Georgia woman receives five year sentence for embezzling $1.2 million from surgical office

Editor’s note — as you may know, we normally confine ourselves to investigating dental office embezzlement.  However, we do provide reporting on significant embezzlements in medical offices because the methodologies employed have considerable commonality.


The former office manager of a Houston County surgical practice was sentenced Friday to serve five years in prison for wire fraud in a case that involved her embezzling more than $1 million from that medical office.

Maria Elizabeth Trenam, 53, who was the office manager for Surgical Associates of Warner Robins, was arrested in August 2015.

Trenam, who has since moved to north Georgia, embezzled an estimated $1.18 million dating back to 2011 when she became the office manager, authorities have said.

She pleaded guilty in July.

A federal judge in Macon on Friday ordered her to pay that same amount in restitution.

A statement on the sentencing from the U.S. Attorney’s office in Macon said Trenam will also have to forfeit “certain property obtained through the fraud, including a bank account, a house, an automobile, and a diamond ring.”

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The former office manager of a Warner Robins surgical practice was indicted Wednesday on charges that she embezzled more than $1.2 million from her former employer.

Maria Elizabeth Trenam is accused of embezzling the money from Surgical Associates of Warner Robins from March 31, 2011 to Aug. 11, 2015, according to the federal indictment.

As the officer manager, Trenam had access to banking and financial records of the business, could write checks on business accounts and had access to signature stamps of the doctors, according to the indictment. She also had a business credit card and handled the payroll for employees.

“The doctors trusted (Trenam) to the extent that there was little oversight of her activities as the officer manager,” the indictment said.

Trenam is accused of using her position to make unauthorized cash withdrawals at ATMs using the business credit card assigned to her, of writing unauthorized checks to herself on business accounts using the signature stamps of the doctors and of increasing her salary without authorization.

Trenam also is accused of using the business credit card to make unauthorized purchases and for travel and entertainment.

The alleged unauthorized purchases with the business credit card ranged from the Apple online store and hotel rentals, including from one in Las Vegas, to purchases at a Kroger in Warner Robins. A $600 cash withdrawal with the business card also was among the alleged transactions outlined in the indictment.

In addition, a forfeiture notice was filed in federal court for any property owned by Trenam that may have been obtained with embezzled money.

She initially was arrested on a charge of fiduciary theft in connection with the embezzlement following an extensive investigation by the Houston County Sheriff’s Office. The FBI also became involved because some of the transactions occurred across state lines, said Houston County sheriff’s Capt. Jon Holland. The case was later turned over to the U.S. District Attorney’s Office.

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