Not one you see every day — California dentist has his LAWN stolen

When you go to the dentist, you might have a number of things extracted … molars, wisdom teeth, and, of course, your dignity, when the novocaine shot makes its first appearance.  However, there’s probably one thing you wouldn’t expect to see yanked out at a dental office … the lawn.

That’s right, I said the lawn. As in the thing children play on, dogs lie on and trashy people park on.

The lawn.

But that’s exactly what happened to one Southern California mom and pop dental office — because, you see, in Crime-afornia, not even our government-subsided plastic grass is safe from the barbarians at the gate.

Recently, the Hometown dental office in Hesperia had its artificial grass stolen after someone came in the middle of the day and measured it before sending a crew of people to lift it over the weekend.

Kara Sweeney, the office director and wife of the dentist, James A. Sweeney, DDS, told me that the timing of the theft came as a particular punch to the gut, because it happened at the same time that the couple were pouring their savings into renovations to improve their family business.

“Our office manager saw it and assumed that I asked him to come out [and measure the grass] as part of the renovations we were doing. Then that weekend a neighbor across the street saw three men pulling the grass up. Apparently a police officer stopped them with a pedestrian check and one of them took off into the desert. The police officer shooed them away, I guess, but they returned that evening to finish stealing the grass! I guess they already had their measurements and knew it would be the piece for their project.  We reported it to the police and I am hoping the pedestrian check helps them find who did it,” Sweeney explained.

Apparently, “taking off into the desert” after being confronted by the cops didn’t raise enough red flags to prompt further questioning. But with Propositions 47, 57 and AB 109 essentially giving criminals a free pass for crimes exactly like this, I guess you can’t really blame the police. They have bigger fish to fry than chasing “John Wilkes Tooth” through the Mojave Desert over some stolen Astroturf.

I asked Sweeney if she had any evidence that might be helpful for the police. She told me, “We did have cameras and they came and stole them too. We actually watched the man climb the ladder and snip the wire … that being said we are putting better new ones in and hopefully it will deter people. It’s an older neighborhood but doesn’t seem particularly scary to me or anything like that. It’s sad. I feel like with all the effort they should just get a real job … I think they would sleep better at night.”

Hopefully they will soon get in touch with the neighbor, and she’ll give them the tooth, the whole tooth, and nothing but the tooth, so these thieves can be brought to justice.When I asked Sweeney what she plans on doing to pretty up the barren eyesore that now sits in front of her office, she said that part is still unclear. “We’re going back and forth on whether to file an insurance claim or not on the grass. We’re not even sure if it’s covered, to be honest with you. We got a quote for fixing our landscaping, not even replacing the grass because it’s so expensive, and it’s over $10,000. So that part is the part that makes me frustrated the most, of course,” she fretted.

That’s modern day California in a nutshell, for you — emboldened criminals take what they want with complete impunity, and law-abiding taxpayers get kicked in the grass.

Content retrieved from:  https://www.ocregister.com/2018/09/05/in-crime-afornia-thieves-are-stealing-artificial-lawns-while-citizens-get-kicked-in-the-grass/

 

Another Maryland woman indicted for embezzlement

What is is about Maryland these days?  We seem to be seeing an unusual number of embezzlement matters there.

Our next “subject” is Cherie Tracey-Shreve, who sometimes goes by Cherie Shreve.  Interestingly, it appears that she knows another Maryland embezzler, Kristi Heffington (read about Kristi HERE).

Cherie was recently indicted in Maryland.  Here is the text of the indictment:


STATE OF MARYLAND, Prince George’s County, to wit:

COUNT 1
THE GRAND JURORS OF THE STATE OF MARYLAND FOR THE BODY OF PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY ON THEIR OATH DO PRESENT THAT CHERIE LYNN SHREVE, BETWEEN THE DATES OF DECEMBER 4, 2014, AND DECEMBER 19, 2014, DID PRESENT, CAUSE TO BE PRESENTED AND ASSITED IN THE PRESENTATION TO CAREFIRST BLUECROSS BLUESHIELD, AN INSURER, DOCUMENTS AND STATEMENTS MADE IN SUPPORT OF A CLAIM WITH A VALUE GREATER THAN $300 KNOWING THAT THE DOCUMENTS AND STATEMENTS CONTAINED FALSE INFORMATION ABOUT A MATTER MATERIAL TO THE CLAIM, IN VIOLATION OF 27-403 OF THE INSURANCE ARTICLE, AGAINST THE PEACE, GOVERNMENT AND DIGNITY OF THE STATE. (FALSE/MISLEADING INFO FRAUD -$300)

COUNT 2
THE GRAND JURORS OF THE STATE OF MARYLAND FOR THE BODY OF PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY ON THEIR OATH DO PRESENT THAT CHERIE LYNN SHREVE, BETWEEN DECEMBER 4, 2014, AND MARCH 30, 2015, DID CONSPIRE WITH KRISTI HEFFINGTON TO COMMIT INSURANCE FRAUD, AND MORE SPECIFICALLY TO PREPARE FALSE DOCUMENTS AND STATEMENTS TO BE PRESENTED TO CAREFIRST BLUECROSS BLUESHIELD IN REGARDS TO CLAIMS FOR DENTAL BENEFITS WITH A VALUE GREATER THAN $300, IN VIOLATION OF THE COMMON LAW OF THE STATE OF MARYLAND, AGAINST THE PEACE, GOVERNMENT AND DIGNITY OF THE STATE. (CONSPIRE TO COMMIT INSURANCE FRAUD)

COUNT 3
THE GRAND JURORS OF THE STATE OF MARYLAND FOR THE BODY OF PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY ON THEIR OATH DO PRESENT THAT CHERIE LYNN SHREVE, BETWEEN THE DATES OF DECEMBER 4, 2014, AND FEBRUARY 4, 2015, PURSUANT TO ONE SCHEME AND CONTINUING COURSE OF CONDUCT, CONSPIRE WITH KRISTI HEFFINGTON TO STEAL CURRENCY OF CAREFIRST BLUECROSS BLUESHIELD HAVING A VALUE OF AT LEAST $10,000 BUT LESS THAN $100,000, IN VIOLATION OF CR 7-104 OF THE ANNOTATED CODE OF MARYLAND, AGAINST THE PEACE, GOVERNMENT AND DIGNITY OF THE STATE. (CONSPIRE – THEFT-SCHEME: $10,000 TO UNDER $100,000)

COUNT 4
THE GRAND JURORS OF THE STATE OF MARYLAND FOR THE BODY OF PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY ON THEIR OATH DO PRESENT THAT CHERIE LYNN SHREVE ON OR ABOUT THE 19th DAY OF DECEMBER, 2014, DID FORGE, CAUSE TO BE FORGED AND AIDED AND ASSISTED IN THE FORGING OF THE ELECTRONIC SIGNATURE OF DR. RONALD MOSER ON A CLAIM PRESENTED TO CAREFIRST BLUECROSS BLUESHIELD IN VIOLATION OF THE COMMON LAW OF THE STATE OF MARYLAND, AGAINST THE PEACE, GOVERNMENT AND DIGNITY OF THE STATE. (FORGERY)

COUNT 5
THE GRAND JURORS OF THE STATE OF MARYLAND FOR THE BODY OF PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY ON THEIR OATH DO PRESENT THAT CHERIE LYNN SHREVE ON OR ABOUT THE 19TH DAY OF DECEMBER, 2014, DID UTTER AND PUBLISH AND ASSIST IN THE UTTERING AND PUBLISHING OF A FORGED SIGNATURE OF DR. RONALD MOSER ON A CLAIM SUBMITTED TO CAREFIRST BLUECROSS BLUESHIELD IN VIOLATION OF THE COMMON LAW OF THE STATE OF MARYLAND, AGAINST THE PEACE, GOVERNMENT AND DIGNITY OF THE STATE. (UTTERING A FORGED INSTRUMENT)

COUNT 6
THE GRAND JURORS OF THE STATE OF MARYLAND FOR THE BODY OF PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY ON THEIR OATH DO PRESENT THAT CHERIE LYNN SHREVE ON OR ABOUT THE 19th DAY OF DECEMBER, 2014, DID ASSUME THE IDENTITY OF DR. RONALD MOSER TO FILE CLAIM WITH CAREFIRST BLUECROSS BLUESHIELD, IN VIOLATION OF 8 -301 OF THE CRIMINAL LAW ARTICLE OF THE ANNOTATED CODE OF MARYLAND, AGAINST THE PEACE, GOVERNMENT AND DIGNITY OF THE STATE. (ASSUMING IDENTITY OF ANOTHER)

COUNT 7
THE GRAND JURORS OF THE STATE OF MARYLAND FOR THE BODY OF PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY ON THEIR OATH DO PRESENT THAT CHERIE LYNN SHREVE ON OR ABOUT THE 22nd DAY OF DECEMBER, 2014, DID STEAL CURRENY OF CAREFIRST BLUECROSS BLUESHIELD HAVING A VALUE OF LESS THAN $1,000 IN VIOLATION OF CR 7-104 OF THE ANNOTATED CODE OF MARYLAND, AGAINST THE PEACE, GOVERNMENT AND DIGNITY OF THE STATE. (THEFT: LESS $1,000 VALUE)

____________________________________
ASSISTANT STATE’S ATTORNEY FOR
PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, MARYLAND

Former OKC surgical center employee, facing embezzlement charges, suspected in more patient thefts

OKLAHOMA CITY – A former surgical center employee, charged earlier this year with embezzling a patient’s refund, is suspected of doing the same to more than 30 other patients to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars, according to recently filed court records.

Erin Marie Bokemper, 31, of Midwest City, was charged in March with felony embezzlement and computer crimes after a patient at Oral and Maxillofacial Associates, 3601 NW 138th St., reported she never received her $1,000 refund after backing out of a planned procedure.

“A patient had contacted them and said they were supposed to be refunded a certain amount of money and for whatever reason the money didn’t make it to the patient,” said Oklahoma City police spokesperson Officer Megan Morgan. “They discovered that the employee had set it up to where that money was sent to her personal account, rather than to the patient.”

Bokemper, who was employed as a customer service representative, is scheduled to appear in Oklahoma County court in that case next month. However, new search warrant filings and police records show Bokemper’s alleged diversion of patient dollars extends beyond just the one patient and $1,000.

On June 1, OMA called police to report that an audit the company conducted found that between October 2016 and September 2017, Bokemper allegedly took more than $24,000 from 34 patients accounts and credited the funds to two credit cards, according to police reports and two search warrants filed this week.

“This same employee had done this, multiple times and that it was possible up to $24,000 worth of money had been embezzled by this employee,” Morgan said.

Calls to Bokemper’s attorney went unreturned. An employee at OMA told News 4 it is not commenting.

Content retrieved from: https://kfor.com/2018/07/20/former-surgical-center-employee-facing-embezzlement-charges-suspected-in-more-patient-thefts/


Erin has a previous record, including a string of 2016 felony charges from embezzlement.

First and Last Name
Erin Marie Bokemper
Offense
Jun. 1, 2016
Source
Admin Office Of Courts (Oklahoma)
Charges/Offenses
Embezzlement (Emb) | Using a Computer Network for The Purpose of Obtaining Money and Other Things of Value by Use of a FA | Compu, Using a Computer Network for The Purpose of Obtaining Money and Other Things of Value by Use of a False and Fraudulent Representation, in Violation of 21 O.s. 1951 – 1981 | Emb, Embezzlement, in Violation of 21 O.s. 1451 – 1463

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/