moving to Kansas City.

Copyright 201

Content retrieved from: http://www.kctv5.com/story/38366777/overland-park-preacher-accused-of-string-of-crimes

This is why proper background checking is SO important — California dentist who is ordered not to practice uses identity theft to get hired as an associate

A dentist pleaded no contest Tuesday to felony charges alleging that she performed unnecessary work on several patients in Daly City and then altered a judge’s order and stole someone’s identity to seek other dental jobs during her pending court case, San Mateo County prosecutors said.

Amishi Patel, 43, was a part-time dentist at Campus Heights Dental Care in Daly City, where she performed unnecessary dental work on at least eight patients between April 2014 and May 2015, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

The case came to light when the family of a patient contacted the Dental Board of California, which contacted the state Department of Insurance, which contacted the district attorney’s office about the alleged insurance fraud, Wagstaffe said.

Among the patients was a 16-year-old girl who Patel recommended receive 16 fillings. Patel performed eight of the fillings before the girl’s father became suspicious and took her for a second opinion, prosecutors said.

Three subsequent dentists determined the girl had no signs of cavities, did not need any fillings and said the eight fillings from Patel were so poorly performed that they needed to be replaced, prosecutors said.

Patel was charged this February for the cases in Daly City and a judge ordered her not to practice dentistry as a condition of her release on bail, but investigators eventually learned she had altered the order to make it appear that it had been rescinded days later, prosecutors said.

Content retrieved from: http://www.sfexaminer.com/bay-area-dentist-pleads-no-contest-performing-unnecessary-work-identity-theft/

She used the altered order to get temporary employment as a dentist in Fremont, where she treated four patients.

Patel also called another dentist with a name similar to hers, pretending to be from a dental insurance company, and obtained the dentist’s license number that she then used to apply for several dental jobs in Fremont, including an interview attended by an undercover officer, prosecutors said.

Those cases took place between June and July of this year, Wagstaffe said.

Patel pleaded no contest Tuesday to felony insurance fraud, assault, identity theft and forgery on the condition that she receive a sentence of up to a year in county jail and a referral to mental health court, according to the district attorney’s office.

“She got a very light sentence,” Wagstaffe said of the plea deal, adding that San Mateo County Superior Court Donald Ayoob “had leniency for her because he thinks there are mental issues there.”

Prosecutors had sought a sentence of up to five years in state prison for Patel.

“We think the only mental issue is she’s a fraud,” Wagstaffe said.

The case will return to court on Jan. 12 for an intake conference for the mental health court and to set a sentencing date.

Patel’s defense attorney Jonathan McDougall was not immediately available for comment on the case.

A repeat offender

We previously wrote about Jill D’Angelo, who embezzled more than $475,000, HERE.

However, it appears that not everybody looks at our Hall of Shame, because after spending 41 months in prison, Jill has been at it again.  Here is a recent news article showing what Jill has been up to.  She has now joined an exclusive fraternity known as the Half Million Dollar Club.


A former dental office manager from Pleasant Hills on federal probation after spending 41 months in prison for health care fraud has been at it again, this time using a different name, the FBI says.

Jill Bowser, who had previously been known by her married name, Jill D’Angelo, is charged in U.S. District Court again with embezzlement in connection with a dental practice in Turtle Creek where she worked and forging prescriptions for narcotic painkillers so she could sell the pills.

Bowser, who is in her early 50s, came to the FBI’s attention in January when U.S. probation officers said they were concerned she was forging prescriptions for opioids.

Formerly an office manager of a dental practice in Pleasant Hills, she was convicted of embezzling $475,000 from 2003 to 2010 and was sentenced in 2012 to 41 months behind bars. Since her release in 2014, she’s been using the Bowser name.

In a complaint filed under seal on Tuesday, the FBI said Bowser had been working at a dental office called Steel City Dental Associates in Turtle Creek and had been forging painkiller prescriptions purportedly written by a dentist there identified as “R.K.” The FBI said RK is a dentist at the practice but did not authorize any prescriptions for Bowser.

FBI Agent Ryan Melder said in an affidavit that Bowser also forged the names of other dentists to obtain over 100 prescriptions for painkillers in her name or the names of her relatives and filled them at area pharmacies between 2016 and this year.

Security camera footage shows her at the pharmacies picking up the prescriptions, according to the affidavit.

Agent Melder said he also had the owner of the practice record a conversation with Bowser during which she admitted that she had forged prescriptions and sold the pills “because she needed money.”

The agent said his investigation revealed that Bowser was also diverting checks from insurance companies that were supposed to go to the business bank account but instead went to her own account. From 2016 to January 2018, she deposited 129 checks for about $87,000.

Bowser appeared Tuesday before a federal magistrate judge and waived a detention hearing.

No lawyer was listed for her in court records.

Content retrieved from: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/south/2018/05/02/Jill-Bowser-embezzlement-felon-probation-dental-office-Pittsburgh-Pleasant-Hills/stories/201805020164