Thousand Oaks Patrol deputies were dispatched to a report of fraudulent prescription activity in Newbury Park. The investigating deputy learned that Kristina Vargas worked in a dental office and had fraudulently used a dentist’s information to obtain Carisoprodol (also known as Soma) for herself on 11 separate occasions dating back to September of 2018. Once the initial information was obtained, the investigating deputy contacted the Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit for assistance. Detectives gathered evidence and conducted multiple interviews confirmed the fraudulent prescriptions.
On December 31, 2019, Vargas was located and arrested in Newbury Park for 11173(a) HS – obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, 470(b) PC –forgery and 459 PC – commercial burglary. Vargas was interviewed and then booked into custody at the Pre-Trial Detention Facility in Ventura. Vargas bailed out of custody and her next court date is set for January 17, 2020 for her arraignment.
A former office manager in the dental clinic at 572-bed Albany (N.Y.) Medical Center was sentenced to one to three years in prison for embezzling more than $200,000 during a six-year period. Denise Rossi, 45, also was ordered to pay the hospital $100,000 in restitution.
A tip from another employee first alerted hospital administrators, who conducted a full-scale investigation before turning over their findings to the district attorney, a hospital spokesman said. Rossi, who had check-signing authority, took money paid by patients and insurance companies for dental services. Prosecutors said she used the money for credit card, car insurance and cable bills and car payments, and spent $3,000 to landscape her home. “We’re certainly glad an employee spoke up about this matter. That enabled us to look closely into it,” the spokesman said.
RANGELEY – A federal judge sentenced a Madrid Township bookkeeper Friday to one-year in prison for engaging in a health-care fraud scheme to embezzle nearly $73,000 from her employer.
Lori A. Savage, 34,
the former office manager of Dr. David McMillan’s Rangeley Family
Dentistry, was also ordered to pay $72,956.81 in restitution to the
dental clinic and to serve two years of supervised release after her
Savage diverted funds to pay her own credit card bills and other expenses, according to court records.
She faced up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000.
States Attorney Paula D. Silsby stated in a release that Savage
received a more lengthy sentence because Savage was found to have abused
a position of private trust and to have used special skill in carrying
out the fraud scheme.
Savage who was paid $13 an hour by
McMillan, also owned her own bookkeeping service and had used some of
the money to buy “very expensive, top of the line computer equipment.”
Court records show that between Feb. 1, 2000 and Oct. 29, 2002, Savage was the officer manager of the clinic.
the authority of her employer Savage prepared and executed 85 checks
from the Franklin Savings Bank account of Rangeley Family Dentistry for
her own personal use in paying credit card bills an other expenses in
her name or the name of a family member.
Savage also made false
entries into the clinic’s computerized ledger to conceal the scheme by
entering payees and items into the ledger that had never been approved
by Dr. McMillan.
Savage also used McMillan’s stamp signature on the checks without the dentist’s permission.
case came to light in November 2002 after McMillan noticed a $1,000
discrepancy in payment to a supplier recorded in his computerized
McMillan brought in his accountant to do an audit.
2000, the accountant found that 37 checks were paid to four different
credit accounts that did not belong to McMillan: Fashion Bug, Capital
One, Universal Card and First Card.
The payments were recorded in
McMillan’s office computer system as expenditures for lab and office
supplies, an affidavit stated.
Silbsy stated in her release that her hope is that the one-year sentence would serve as a deterrent to others who manage clinics and offices for health care professionals in Maine.
KEENE — A North Walpole woman is accused of stealing thousands of dollars from a local dentist.
Fletcher, 28, of 8 Taylor St., North Walpole, is facing up to 15 years
in prison on felony charges of theft by unauthorized taking. Fletcher
was recently indicted by a grand jury convened in the Cheshire Superior
She is accused of taking
payments made to Keene Dentistry and Implants in 2018 while she was an
employee there, keeping the money for herself instead of depositing it
into the business accounts, according to the indictments.
is accused of taking between $1,000 and $1,500 from the business in
August, less than $1,000 in October and more than $1,500 in November.
is charged with class B felony theft by unauthorized taking for August,
class A misdemeanor theft by unauthorized taking for October and class A
felony theft by unauthorized taking for November.
She was also charged with an additional count of class A theft by unauthorized taking for all three months.
Class A felonies carry a possible prison sentence of up to 15 years if convicted.
Fletcher is due in court next week to be arraigned on the charges.
Tina Felshaw of Coeur d’Alene, ID, might be someone to watch out for. Tina, who also sometimes goes by the name Tina Tevebaugh, pled guilty in 2018 in Spokane, WA to felony identity theft.
In a separate offense, Tina was also found guilty in Spokane of felony theft of over $5,000 and was sentenced to 12 months of probation and ordered to make restitution of just under $7,000.
Tina has also had a couple of motor vehicle violations in the years 2014-2015 where, notably, she did not pay the fines assessed and the court had to send them to collection agencies.
Tina declared bankruptcy in 2012 and again in 2015.
Tina has reportedly has worked at several dental offices in the Spokane / Coeur d’Alene area, and we are told that some of her part employment relationships may have ended abruptly.
Tina contacted us by email in August 2019 and asked that her post be removed from our website. Her request implied both that she is still working in the dental field and that her current employer is unaware of her past.
The former office manager for a Little Rock dentist was sentenced to
12 years in prison Monday for stealing at least $218,000 from the
practice over a five-year period.
The prison term is symbolic — one year in the penitentiary for each
year Angela Kay Henson worked for Cobb Family Dentistry on Baseline Road
and Dr. Donald Cobb, Pulaski County Circuit Judge Barry Sims said.
He told the 48-year-old Little Rock woman, who had been paid
$42,500 a year, that she had done more than just steal money, but also
robbed Cobb and his wife of their ability to trust and the efforts of
their years of hard work.
“You kind of disgust me,” Sims told Henson before
pronouncing sentence. “They cared for you. You abused their trust. You
took more than just their money. You took their lives as they knew
Henson pleaded guilty last month, and she has repaid Cobb $168,000,
the amount remaining after the insurance reimbursed him. That payment
was a loan from a cousin, she told the judge.
Henson received character endorsements from her pastor, Tommy Jones
of Grace Church, and her husband Andy’s cousin Kyle Jones, who each
described her as being genuinely contrite.
Henson was tearful and apologetic during her eight minutes of
testimony. She denied accusations by the Cobb family that she had
deliberately tried to sabotage the dental practice.
“I am sorry. I never meant to be mean. I never meant to cause you
stress,” she said. “I come from a good family. I raised good kids. I
know Dr. Cobb cared about me … and what I did was wrong. But I wasn’t
The Cobbs have known Henson since she was 19, and over the years have
lent her money when she needed it, such as when her husband was laid
off, according to testimony.
Confronted by prosecutor Sharon Strong, Henson said she could not explain why she stole the money.
“I don’t have a logical reason for that,” Henson told the judge. “I can’t make any rhyme or reason out of that.”
Henson denied Strong’s accusations that she had spent Cobb’s money on
a swimming pool for her home, a trip to New York or a cruise for her
daughter, testifying that she had used other resources for those
Henson faced a 20-year maximum sentence. Her attorney Matthew McKay
asked the judge to consider probation, taking into account her remorse,
the restitution and her lack of criminal history.
Strong requested at least five years in prison, the minimum sentence
for the Class B felony theft, arguing that Henson feels bad about what
she did only because she was caught.
Sims pointed out that the dentist was out substantially more than just the money Henson stole. The cost of the accounting that uncovered the theft was $20,000, while Donald Cobb testified that after Henson was fired, the dentist’s wife discovered about $10,000 in expired insurance checks.
The judge also noted that Henson could have stolen more than
authorities know. Cobb could afford only for a five-year forensic audit,
which allowed for a review of the finances from January 2013 to January
2018 when Henson’s scheme was uncovered.
Henson had been more than an employee; she was also a friend, Donald
Cobb testified. He said he had trusted her absolutely to do a job he
could not do himself — managing the business.
Henson’s thievery was discovered in January 2018 after he decided to
sell his practice because profits had been falling dramatically, he told
“I was working harder than I ever did, and I was making less money than I did 10 years ago,” he said.
He hired an accountant to put together his financial records, but
Henson dragged her feet about providing the requested documents, he
said. Once she did turn over the records, what she had done was obvious,
Cobb told the judge.
“It kind of broke my heart and broke my spirit. I didn’t want to have
a practice anymore,” he said. Cobb did sell the business in November.
Bills were unpaid. Patients had not been billed. Tax penalties were
owed. Cobb described finding 46 pages of insurance claims that had gone
unfiled while insurance checks had not been been cashed.
“It was like there was an attempt to bankrupt my practice,” Cobb told the judge.
His wife, who took over for Henson, also told the judge that Henson’s stealing seemed to be malicious.
“It was just total disorganization,” Margaret Cobb testified. “Ms.
Henson literally caused us so much anguish and put us through hell.”
She said Henson would steal cash payments, but credit patients’
accounts. Henson even stole the rent one tenant paid, Margaret Cobb
She “robbed us of our money … our joy … and also of our trust,” Margaret Cobb told the judge.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WGFL) — A Gainesville bookkeeper is accused of embezzling more than $156,000 from an oral surgeon over the last couple of years
Alachua County Sheriff’s investigators on Friday arrested and charged
45-year-old Heather Hushelpeck with grand larceny over $100,000,
embezzlement and fraud. Hushelpeck is being held without bond at the
Alachua County Jail pending a court appearance Saturday morning.
An arrest report says Hushelpeck was fired in December from her job as bookkeeper at the oral surgery office of Marvin M. Slott D.D.S after she couldn’t explain a $1,300 charge onto her credit card and a $7,500 transaction in a former employee’s name.
“Heather didn’t have any reasonable explanation why that money was gone,” says Financial Detective Kyle Reedy, from the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office.
The report says she returned to the office three days later to reinstall the accounting software she had deleted. The report says Hushelpeck started crying and told the staff she “f***ed up.”
report says Hushelpeck admitted to taking money for at least a year,
through a variety of ways, including writing checks to herself, charging
back refunds to herself, taking money clients paid, and only partially
deposit funds. Investigators say Hushelpeck told her former employer the
total amount taken was over $100,000.
Court documents allege Hushelpeck took payments from the oral surgeon’s office and wrote out checks payable to the Star Center Children’s Theatre and the Howard Bishop Middle School PTA by coding them as payments for supplies. Investigators say as treasurer for both organizations, Hushelpeck was able to then withdraw the money for her own use. WGFL
attempted to settle the case with Slott’s attorney without involving
police. Deputies say she wrote an email to the attorney offering to
settle by paying back $75,000 and borrowing another $25,000.
email from Slott’s attorney to Hushelpeck, however, says a preliminary
analysis found she stole more than $403,000. The email gave Hushelpeck
30 days to pay the full amount or be sued. Investigators say so far
they’ve only been able to prove the $156,000 amount.
“I have never seen an embezzlement case like this,” says Reedy.
in December filed a 42-page lawsuit against Hushelpeck, her husband
Erik, Star Center Children’s Theatre and the Howard Bishop Middle School
PTA. The lawsuit alleges Hushelpeck paid the PTA more than $6,700 and
Star Theatre more than $26,000. Eric Hushelpeck has not been charged
with a crime. Both he and his wife responded to the lawsuit by asking
for more time.
The PTA responded by denying any knowledge of the
allegations and asking the court to dismiss it from the case. It also
says Hushelpeck is no longer its treasurer.
Star Center has not yet filed a response to the lawsuit, according to court records.
are going to get caught at some point,” says Reedy. “And when you do,
it’s going to cost you more to get yourself out of the situation.”
A Bellevue dentist’s former employee was sentenced Friday in federal court for faking prescriptions and abusing her employer’s credit card to pay for her children’s private school tuition and other expenses, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The damage done by the Lori Elizabeth Bowman, 38, of Bothell, to cover up her activity cost the dentist his license to practice and left patients unable to charge their insurance companies to pay for their dental bills, according to federal prosecutors.
Bowman faces 30 months in prison, 120 hours of community service, $174,336 in restitution, and three years of supervised release after pleading guilty to acquiring a controlled substance by fraud, credit card access device fraud, and aggravated identity theft, according to the office of U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.
At sentencing U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez said, “The financial harm you caused the dentist elevates this crime to a different level.”
According to the press release, a pharmacy notified the Drug Enforcement Administration about unusual prescribing practices by the dentist who employed Bowman. The dentist told investigators that the prescriptions were forged, and trail led to his employee, according to the press release.S
Investigators discovered that in 2010 and 2011, Bowman obtained 1,920 Vicodin ES tablets using prescriptions in her own name and in the name of her husband, brother-in-law, mother, friend, step-sister-in-law and her hair dresser at Rite-Aid and Bartell Drugs. Around that same time period, Bowman used fake prescriptions in her own name around 200 times to acquire approximately 8,580 hydrocodone pills at local pharmacies, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Investigators say that Bowman also made unauthorized charges on her employer’s office credit card, totalling around approximately $174,336. The total includes ATM cash advances of $122,880; ATM transaction fees of $4,922; and retail purchases and other charges of more than $46,534.
According to investigators, Bowman paid for her children’s private school tuition with the money obtained, which totaled $25,606, and charged a family vacation to Las Vegas totaling $4,692 to the office credit card.
The charges averaged approximately $7,924 per month, investigators say.
“Over many months, defendant destroyed key correspondence from medical licensing and insurance authorities in an effort to conceal her conduct. (She) failed to pay licensing, insurance, and tax obligations that placed the dentist’s practice and future retirement at great risk. As a result, the dentist’s patients were left without insurance to cover their dental bills, and the dentist lost his license to practice and incurred significant expenses to correct the effects of (Bowman’s) criminal conduct,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memo.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Bowman admitted consuming 30-35 hydrocodone pills per day.
“Prescription drug abuse is growing in our communities, leaving heavy damage in its wake,” said U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. “This defendant damaged herself, her family and her employer while a slave to this addiction. This case should be a cautionary tale: if you are struggling with addiction, please get help.”