The audit reportedly uncovered Jennifer Malone, a former employee at the dental office, had taken several large cash payments from the dentistry, and used company funds to cover her expenses. The total amounted to $100,462.79.
A woman who previously worked at a Fort Gratiot dentist's office has been charged after she reportedly embezzled from her employer.
According to the probable cause affidavit, Smile Zone Dental in Fort Gratiot hired an accountant to review the company's funds after it began to struggle financially.
The St. Clair County Sheriff's Office opened its own investigation, which concluded in August and confirmed the auditor's findings.
The affidavit breaks down the embezzlement, stating she took $21,292.45 in cash in 2022, and $2,537.93 in cash in 2023.
Malone also reportedly took $19,916.68 from the company through unauthorized payroll between 2022 and 2023.
Several unauthorized purchases were reportedly made by Malone using the dentistry's business account. The affidavit states Malone reported these purchases as office supplies or business expenses. The auditor reportedly found the money was actually spent on rental cars and for an unspecified surgery Malone received, totaling $43,489.06.
Smiling Zone Dental said its manager was unavailable to comment on the case Wednesday. Jeffrey Schwartz, who is listed as Malone's attorney, did not respond to a request for comment.
Embezzlement of $100,000 or more is punishable with up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to three times the amount taken. Malone was also charged as a habitual offender, doubling the potential prison sentence to up to 40 years in prison. She was convicted in 2021 for embezzling between $1,000 and $20,000 for using a computer to commit a crime in Oakland County.
A probable cause hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Nov. 7.
This article originally appeared on Port Huron Times Herald: Former employee accused of stealing $94,000 from Fort Gratiot dental office
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