Audit: University of Iowa dental college staffer misspent $57,000

IOWA CITY — The University of Iowa has shored up its training and procurement practices after discovering a College of Dentistry administrative specialist amassed $57,313 in improper and unsupported spending on things like bath bombs, essential oils, luggage, iPad and camera equipment, and a canning system.

The Iowa State Auditor’s Office began investigating spending in the college’s Department of Periodontics for the period between Aug. 1, 2012 and Aug. 31, 2016 after UI officials flagged potential improper transactions, according to a report made public Thursday.

The suspect spending involved Amanda Shumaker, hired as the department’s administrative specialist on Aug. 27, 2012. Among her responsibilities, Shumaker bought the college’s books and supplies and arranged travel for staff. She had access to a university procurement card with a spending limit of $10,000 a month and a director Pcard capped at $4,000 a month, according to the audit.

Amid tightening budgets and Board of Regents demands its campuses run more efficiently, UI in 2015 developed a new Shared Services Department focused on trimming administrative costs, minimizing redundancies, improving policy compliance, and reducing errors. That department assigned staff to specific colleges, including the College of Dentistry in June 2016.

During a routine review of purchases in July 2016, Shared Services flagged a mismatch in what Shumaker said she bought and what the vendors said she got. Specifically, Shumaker reported purchasing textbooks but actually bought clothes, according to the audit.

Investigators suspect Shumaker had been doctoring documents to hide her personal use of university money for years.

UI placed her on administrative leave Aug. 1, 2016, and she died at age 34 on Aug. 20, 2016, according to the Scott County Medical Examiner’s Office. No criminal charges were filed against Shumaker before her death, according to online court records.

Based on personal purchases investigators believe Shumaker made in June and July 2016, the university withheld from her payroll and vacation payout $11,246.77. Shumaker’s family after her death launched a GoFundMe page for her three young children’s education. It has raised more than $5,000.

In breaking down the auditor findings, Shumaker is accused of making $52,897.26 improper disbursements and another $4,416.10 unsupported payments, meaning investigators couldn’t determine whether the charges were for personal use or department operations.

Throughout the report, auditors note misspending could have been higher — but verifying documentation didn’t always exist.

Shumaker’s improper purchases included $38,473.86 on Amazon for things like a “premium series” bed pillow, manicure and pedicure sets, kitchen utility spatula set, and gift cards to Starbucks, Nordstrom Rack, and Sur La Table; $5,202.50 on things like a Samsung Nook, magazine subscriptions, books on yoga and beer brewing, and journals from Barnes & Noble; and $9,220.90 on things like iPad accessories and essential oils from vendors like Plant Therapy.

Auditors, in their review, found the university could have done more to prevent the misspending — noting department officials did not always review claims closely. Had they, according to the audit, they would have found repeat purchases of the same book for the same doctor or library; mathematically inaccurate invoices; and other flags of suspicious spending.

Among the state’s recommendations is implementing procedures ensuring sufficient purchase documentation or explanation, allowing thorough supervisor reviews.

“Given the number of documents altered by Ms. Shumaker, the university should require original supporting documentation scanned into the university accounting system be retained for a year,” according to the audit.

Auditors also suggested the university establish and maintain inventory records to ensure proper insurance coverage and safeguard property; conduct periodical equipment inventory checks; and implement procedures to ensure the university disposes of equipment properly — including equipment kept in employee homes.

UI officials in response to Thursday’s audit release — which comes as the campus grapples with state funding cuts that have prompted a tuition hike, pay freeze, construction moratorium, center closures, and layoffs — reported the university ramped up training in budget review and oversight for all department chairs “immediately following the discovery of the unauthorized purchases.”

“The University of Iowa takes seriously its fiduciary responsibility to spend taxpayer and research dollars wisely and has several procedures in place to ensure this happens,” UI spokesman Anne Bassett said in a statement.

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Former Office Manager of Boston Dental Practice Charged with embezzling $348,000


BOSTON – The former office manager of a Boston-based dental practice was charged in an indictment unsealed today in connection with embezzling funds from her former employer.

Yuliya Vaysglus, a/k/a Julia Vaysglus, 35, of Cary, N.C., was charged with eight counts of bank fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft and three counts of filing false tax returns. Vaysglus will appear today in federal court in Boston.

The indictment alleges that from 2009 until she was terminated in February 2015, Vaysglus was the office manager of a Boston-area dental practice. Her responsibilities involved tracking client invoices, depositing insurance payments into the practice’s bank account, and recording those deposits for accounting purposes. Between 2009 and December 2014, it is alleged that Vaysglus misappropriated more than $348,000 from the dental practice by diverting to herself at least 276 checks from various insurance companies for services rendered to patients. As part of the scheme, Vaysglus made the checks payable to herself, forged the owner’s signature on the checks, and deposited them into her bank account. In order to conceal the scheme, Vaysglus did not record the insurance payments in the bookkeeping system. The indictment further alleges that Vaysglus failed to report the embezzled funds on her federal tax returns.

The charge of bank fraud provides for a sentence of no greater than 30 years in prison, five years of supervised release, and a fine of $1 million. The charge of filing a false tax return  provides for a sentence of no greater than three years in prison, one year of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory two-year sentence that must run consecutively to any other sentence, one year of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Joseph W. Cronin, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Boston; and Kristina O’Connell, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations in Boston, made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Victor A. Wild of Lelling’s Economic Crimes Unit is prosecuting the case.

The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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A politically active embezzler — NJ woman charged with embezzling over $400k from dental lab; admits that much of it donated to a local political campaign

A Hamilton woman charged with embezzling money from her employer admitted to authorities that she used some of the stolen funds to make donations to the election campaign of Trenton councilwoman Marge Caldwell-Wilson.

“I’m the victim here,” the councilwoman told this newspaper Tuesday night. “She cleaned me out.”

Yolanda M. Torres, 43, was Caldwell-Wilson’s campaign treasurer who signed off on the North Ward councilwoman’s election reports, according to state records.

Torres is charged with 10 felony counts for allegedly embezzling more than $430,000 from Shu Dental Laboratory, located in Morrisville, Pa., where Torres was hired as a bookkeeper in July 2016.

Caldwell-Wilson said after Tuesday’s council meeting that Torres “cleaned me out” by stealing money from her election account, and that she was the one who reported her campaign treasurer “as soon as I found out.”

“It’s still very upsetting for me because she’s my friend,” the councilwoman said. “She called me ‘mom.’ I feel very sorry for her children and I’m concerned about her family. It’s devastating.”

The councilwoman said the two were so close that she attended a graduation for Torres’ son.

That trust was apparently misplaced, as prosecutors revealed that Torres used more than $21,000 in stolen money to donate to the councilwoman’s campaign fund.

Prosecutors say Torres began issuing unauthorized business checks to herself, her son and other groups almost immediately upon starting the job at Shu Dental.

The unauthorized transfers totaled $439,637.19.

About half of those transactions happened earlier this year when Torres made a series of large transfers from Shu Dental’s business line of credit, prosecutors say.

A review of the company’s accounting logs showed Torres issued 188 unauthorized checks, each fraudulently stamped with the signature of the company’s owner. Investigators say she falsified documentation to make 177 of those expenditures appear legitimate. The other 11 had no supporting documentation, according to prosecutors in the case.

Officials say Torres also gave herself three unauthorized raises, increasing her pay by 50 cents an hour in September 2016 and again by another 50 cents in November 2016. The following June, she gave herself a pay increase of $1 per hour, according to prosecutors who say she collected an additional $6,114 through the wage increases.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, Torres admitted during an interview with detectives from the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office and the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office that she used money from Shu Dental to pay her rent, utilities and her son’s college tuition, as well as to cover other personal expenses.

In addition to the funds donated to Caldwell-Wilson, Torres also admitted she gave $5,553 of stolen money to Friends of Ewing Football. Court documents further state that Torres donated an unspecified amount of stolen money to the Lady Margaret Animal Foundation, which was founded by the councilwoman.

Caldwell-Wilson said her records show that Torres never made donations to the animal foundation, but rather stole money from the account.

“According to my knowledge after sitting down with the bank, I didn’t see any contributions [from Torres] to the foundation. I saw a lot of withdrawals,” Caldwell-Wilson said.

The councilwoman said she had to transfer cash from her personal account to the foundation to keep it active.

“Over a period of two years, Yolanda Torres abused her position of trust at Shu Dental Lab to turn a personal profit and conceal a pattern of theft,” First Assistant District Attorney Gregg Shore said in a written statement. “She used her employer like an open checkbook and ravaged the company’s finances.”

Caldwell-Wilson’s campaign coffers had more than $8,300 in it, according to Torres’ last filing from April.

That report shows Torres refunded herself $2,553 on April 26, writing it was a “reimbursement on CC payment for Royal.”

Torres also donated another $300 on Dec. 17, 2017, to Inaugural 2018 Inc. — which was Gov. Phil Murphy’s inauguration committee — according to state records.

Parikh served as senior counsel for Murphy’s transition team. Murphy’s wife, Tammy, is part of the nonprofit’s board of trustees, records show.

Aside from the lone $2,500 reimbursement, the records do not indicate any other political donations from Torres to Caldwell-Wilson. Political donations are supposed to be reported on election reports, with a maximum individual contribution limit of $2,600.

At-large councilman Jerell Blakeley called that “troubling.”

“I just have one question: How does Marge’s treasurer contribute $20,000 to her campaign without any record of it on Marge’s ELEC reports,” Blakeley said. “Something doesn’t smell right. I look forward to the prosecutor’s investigation of this very troubling news.”

Caldwell-Wilson, a former state social worker originally from Scotland, was re-elected to a third term in June following her convincing runoff win over challenger and perpetual foe Algernon Ward.

Caldwell-Wilson recently came under fire when West Ward councilwoman Robin Vaughn via Facebook called on her to resign from the legislative body over her ties to the Trenton Downtown Association, which was established decades ago when the city created a special improvement district to foster downtown growth.

Vaughn felt it was a conflict of interest for Caldwell-Wilson to sit on TDA’s board of directors. Caldwell-Wilson declined to bow to Vaughn, who was roundly rebuffed by online detractors who felt she was being petty.

Torres is charged with dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities, theft, receiving stolen property, identity theft and crimes related to the illegal use of computers. A Pennsylvania judge set bail at $100,000.

The investigation into the thefts began in July after a client contacted Shu Dental to report an unauthorized $1,316 charge on his business credit card completed by Torres.

The criminal complaint says Torres resigned from the company July 13 after she was questioned about the transaction by the company owner.

As of this time, Torres is only charged by Bucks County prosecutors. A Mercer County investigation is ongoing and the councilwoman is fully cooperating with detectives.

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Police: TX Thief tried using stolen identity to get $45,000 in new teeth in Sugar Land

Help Sugar Land Police take a bite out of crime and identify a man whose smiling face isn’t exactly what it appears to be.

The man, police say, used a stolen identity to try and get $45,000 worth of new teeth.

In late November, he showed up at Smile Texas and was pre-approved by two lenders. According to the dentist’s office, he showed an ID. He filled out the paperwork. He even had X-rays and dental molds made.

“He was eager to get it done quickly,” said Elsa Horn, Smile Texas’ finance coordinator. “No alarms. He had everything set up ahead of time. Our patients can go online ahead of time and be pre-approved for financing.”

But he didn’t show up the day of the surgery. When the dental office tried to contact him, they learned he wasn’t who he said he was.

The best piece of evidence against him, other than his dental records, is his smiling face. Police are hoping this shot helps lead to his arrest.

“We’re hoping to get his picture out, get him on the news, and get him identified,” said Sergeant Matt Levan. “You see him smiling in the picture, and he does need a little bit of work on his teeth. ”

We did reach out the man whose identity was stolen. He did not return our requests for comment.

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NV Couple accused of using woman’s identity to receive dental work

A couple has been charged with identity theft for allegedly using a woman’s personal information to obtain treatment at a dental office in Hillsborough, court documents state. Above is a Sept. 2011 file photo of a man having a cavity filled.

HILLSBOROUGH — A man and his girlfriend are facing identity theft charges after allegedly using his ex-wife’s personal information to receive treatment last year at a Hillsborough dental office, court documents state.

John Turner, 48, and Tina Babich, 47, both with last known addresses in Wildwood, are accused of visiting the dental office between July 10 and 12, 2013, to obtain a root canal for Babich, according to an affidavit filed in Superior Court in Somerville. The couple were charged on Thursday.

At the time, Babich identified herself by Turner’s ex-wife’s name and provided the other woman’s Social Security number, date of birth, insurance information and place of employment, the affidavit states. Turner used his real name, but identified Babich by his ex-wife’s name, the affidavit states.

The dental office performed a partial root canal on Babich, but the ex-wife, who lives in Florida, later told police no one, including Turner, had “her permission or authorization to give her personal information to obtain dental/medical benefits,” the affidavit states.

A witness from the dental office also identified Babich as someone who worked there for about a week several years earlier, the affidavit states.

Authorities have been unable to locate Turner and Babich, according to the affidavit.

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Prosperident bags another one! Office manager pleads no contest to embezzling $400K from Roanoke VA dental practice

Prosperident’s Wendy Askins has put more than her share of embezzlers behind bars.  This week, Wendy’s excellent work resulted in another embezzler going away.  Read on …

A former office manager for a Roanoke orthodontist has pleaded no contest to embezzling more than $400,000 from the business.

Deanna Mache Gray, who now lives in South Carolina, was indicted in November on 10 felony counts of embezzlement from her employer, Dr. Penny Lampros, between 2012 and 2016.

On Tuesday in Roanoke Circuit Court, Gray, 43, pleaded no contest to four of those charges and saw the other six dropped.

According to Roanoke Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Andrew Stephens, Gray worked for Lampros for more than a decade, handling her schedules, billing and other record keeping.

Stephens said that after Gray left the office in December 2016, inconsistencies were found in the financial records that suggested “widespread theft of cash payments” through voided transactions, ultimately prompting an investigation by Virginia State Police.

Each count of embezzlement carries the possibility of up to 20 years in prison, but through Gray’s agreement, prosecutors have said they will ask for a punishment within the sentencing guidelines once those are determined.

She will also be required to pay $421,119 in restitution.

Gray’s defense attorney, Ray Byrd, said in court he believed the amount taken was considerably less than the restitution, but he will not present evidence on his client’s behalf until her sentencing hearing, now set for Jan. 15.

Court records show that Lampros has also filed a civil suit against Gray, seeking $850,000 in compensatory damages and $500,000 in punitive damages. That case is scheduled to go before a jury just a few days after Gray’s sentencing, on Jan. 19.

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Please be careful when hiring a consultant!

Update October 29, 2018:

It appears that this business is using a new name — East Coast Medical and Dental Staffing LLC.  Same website, same phone number.

Original Article:

We are fortunate to work with some excellent consultants.  However, because consulting to dentists is an unregulated profession, there is nothing stopping people with very checkered pasts holding themselves out as consultants.

The woman shown in the picture above, who has used many different names in the past owns a couple of businesses providing services to dentists. However, there is information about her that should make any dentist question the wisdom of hiring her.

The name she is using for business purposes is Kari Swanson.  Some other names that she may have used in the past are Kari Lyn Swanson, L Schukman, Kari Lyn Schuckman, Kari Lynn Swanson, and Kari Schuckman Gomez.

The two companies that she owns are:

  1.  Dental Temp Solutions, located in Virginia, which has a website that looks like this:


2.  The second business is called KLE Dental Jobs.  Its logo looks like this:

It seems that Kari has been in some trouble over the years.  Here are some of the criminal charges that we have identified:

It is questionable whether Kari will be able to carry on her businesses for much longer, because in May 2018 she received a fifty one month federal prison sentence (to be served starting on January 1, 2019) for embezzling from a Virginia dentist.  She was also ordered to repay a six-figure amount at the lofty rate of $150.00 per month.

Her sentencing document is here:

Kari Gomez Sentencing May 2018

However, as alarming as it is that someone with this particular baggage is selling her services to unsuspecting dentists, this conviction was not the only brush with the law for Kari.  A search of Virginia state records revealed a number of other convictions including a least a few that were fraud-related.  Based on the number of names that Ms. Schuckman / Swanson / Gomez has used over the years, it is entirely possible that there is more, but here is what we found:

We asked Kari for her comments but did not receive a response.

Kari is not the only consultant who causes us concern.  Please see this post –

Jury acquits Whitfield Co. woman on theft charges from DSO

On Monday, after a week-long trial, a jury in Whitfield County acquitted a woman who had been charged in 2012 for the theft of $112,000 in cash from a business known as Benevis, also known as Kool Smiles.

Defense Attorney McCracken Poston disputed the fact that McGill stole the cash, but did admit she didn’t deposit the $112,000 over the two-year period in question. He argued before the jury that the same amount the state claimed was stolen by McGill as a “fiduciary” of the company had been applied to an “intensive incentives program” for the office and its employees.

Poston countered that McGill was instructed by the then Chief Operating Officer of Kool Smiles, as well as her then District Manager who performed quarterly audits, to utilize the cash for what he described to the jury as “An ‘intensive incentive program’ that made the office operate at a frenetic pace to drive up the sales of Medicaid-billed services”.

Poston said of the almost constant contests, incentives and recognitions in this period of time at the Dalton office, that “the place was operating like something between a game show and a sweatshop. ”

Poston said “Creature comforts were purchased and brought into the office for the benefit of the employees, including iPods, a popcorn machine, exercise equipment, visits from a masseuse. and a seemingly never-ending series of contests and prizes for the top performing employees. or for the office as a whole, as its Medicaid sales numbers went up.” Poston said daily prizes included cash awards for employees who met and surpassed sales performance goals, and evidence was provided of the practice in the form of a receipt from a winning employee.

“This was all going gangbusters. until the United States Senate Finance Committee began to make inquiries of the practices of these dental chains, including specifically Kool Smiles, of using incentives to drive sales of Medicaid-billed services.” Poston continued, “And then an expose’ by the PBS series ‘Frontline’ was being produced.’

Poston added “Evidence came out in the trial that the company, worried that employees would use their cell phones to become whistleblowers, went so far as to create daily incentives for locking up employee cell phones during work hours”.

Poston said that evidence was given at the trial that a box of the receipts for all of the items bought with the cash that would have proven his client’s innocence was removed from the building “without warning, and then two large men in dark suits who claimed to be from a security company hired by former Kool Smiles COO Bill Brigham showed up on February 1.”

Poston said one of the men, Robert Strickland from Strickland Security and Safèty Systems, Inc., of Atlanta, was “wearing an “NFL ring” which he spun around in McGill’s face as Strickland interrogated her with his colleague, Raymond Glaze.

Poston says McGill, who was five months pregnant at the time, was told by the men that unless she cooperated, she “would have her baby in prison and never see it again.”

McGill testified at trial that one of the men wrote out a statement for her to sign, and she signed it to get away from them. Poston says it was proven at trial that many of the things handwritten on the so-called confession we’re patently not true, but McGill ‘Was told to write it and she complied. An example of this is the written “explanation” for the crime, that her husband was laid off from work and that she had taken a pay cut to take the job. Poston said it was proven to trial that neither of these things were true, and put up expert witness Dr. Gregory DeClue, a forensic psychologist who had tested McGill and found her to be among an “extremely suggestible” personality type.

Dr. DeClue also testified about modern interrogation methods and training that ensure against false confessions, noting the lack of any recording of the contact between the men and Poston’s client.

“Strickland has claimed in multiple social media sites that he spent three years playing in the National Football League,” Poston said, ‘nd so much of his work as a bodyguard involved intimidation. ” Poston added, “When I confronted him in cross-examination with the team rosters from the Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings and New York Jets from 1983-1985, Strickland had to admit on the witness stand that he was not on them and had never played a single game in the NFL. ”

Poston said that it also came out in the trial from the then Human Resources director of Kool Smiles that she had not been the one who called Strickland’s company to interrogate her employee. but that they were called in bv then COO Bill Brigham.

Poston said, “All the jury had to do ‘was connect the dots on the timeline. As long as things were going well, the fict that 45 of 52 weekly deposits in a year did not make it to the bank was no problem. It was all getting poured back into the company and was ensuring high Medicaid billings. When the United States Senate inquiry turned toward Kool Smiles, Jennifer McGill went from being a company asset to its greatest liability. Sending Strickland and Glaze to coerce a false confession out of her could give the company an explanation for the absence of over $ ] 12,000.00, an excuse that would fill a large hole on the books that could have been questioned in a potential Medicaid fraud investigation.’

After the week-long trial, the jury found McGill not guilty after four hours of deliberations.

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Former KY bookkeeper faces more charges in dental office theft

A bookkeeper accused of taking more than $17,000 from a local dentist office faces additional charges.

Jennifer Rose Priddy, 30, of Elizabethtown, a former employee of Dr. Douglas L. Baumgardner, was indicted by a LaRue County grand jury in January on one count of theft by unlawful taking.

Aaron Gabhart, a detective with Kentucky State Police, was given the opportunity in September 2009 to testify about the circumstances leading to the charge. In the preliminary hearing, he said an investigation uncovered several instances of deposit slips not matching daily receipts, discounts manually entered on a computerized bookkeeping system when cash receipts were involved and funds transferred between patient accounts without sufficient documentation.

The inaccuracies, dating from March 2005 through June 2008, were discovered when “a large number of unprocessed claims” surfaced and the accounts were reviewed, according to Gabhart.

According to court records, about $50,000 had not been billed through accounts receivable and a total of $17,032.42 was unaccounted for through deposit records.

Gabhart said two employees were working at the dental office during the time and Priddy was the only one with access to the bookkeeping system and responsible for bank deposits.

On July 19, a grand jury heard additional evidence and charged Priddy with theft by deception, over $300, and complicity. She is accused of acting alone or in concert with Eric D. Bradley, 23, of unlawfully obtaining property or services of another “by creating or reinforcing a false impression.”

Bradley, of Eastview, was indicted on the same charges.

Court documents indicate that Bradley – a relative of Priddy’s – was a patient of Baumgardner’s. Bradley is accused of not paying for dental services valued at more than $500. Priddy is accused of diverting payments from other patients’ accounts to cover Bradley’s bill.

Priddy’s bond is set at $9,500 unsecured on condition that she have no contact with the dental office or Bradley.

Bradley’s bond is $5,000 cash only on condition that he have no contact with the alleged victim or Priddy.

They were arraigned Monday in LaRue Circuit Court.

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Worker accused of stealing $25,000 from Missouri dentist’s office

SUNSET HILLS • A woman who worked at a pediatric dental practice fraudulently sent refunds to credit cards she owned, stealing a total of $25,473.97, according to a charge filed Friday.

Sandra Howell, 49, stole the money between Jan. 1, 2017, and Tuesday from Pediatric Dentistry of Sunset Hills on Sunset Office Drive. Howell has now been charged in St. Louis County Circuit Court with one count of stealing $25,000 or more.

According to court documents, she confessed to her employer and then to police, admitting to fraudulently crediting the refunds to four credit cards belonging to her. She said she stole the money to pay medical bills.
Howell’s bail was set at $25,000.