Office manager at Flushing, NY dental firm busted for pocketing $35K in insurance checks

Law enforcement agents extracted a former Flushing dental office manager and hauled her to court on charges that she allegedly stole thousands in insurance payments to the clinic.

Prosecutors said that Manhattan’s Katerin Rochet, 37, was picked up on Jan. 9 on a nine-count indictment charging her with third-degree grand larceny, first-degree falsifying business records, criminal possession of a forged instrument and identity theft.

According to Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown, Rochet allegedly stole more than $35,000 in insurance payments made to the Flushing Dental Group, located at 39-01 Main St., where she worked as an office manager.

“[She] used her position to steal from the people who gave her a job,” Brown said in a Jan. 10 press release. “In deliberate acts of deception, the defendant is accused of opening several bank accounts in the dental office’s name — posing as the president of the office — and then swiped the insurance checks that were intended for the dental practice. This kind of brazen thievery will not be tolerated.”

Brown said the theft took place between January and May 2017, while Rochet was employed by Flushing Dental Group. She allegedly forged an official record from the Department of State’s Division of Corporations with the office president’s name, then used it to open several bank accounts.

Within a few months, authorities said, Rochet allegedly collected more than $35,000 in insurance checks intended for Flushing Dental Group. She allegedly deposited the checks into the accounts that she opened, then funneled the money into a bank account that her mother owned.

The scheme was unraveled through an investigation by the NYPD Queens District Attorney’s Detective Squad.

At her Jan. 9 arraignment, Rochet was ordered held on $25,000 bail and to return to court on March 14. She faces between 3 1/2 and 7 years behind bars if convicted.

Content retrieved from: https://qns.com/story/2019/01/11/office-manager-at-flushing-dental-firm-busted-for-pocketing-35k-in-insurance-checks/

North Carolina dental office employee charged with insurance fraud, embezzlement

RALEIGH — North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey today announced the arrest of Margarita Alejo, 38, of 2500 Carver St., Durham. Alejo is charged with insurance fraud, obtaining property by false pretense, and embezzlement, all felonies.

Special Agents with the Department of Insurance’s Criminal Investigations Division accuse Alejo of manipulating claims with Cigna on a patient, falsifying patient records, opening unauthorized accounts and obtaining approximately $15,000 from patients of Harmony Family Dentistry in Durham. According to the arrest warrant, she did this while working as a front desk employee between November 2017 and May 2018.

Durham police arrested Alejo on Dec. 21, 2018. She was given a $15,000 unsecured bond.

Insurance fraud costs American consumers approximately $80 billion dollars a year. According to Commissioner Causey, fraud costs North Carolinians between 15 and 20 cents of every dollar paid on insurance premiums — and it’s getting worse.

“I am determined to stem the tide of insurance fraud in this state in order to save residents money,” said Commissioner Causey. “That’s why I am dedicated to the mission of our NCDOI law enforcement officers who investigate and prosecute claims of insurance and bail bonding fraud.”

Content retrieved from: http://www.ncdoi.com/media/news2/year/2019/010919c.asp

Feds: Vermont Dental Employees Stole Money, Obtained Drugs

Tammy Laroque and Lindsey Cox

SWANTON: Federal Law Enforcement Officers arrested two local women in connection with stolen prescription pads and money from a local dental office.

According to court records, Agents arrested Lindsey Cox of Swanton on December 4th. Tammy Larocque of St. Albans was arrested the same day.

Both women are accused of obtaining oxycodone by way of fraud.

In addition, Lindsay Cox is also accused of a second count of obtaining fraudulent oxycodone, as well as one count of embezzlement.


Editor’s note — Lindsey Cox has apparently done this before — please see http://archive.tcpalm.com/news/st-lucie-county-pharmacy-tech-charged-with-stealing-almost-12000-pain-pills-ep-382466243-343196772.html?fbclid=IwAR0DJPS7SJzqQCNuG26Fm9m4w2DB3-1GquWNxUjh0nM92KS-zydyyXfKGDE

Clearly the dental office was unaware of this prior conviction.


The County Courier is the first news agency to report on this case.

Federal court records did not indicate how much money was missing, or the quantity of oxycodone the pair is accused of aquiring.

The pair worked at RVI Dental Center in St. Albans, according to court records.

Few details were available in the case, but the indictment for the pair indicated that the offenses dated back to at least May of 2016 and were not discovered until at least August of 2017.

According to the court records, Cox and Larocque were creating fake prescriptions by forging the signature of the doctor and filling the prescriptions at local pharmacies.

Prosecutors indicated in the indictment that there may be other people who helped with them to illegally obtain the drugs. It is unclear if more people will be charged in connection with these defendants.

It’s possible that others could be implicated and prosecuted in the course of the investigation and prosecution of these alleged crimes as prosecutors wrote

The case is being prosecuted by the Federal Prosecutor’s office in Burlington.

Both women were released on conditions, including that they do not discuss the case with anyone who may be a witness to the alleged crimes. They also must maintain or actively seek employment. Additionally, the women are prohibited from consuming drugs or alcohol while out on release.

Larocque is being represented by Robert Katims. Cox is being represented by the Federal Public Defender’s office.

Content retrieved from: http://countycourier.net/2018/12/feds-dental-employees-stole-money-drugs/

Bond set for Indiana Dental Office Manager accused of bilking Medicaid out of $365,527

Justyn Arch

VALPARAISO — After having spent the last several days behind bars, Justyn Arch was given the chance Wednesday morning to bond out of jail while awaiting trial on a charge of bilking Medicaid out of $365,527.

The 32-year-old made an initial court appearance from the jail via a video conferencing system on the single felony count of Medicaid fraud.

Porter Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Clymer entered pleas of not guilty on Arch’s behalf and set bond at $2,500 cash.

A trial was set for March 18, with preliminary hearings Dec. 14 and Jan. 25.

Arch was represented in court by defense attorney Bob Harper and the short hearing attracted a group of onlookers.

Arch was working as an office manager at the Crown Point location of Arch Complete Family Dentistry when he repeatedly billed the government assistance program for a type of surgery never performed by the dental practice, according to an investigator with the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit in the Indiana attorney general’s office.

The dental practice was based in Chesterton and briefly had an office in Knox.

The billings were filed on behalf of 171 Medicaid recipients between Feb. 17, 2015, and Sept. 13, 2017, according to court documents.

They involve osseous surgery, which is “rarely performed by general practitioners,” and is a particularly invasive procedure “performed to bone and overlying tissues of the teeth to gain access to the diseased root and bone area, to remove bacteria and infected gums, and to reduce pocketing.”

The charging document includes a list of patients, who said they never had the surgery done or were not even patients of Arch Complete Family Dentistry.

A dentist, who used to work for Arch Complete Family Dentistry, reportedly told investigators that he never performed the surgery in question or saw it performed at the practice. The dentist said he was aware of the fraudulent claims submitted by Arch claiming he provided services he did not, which led to his decision to leave the practice, according to charging information.

Other employees also said they never saw the osseous surgery performed at the practice.

Arch had been in the same courtroom nearly three years earlier when he testified he had nothing to do with the Jan. 16, 2015, shooting death of 23-year-old Melinda Lindsey in the same house he now lives along Ind. 149 in Portage Township.

Arch had owned the house at the time of the murder and testified during the trial of Melinda’s husband Steven Lindsey, who was found guilty and sentenced in April 2016 to 55 years behind bars.

Content retrieved from: https://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/bond-set-for-portage-area-man-accused-of-bilking-medicaid/article_2cee0e28-6225-546a-9fca-b89a84d98c4c.html

Prosperident catches another one — Colorado embezzler arrested

Layla Masset
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This brief paragraph in the Pueblo, Colorado Chieftain tells the story of another embezzler caught by Prosperident:

Layla Masset, 45, of North Carolina, was arrested Thursday on suspicion of theft in an amount between $20,000 and $100,000. She was being held at jail in lieu of $5,000 bail.

(source: https://www.chieftain.com/0cee9fd4-9791-11e8-9c42-af77a5262cf4.html)

The work of Prosperident Senior Investigator Mindy Salzman was responsible for this one.  Great job, Mindy!

Oklahoma dental employee charged with stealing patients’ credit card info

A former Midwest City (Okla.) Family Dentistry employee was charged with stealing patients’ credit card information to pay court and phone bills, according to KFOR.

Here are six things to know:

1. The Oklahoma Board of Dentistry began investigating after an initial complaint from Midwest City Family Dentistry that an employee was potentially stealing patients’ credit care information.

2. Investigators found the former employee may have stolen patient’s credit card information during her time as an office worker at Gentle Family Dentistry in Norman, Calif.

3. According to court documents, she used the dentist’s credit card to pay her family’s court fees and made phone bill payments while at Gentle Family Dentistry.

4. Court documents also allege the former Gentle Family Dentistry employee stole patient information and made two $500 charges to a California bill-pay service.

5. The former employee has prior convictions, including concealing stolen property, false personation, uttering bogus checks and uttering false instruments.

6. A warrant is out for her arrest. She is charged with embezzlement and identity theft.

content retrieved from: https://www.beckersdental.com/dentists/34017-oklahoma-dental-employee-charged-for-stealing-patient-s-credit-card-info-6-things-to-know.html

Can you believe it? Two nuns are accused of embezzling $500k from a church school

We encounter many dentists who believe that their practice is “safe” from embezzlement.  These dentists often point to situational factors that they believe protect their practices from being embezzled.  Some of the factors that we hear are that:

  • Staff have been with me for a long time
  • I pay my staff really well
  • I totally trust my team
  • My office manager is very religious

While the prospect of being embezzled is unsettling and we all want to be able to convince ourselves that it can’t possibly be happening in our practice, the statistics suggest otherwise.  More than two thirds of all practices will eventually be embezzled, and embezzlement is often perpetrated by long-term, trusted employees.

Evolutionarily, one of the reasons that mankind has survived is that every human is capable of dishonest acts when subjected to sufficient pressure.  Clearly, some people will tumble into breaking the rules relatively easily whereas others will require a much more dire set of circumstances to act dishonestly.

The following story shows how people who the conventional wisdom would suggest would never embezzle have done so.  So let’s not make the mistake of assuming that personal characteristics offer some kind of immunity from embezzlement.


Nuns embezzle ‘substantial’ amount of funds from church school, monsignor says

(CNN)Two nuns misappropriated “substantial amounts” of funds from a Catholic school in Southern California for their own use, the monsignor of St. James Catholic Church said in a letter to parishioners.

An internal investigation found that over several years, Sister Mary Margaret Kreuper and Sister Lana Chang used funds set aside for St. James Catholic School, Monsignor Michael Meyers said in the letter.
CNN has been unable to reach the women by phone or by email for comment.
Sister Mary Margaret retired in June after 28 years as principal of the K-8 school, which serves students from Torrance and Redondo Beach. A routine audit upon her retirement raised “several red flags” of “checks being cashed into different accounts,” said Adrian Alarcon, director of media relations for the Los Angeles Archdiocese. The amount is thought to be in the range of $500,000, but an investigation is underway to determine the full amount, Alarcon said.
Sister Lana was an eighth grade teacher at the school who retired this year, too, after 20 years, CNN affiliate KABC reported.
The church and archdiocese chose not to press for criminal charges against the sisters, Meyers said. Instead, they plan to “address the situation internally through the investigation, restitution and sanctions on the sisters.”
“Sister Mary Margaret and Sister Lana have expressed to me and asked that I convey to you, the deep remorse they each feel for their actions and ask for your forgiveness and prayers,” Meyers wrote in the letter. “They and their Order pray that you have not lost trust or faith in the educators and administrators of the school.”
No one else was implicated in the alleged theft, the letter reads. The sisters’ order, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, is working with the Los Angeles Archdiocese to “arrange for full restitution for the benefit of the School of the funds that are found to have been misappropriated,” the letter reads.
The nuns are still with the order, which has promised the Archdiocese sanctions in a form to be determined, Alarcon.
The order said on its website that the sisters “confirmed the misappropriation of funds and have cooperated in the investigation.”
“Our community is concerned and saddened by this situation and regret any injury to our long relationship with the families of the school. The Sisters of St. Joseph both desire and intend to make complete restitution to St. James School.”
The monsignor’s letter reads: “I want to assure you that the investigation has disclosed that, notwithstanding this misappropriation, no student or program at St. James has suffered any loss of educational resources, opportunities, or innovations. In sum, the education of your children has not and will not be affected by these events.
“At our School, we have initiated additional procedures and oversight policies for financial management and reporting responsibilities. I appreciate the efforts of the School staff to date and will continue to work with them directly on these issues.”

Illinois Bookkeeper charged with stealing $400,000 from dental office; bail set at $300k

Bail has been set at $300,000 for a Crest Hill woman charged with stealing more than $400,000 from the Hinsdale dental office where she worked part time, according to a news release from the DuPage County state’s attorney’s office.

Roxana Dusanek, of 1300 block of Harvest Drive, worked as a bookkeeper at the dental office and, using a stamp of her employer’s signature, wrote hundreds of fake checks out to her and her business, IMC Services Group, according to the release.

The 56-year-old Dusanek also sent payments from her employer’s bank account to the bank account of her business, the release said.

The thefts took place over a span of three years, from February 2014 to June 2017, until authorities at the dental office uncovered them and contacted the Hinsdale Police Department, according to the release.

Dusanek has been charged with two counts of theft in excess of $100,000, one count of continuing financial crimes enterprise and six counts of forgery. Her next court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 19.

Content retrieved from:  https://www.dailyherald.com/news/20181206/bail-set-for-woman-accused-of-stealing-more-than-400k-from-dental-office

Former South Dakota Bookkeeper Accused Of Embezzling From Dental Offices


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – A former bookkeeper at two Sioux Falls dental offices is accused of embezzling more than $100,000 in seven years. Cheryl Callies faces up to 15 years in prison, and two counts of grand theft embezzlement. She made her first appearance in Minnehaha County Court on Thursday. Court documents detail how authorities allegedly caught Callies, and a key reason may have been a change in ownership where she worked.

Callies has worked for two dental offices in the same location. 10th Street Dental used to be Montoya Dental Office, before owner Thomas Montoya sold it in February.

In June, Montoya reported Callies, his bookkeeper of 40 years, and accused her of embezzling more than $121,750. Court papers say a financial report found several payment discrepancies from 2011 to 2018.

According to court papers, Callies’s legal troubles started a month before Montoya’s claims and with a much smaller amount of money. In May, a 10th Street Dental employee allegedly noticed a missing $100 cash payment for a dental exam. That employee discovered someone was manipulating cash and check payments. Callies is accused of embezzling more than $8,400 from 10th Street Dental.

Callies allegedly admitted to adjusting payment records at both businesses. She allegedly told investigators she would accept cash payments, change the entry in the software system, remove the money from the nightly deposits, and later adjust the daily financial report so it matched payments and receipts.

According to investigators, the deleted transaction records show an employee login initials for each transaction. The initials “CC” were listed in the “deleted by” column for these alleged manipulated transactions.

In the court papers, Callies allegedly told investigators she was stealing money for video lottery, and because of “payday loans and loneliness.” She also claims she and Dr. Montoya had an understanding she wouldn’t have to charge her family for dental visits.

Content retrieved from: https://www.keloland.com/news/local-news/former-bookkeeper-accused-of-embezzling-from-dental-offices/1627651585

Florida man uses identity theft to obtain $41,000 of dental implants

Timothy Powell, 52, of Plantation, FL, has new $41,000 teeth and an almost $10,000 dog.

He paid for none of it.

One of his victims, a man by the name of Harry Brenner, suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, police said.

The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said Powell used stolen identification to rack up the fraudulent charges for the teeth implants and the pet.

He applied for credit to get his teeth fixed through the Friedman Dental Group and filled out credit card applications Aug. 1, according to court documents.

Powell produced a fake Connecticut driver’s license with the name Harry Brenner. He also provided Brenner’s social security number.

The credit applications were approved, and Powell received dental implants during three appointments from Aug. 2 to Aug. 9, documents show. The implants were not completed and some of his teeth were only temporary, he said.

In total, the procedure costed $41,154.01.

Shortly after, Brenner, who lives in DeBary, FL, began receiving bills from the dental company and alerted police.

Investigators with the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office contacted the Friedman Dental Group and later identified Powell as a suspect through fingerprints from his applications.

Police later found out that Powell used Brenner’s identity to purchase a French bulldog for $9,958.69 from Petland in Plantation, FL.

Powell told police he was given Brenner’s information by a man named “Rico,” who also provided him with the fake driver’s license.

He said Rico encouraged him to get his teeth fixed at the Friedman Dental Group and drove him to and from the place. Rico told him that if he got his teeth fixed, he’d “look better for conducting fraudulent transactions at other locations in Florida.”

Investigators received photos from the dental company showing Powell with damaged and rotting teeth.

He said that Rico got Brenner’s information from the “dark web.”

Powell also fraudulently withdrew $9,650 from a bank in Daytona Beach, FL, on Sept. 27, using the name “Larry Gene Kelly,” according to the Daytona Beach Police Department.

He told authorities that he purchased Kelly’s identification from an “unknown male” for $100.

Powell is charged with grand theft, using ID without consent and false report of a crime. He is also charged with unauthorized possession of a driver’s license and fraudulent use of personal identification, among other charges.

Content retrieved from: https://www.wsfa.com/2018/11/21/florida-man-uses-fake-id-steals-k-dental-implants-k-french-bulldog/