Northern Michigan has yet another high dollar embezzlement case on its hands. This time, investigators say a Roscommon County woman stole at least $50,000 from her former employer. They say she took money from Woodland Family Dental in Higgins Lake for eight years. Terese Valko faces charges of embezzling and obtaining a controlled substance by fraud. She was the office manager at the dental office.
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A 52-year-old Roscommon woman is set to be arraigned on charges of embezzlement between $50,000 and $100,000 and obtaining a controlled substance by fraud Dec. 13 in 83rd District Court, Roscommon, after a Michigan State Police investigation that lasted almost two years.
The suspect was the office manager at Woodland Family Dental at Higgins Lake, and is suspected of having stolen $77,000 from the business according to Woodland owner Dr. Cheryl Mitchell, D.D.S. Mitchell said the embezzlement is believed to have begun when the suspect, who was a close family friend, began working there almost eight years ago.
State Police Sgt. Robert Green said an investigation was initiated in the case in early 2009.
Mitchell said many patients were affected by the crime, and that it took over a year to straighten out the business’s accounts because the suspect “was running several scams.” She said the problem came to light when she was notified that a wage garnishment order against the suspect had been hidden and the business was being sued.
Green said the suspect is also accused of obtaining the narcotic hydrocodone by fraud.