A long-time employee for a Raritan Township oral surgeon was sentenced Friday, Jan. 5, to 36 days in jail and five years of probation for bilking the practice of more than $215,000 The ex-office manager, Barbara Reinhard, 59, of Raritan Township, cashed insurance checks and pocketed the money in various amounts between March 26, 1999 and Nov. 12, 2004 from the Sand Hill Road practice of Joseph Sansevere, an oral surgeon.
Reinhard, who appears frail and walks with a cane, had illegally cashed 256 insurance checks totaling $215,426.86 over that five-year period according to an October 2005 indictment. Barbara, I hope you know how many people you have hurt, Carolyn Sansevere said in a prepared statement before Reinhard was sentenced. Sansevere’s wife said that Reinhard’s scheme was complex and included convincing tellers to cash business checks that by law had to be deposited; went to the post office posing as someone else to collect mail for the business and altered data in a computer attempting to deflect suspicion. Carolyn Sansevere, speaking on behalf of her husband who was also in court, said the practice’s reputation, which was built from scratch took a huge hit as a result of the thefts.
Sansevere’s wife, who had worked at the practice when the thefts were occurring, said an internal investigation and investigations by the Raritan Township Police and the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office were conducted to prove her husband’s innocence. “You thought nothing of trying to blame other people,” Sansevere’s wife said. Assistant Prosecutor Charles Ouslander said Reinhard had been considered a loyal employee who was almost treated like a family member. Reinhard responded with a simple “no,” when asked by Superior Court judge Roger F. Mahon, sitting in Flemington, if she had anything to say before he sentenced her. The investigation began Nov. 17, 2004, after accusations that Reinhard took prescription blanks and used them to obtain painkillers had surfaced, Ouslander said following the hearing. The scheme fell apart when a particular drug not used very often was requested over a short period of time, Ouslander said. She was arrested in February 2005 during the investigation. Reinhard had worked for Sansevere for 10 years starting in 1994 and worked her way up, eventually being trusted to deal with insurance companies and depositing checks, according to court records.
She pleaded guilty Sept. 8 to theft by failure to make required disposition. Other charges were dropped as part of the plea agreement. Ouslander said Reinhard was among the first employees when Sansevere’s practice opened 12 years ago. Some of the stolen money was recouped by practice from the banks following civil court settlements, assistant prosecutor Ouslander said. Judge Mahon ordered Reinhard to pay $120,000 in restitution as part of the plea agreement with prosecutors. Employees from Sanseveres practice filled most of the left side of the courtroom in support of the victim, but they did not speak. Ouslander said he was satisfied with the sentence the judge imposed. “I believe Mr. Sansevere was satisfied as well,” Ouslander said following the sentencing.
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