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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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.”