Prosperident nails another one — woman charged with defrauding Ontario dentist of $554,000

Niagara Regional Police say that officers began investigating a situation last November after they were contacted by a local dentist who suspected his General Manager was defrauding his Ridgeway dentistry practice.

As a result of their investigation, a St. Catharines woman is facing charges after allegedly defrauding her employer of over $554,000 and the NRP’s fraud unit put out a warrant for the suspect’s arrest.

Yesterday the suspect, 37 year old Jennifer Leslie, was arrested at the Rainbow Bridge crossing into Canada and is charged with fraud over $5,000 and laundering the proceeds of crime.

Leslie is being held in custody pending a bail hearing today, March 15 at the Robert S.K. Welch Courthouse in St. Catharines.

Content retrieved from: http://www.niagarabuzz.ca/2018/03/15/police-reports/fraud-st-catharines-woman-facing-charges/

Colorado woman admits to embezzling $500,000 from dental office

A 49-year-old Durango woman has been arrested for embezzling an estimated $500,000 from her former employer at a local dentist office over a six-year period.

Robin Bernazzani was booked this week into the La Plata County Jail on felony charges of theft from Dental Associates of the Southwest. She is free on $25,000 bail.

Calls to Bernazzani were not returned. Her attorney, Richard Jaye, also did not return calls seeking comment.

Dental Associates of the Southwest, a group of three or four dentists located at 801 Florida Road, also did not return calls seeking comment. The dentist office’s attorney, Michael McLachlan, said he was unable to comment because the case is actively under investigation.

“Until the investigation is terminated, we do not feel it’s appropriate to comment at this time,” McLachlan said.

According to an arrest affidavit, Bernazzani stole an estimated $500,000 by using methods such as writing checks to herself or using a doctor’s credit cards to pay for personal bills and online shopping.

Durango police issued the arrest warrant Monday.

Court records show Bernazzani and her lawyer went to the dental offices on May 1 to confess she had been embezzling for up to six years.

On May 9, Bernazzani gave McLachlan and the dental office a written confession that explained “why and when she began to embezzle the money,” according to the arrest affidavit. She also took “full responsibility for committing the crime,” the affidavit says.

McLachlan notified Durango police of the situation on May 29.

On May 30, Bernazzani submitted a second confession letter that went into greater detail on how she stole the money, along with a more accurate estimate of how much money she stole.

Among the methods used, Bernazzani would write checks to herself or one of her business accounts by using a signature stamp or forging a dentist’s signature. She would then enter the amount in QuickBooks as an expense to a dental lab or supply company.

Bernazzani also used a dentist’s credit card to pay for personal bills or online shopping, entering her charges as a bulk payment to a dental supply company, the arrest affidavit says.

The affidavit doesn’t say how long Bernazzani worked at the dental office or what her job title was.

Court records show Dental Associates of the Southwest has hired an accounting firm to complete a forensic audit to confirm the loss suffered by the dental office.

Bernazzani was arrested on suspicion of theft between $100,000 and $1 million, a Class 3 felony. Bernazzani also has a Facebook page for her work as a real estate agent.

Bernazzani is out on a $25,000 personal recognizance bond, which means she did not have to post any money to get out of jail but could be ordered to pay the full amount if she violates the terms of her release.

Bernazzani’s attorney, Jaye, filed a motion Thursday to disqualify the District Attorney’s Office, saying District Attorney Christian Champagne is a patient of Dental Associates of the Southwest.

“It goes without saying that neither a prospective juror or a presiding judge would be allowed to sit in this particular matter were they patients of the dentists,” Jaye wrote.

“To lower the bar for the prosecutor seems anomalous, and not in the furtherance of a transparent judicial system.”

Content retrieved from: https://durangoherald.com/articles/231594

A repeat offender

We previously wrote about Jill D’Angelo, who embezzled more than $475,000, HERE.

However, it appears that not everybody looks at our Hall of Shame, because after spending 41 months in prison, Jill has been at it again.  Here is a recent news article showing what Jill has been up to.  She has now joined an exclusive fraternity known as the Half Million Dollar Club.


A former dental office manager from Pleasant Hills on federal probation after spending 41 months in prison for health care fraud has been at it again, this time using a different name, the FBI says.

Jill Bowser, who had previously been known by her married name, Jill D’Angelo, is charged in U.S. District Court again with embezzlement in connection with a dental practice in Turtle Creek where she worked and forging prescriptions for narcotic painkillers so she could sell the pills.

Bowser, who is in her early 50s, came to the FBI’s attention in January when U.S. probation officers said they were concerned she was forging prescriptions for opioids.

Formerly an office manager of a dental practice in Pleasant Hills, she was convicted of embezzling $475,000 from 2003 to 2010 and was sentenced in 2012 to 41 months behind bars. Since her release in 2014, she’s been using the Bowser name.

In a complaint filed under seal on Tuesday, the FBI said Bowser had been working at a dental office called Steel City Dental Associates in Turtle Creek and had been forging painkiller prescriptions purportedly written by a dentist there identified as “R.K.” The FBI said RK is a dentist at the practice but did not authorize any prescriptions for Bowser.

FBI Agent Ryan Melder said in an affidavit that Bowser also forged the names of other dentists to obtain over 100 prescriptions for painkillers in her name or the names of her relatives and filled them at area pharmacies between 2016 and this year.

Security camera footage shows her at the pharmacies picking up the prescriptions, according to the affidavit.

Agent Melder said he also had the owner of the practice record a conversation with Bowser during which she admitted that she had forged prescriptions and sold the pills “because she needed money.”

The agent said his investigation revealed that Bowser was also diverting checks from insurance companies that were supposed to go to the business bank account but instead went to her own account. From 2016 to January 2018, she deposited 129 checks for about $87,000.

Bowser appeared Tuesday before a federal magistrate judge and waived a detention hearing.

No lawyer was listed for her in court records.

Content retrieved from: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/south/2018/05/02/Jill-Bowser-embezzlement-felon-probation-dental-office-Pittsburgh-Pleasant-Hills/stories/201805020164

Maine woman receives 2-year sentence for embezzling more than $500,000 from dentist and physician

Update September 11, 2018:

A 46-year-old Scarborough woman was sentenced Friday in federal court to two years in prison and three years of supervised release for embezzling from two health care providers and for using the Social Security number of another person.

Judge John A. Woodcock Jr. from the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine also ordered Carrie Caporino to pay $549,469 in restitution, according to a news release from the office of U.S. Attorney Halsey B. Frank of the District of Maine.

Caporino pleaded guilty to the charges on April 30.

According to court records, between 2014 and November 2016, Caporino worked as the office manager for a southern Maine dental practice and embezzled more than $293,000 by using office credit cards for personal expenses, using the office checkbook to pay rent and other personal expenses and by making internet transfers from an office bank account to pay a personal credit card and her PayPal account.

Between December 2016 and 2017, Caporino was the office manager for a Falmouth physician and embezzled more than $255,000 from his practice by stealing checks mailed to the office by patients and insurance companies and then depositing them to her own bank accounts using her smartphone.

Court documents also stated that in January 2014, Caporino fraudulently used the Social Security number of a southern Maine resident on a health insurance application.

In announcing her sentence, Woodcock told Caporino that he found it particularly reprehensible that she victimized a dentist and a doctor, stating that her actions resulted in a “catastrophic victimization of two fine gentlemen who dedicated their lives to helping others.”

Both employers are now closed, according the U.S. Attorney’s news release.

Content retrieved from: http://www.mainebiz.biz/article/20180910/NEWS01/180919995


Original post:

A Scarborough woman pleaded guilty Monday to embezzling more than $500,000 from a dentist and a doctor.

Carrie Caporino, 46, entered the guilty pleas in U.S. District Court in Portland to two counts of embezzlement and one count of Social Security number fraud.

According to authorities, from 2014 to 2016, Caporino embezzled about $295,000 from a dental practice by putting personal charges on office credit cards, using money from the practice to pay a personal credit card bill and a PayPal account, and by writing office checks to cover personal bills, including her rent.

The dental practice, which is not named in court documents, has offices in Portland, Biddeford and Yarmouth.

In 2016 and 2017, federal officials said, Caporino embezzled about $253,000 from a Falmouth doctor by depositing checks intended for the doctor into her personal checking account. She also wrote unauthorized office checks to herself, authorities said.

The Falmouth physician is not identified by name in court documents and is only referred to as the “victim” by the FBI agent who investigated the case.

According to the charges, Caporino also used a Social Security number that was not assigned to her to apply for health insurance when she worked for the dentist.

She faces up to 10 years in prison on the embezzlement counts and up to five years on the Social Security count, along with fines of up to $250,000 on each count.

Content retrieved from: https://www.centralmaine.com/2018/04/30/scarborough-office-worker-pleads-to-embezzlement/

Bookkeeper who bilked Arkansas doctors of $600,000 gets 45 months in prison

A federal judge on Friday ordered Lynn Alisa Espejo of Sherwood to serve just under four years in prison on 25 counts related to her embezzlement of more than $600,000 from a group of doctors whose business expenses she administered from 2007 through 2010.

The 53-year-old former bookkeeper fought the charges every step of the way, which had the effect of keeping her under indictment for about six years. Her latest attorneys, David Cannon and Lee Short, cited her extensive time under threat of conviction as one of several reasons she should get a lenient sentence and suggested that she receive no prison time at all.

But U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker said, “This is not a probationary case.”

Baker also told Espejo that it was her own decision to fight the charges tooth and nail, stretching her case out over several years, and that she cannot count that time as punishment.

Espejo was originally indicted on 59 charges in 2011, but prosecutors later withdrew that indictment and refiled the allegations under a different theory in 2014. During the investigation, she filed claims against an assistant U.S. attorney and the main IRS agent investigating her. Prosecutors on Friday sought a sentencing enhancement for obstruction of justice related to those claims, which they called “false and fraudulent,” but Baker denied the request.

Also during her prosecution, Espejo accused one of the doctors who contributed to the business account she managed of sexually assaulting her, but he wasn’t charged, and Baker refused to let Espejo’s trial attorney, Patrick Benca, bring it up in front of jurors.

While siding with Espejo’s attorneys on several points — including denying several requests from prosecutors to increase her penalty range — Baker also rejected Espejo’s attempts to escape a 14-point sentencing enhancement for the amount of money stolen and amount of taxes she never paid on the stolen income.

Baker said she will issue a separate restitution order within 90 days after determining the amount of money Espejo must reimburse the physicians and the Internal Revenue Service. But in tentative findings, the judge agreed with the government that Espejo owes $207,941 in income taxes as result of not reporting the fraudulent income she received.

Espejo’s attorneys had argued that she owed $79,928.76 in unpaid income taxes, based on a lower amount — $285,459.86 — that they said she was actually convicted of defrauding Practice Management Services Inc. and Blandford Medical Services Inc. out of at trial.

But Baker said she included losses that occurred outside the indictment’s time frame, determining the total amount of money fraudulently transferred from the two physician accounts to Espejo’s personal accounts over the course of her employment to be $611,099.41.

The doctors established both corporations to administer their shared business expenses. Espejo contended at trial that at least one of the doctors she worked for had authorized her to “reimburse” herself from the business accounts for purchases she made at his request using her own money. However, that doctor, Bruce Sanderson, and three others testified that Espejo wasn’t authorized to take the money.

The jury found that Espejo misrepresented the transactions in the accounting software Quickbooks and concealed the wire transfers from the doctors and their accountant. They also found that she used stolen money for personal expenses such as making payments toward a vehicle, a swimming pool and construction on a new house.

In addition to the money stolen through a wire-transfer scheme, Espejo was convicted of obtaining a debit card for one of the shared-expenses accounts and using it for personal purchases such as snow crab, bacon, popcorn balls, video gaming devices, school supplies and a trampoline.

In explaining her decision to sentence Espejo to 45 months — in the middle of a 41- to 51-month penalty range recommended by the guidelines after Baker reduced the guideline range by two levels — the judge cited work that Espejo had performed in the community, as well as details of her “personal upbringing” that were recited in a nonpublic pre-sentence report.

The judge noted that she had read an “overwhelming stack of letters regarding Ms. Espejo’s good work” in the community, from which it appeared that Espejo’s efforts to help disadvantaged or marginalized people weren’t undertaken after she was indicted, in an effort to mitigate her sentence. Baker said the letters indicated that Espejo’s benevolent acts “predate her conduct in this case.”

However, Baker said, she has also “observed conduct that belies the character that others are describing” in the letters.

The judge cited incidents in which Espejo followed a witness against her out of the courtroom without permission of the court and in which she bad-mouthed an earlier set of attorneys in open court. Baker noted that Cannon and Short are Espejo’s third set of attorneys.

“Presented solely with the conduct I’ve observed in the courtroom, the letters leave me puzzled,” Baker said.

After a seven-day trial, the jury convicted Espejo on four counts of filing false tax returns, 15 counts of wire fraud and six counts of money laundering. In addition to the prison term, Baker ordered Espejo to serve three years of supervised release, during which she must enroll in a mental-health program at her own expense.

“Today’s sentence reflects the seriousness of Ms. Espejo’s crimes,” U.S. Attorney Cody Hiland said later in a news release. “She stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from people who trusted her, and then repeatedly lied about it. These financial and tax-related crimes hurt not just the actual victims Ms. Espejo stole from, but also all citizens who are honest and pay their taxes as they should.”

The case was investigated by the IRS and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stephanie Mazzanti and Jamie Dempsey.

Content retrieved from: http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2017/nov/04/bookkeeper-gets-45-month-term-in-embezz/

Australian woman jailed for seven years after siphoning almost $1 million from boss

Tina Maree Bartlem

Do you have questions about embezzlement?  Give Prosperident a call at 888-398-2327 or send an email to requests@dentalembezzlement.com

A GOLD Coast mother who previously lived with her in-laws has been jailed for seven years for siphoning almost $800,000 from her boss.

She said she did it to win over her father’s “love”.

Tina Maree Bartlem, 35, transferred money from Robina Town Dental into her own account at least 250 times over three years while working as practice manager.

On Friday, she was sentenced in the Southport District Court to seven years jail after pleading guilty to several counts of fraud totalling $724,966.53 in 2008-2011. Bartlem’s fraud was not discovered until 2014. She will be released on parole in September 2019.

A psychological report revealed Bartlem began stealing the money to help out her late father, Grahame Colwell, who allegedly lost everything through a Nigerian scam. Bartlem also used business credit cards to buy three nights accommodation at a Peppers hotel and personalised licence plates, court documents show.

The mother of one told a psychiatrist she went on holidays to New Zealand and Hawaii with her family but was “at a loss to understand where all the money went”.

She told a psychiatrist she could not specifically remember transferring the money to her father “other than giving her father money to ‘love me’”.

She also conceded “maybe” she gambled the money.

The Ashmore woman described her relationship with her father as “dysfunctional”.

“I love him dearly but as a child, and adult, I never experienced unconditional love from him,” she wrote. “I am horrified by my actions in terms of the charges against me. To this day I have no memory of taking the amount of funds.”

Documents showed Bartlem’s ex-husband of more than a decade did not know his wife was stealing. “He indicated … they were ‘never rolling in cash’.”

Mr Bartlem was surprised to learn she worked only part-time “as she went to work everyday and he was a stay-at-home dad to their daughter”.

A psychiatric report revealed Bartlem claimed she heard voices of two other woman. She attended a Gold Coast Baptist church, also studied counselling and said she wanted her life to “mean something”.

Former Robina Town Dental owner Alistair Henry said the practice was sold in 2011 because they believed it was struggling financially.

“We haven’t received a cent and want to warn other small business owners that someone who comes across as quite trustworthy can totally abuse your trust,” said Mr Henry.

Defence lawyer Mark Donnelly, of Kroesen and Co Lawyers, said his client was “very remorseful and had taken a lot of steps to turn her life around”.

Content retrieved from: http://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/news/crime-court/gold-coast-mum-jailed-for-seven-years-after-siphoning-almost-1-million-from-boss/news-story/14e6bdbd506966e75c07bdee21266c75

Office Manager of Denver Medical Practice Steals More Than $500k

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.

Jeffrie Scott Drury, 41 admitted to stealing more than $350k from the Vascular Institute of the Rockies in Denver, CO

One of the partners suggested an internal audit after they thought their practice was failing.  The forensic audit revealed that the total amount stolen was in excess of $500k over 2 years.

Mr. Drury allegedly wrote 33 checks in amounts ranging from $600 for Rockies tickets to $8,300 for a specific Bank of America account and misusing the company credit card

A Major Australian Embezzlement

Former practice manager Tina Bartlam, worked at practice for 12 years and stole over $750k from practice.  She was sentenced to two years in prison.

Do you have questions about embezzlement?  Give Prosperident a call at 888-398-2327 or send an email to requests@dentalembezzlement.com

Content retrieved from: https://www.facebook.com/7NewsGoldCoast/videos/1278953658869986/

 

Ex-worker at Pittsburgh medical practice admits embezzling $800K-plus

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.


A former office manager of Pittsburgh Ear Nose and Throat Associates admitted Friday that she embezzled more than $800,000 from the medical practice over five years.

Regina Lewis, 47, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Cathy Bissoon to a count of embezzlement in connection with health care.

Judge Bissoon will sentence her in August.

Ms. Lewis and her lawyer, Ryan Tutera, declined to comment as they left the courtroom.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Melucci said Ms. Lewis, who lives in the borough of Liberty outside McKeesport, managed the practice’s six locations from its Liberty Avenue office in Bloomfield and was responsible for paying bills, depositing checks and other financial oversight.

He said that from 2011 to 2016, she deposited company checks into her own PNC Bank account and made purchases for herself using the business’ credit card. She also wrote checks to herself drawn from the company’s pension fund.

Mr. Melucci said she used the money to make personal purchases from StubHub, Ticketmaster, Giant Eagle, Kohl’s and other businesses. Unlike many large-scale embezzlers, she apparently did not use the money for any big-ticket purchases such as cars or real estate.

Asked by the judge whether she agreed with the prosecutor’s recitation of her crimes, Ms. Lewis said yes.

The estimated loss is $818,000, for which Ms. Lewis will likely be ordered to pay restitution from any future earnings.

The medical practice discovered the missing money last year and contacted the FBI, which handled the case.

Ms. Lewis was charged by complaint on March 14 and indicated three days later that she would plead.

She remains free on a $10,000 bond pending sentencing.

No one from the medical practice returned messages Friday. Allegheny Health Network, which acquired the business in 2014, had no comment.


Do you have questions about embezzlement?  Give Prosperident a call at 888-398-2327 or send an email to requests@dentalembezzlement.com


Content retrieved from: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2017/05/12/Pittsburgh-Ear-Nose-Throat-embezzle-Regina-Lewis/stories/201705120200

Former NC medical office administrator embezzles $900k; going to prison

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.

Mallard embezzled almost $900,000 from women’s center

Correction

This story should have said she owed $697,714. Mallard paid $195,444 in restitution of the $893,157.41 she embezzled. The insurance company for Eastern Carolina Women’s Center paid about $100,000.

Original story

Betty Small Hurley Mallard, a 62-year-old accused of embezzling nearly $900,000 from a medical practice, pleaded guilty Monday in Craven County Superior Court and was sentenced to five to seven years in prison.

Mallard, a former administrator at Eastern Carolina Women’s Center, was facing six Class C felony embezzlement charges and up to 60 years in prison.

Judge John Nobles consolidated the charges and gave her the lesser sentence.

Nobles said the case was difficult in many ways and wasn’t like normal criminal court cases. Someone age 62 would be devastated going to prison, he said.

“I guess I could give her 30 years,” he said, “but I wonder how many in here think she would live 30 years.”

Nobles said after listening to the attorneys and doctors from Eastern Carolina Women’s Center, the crime was serious and Mallard needed to go to prison.

“I recognize we’re dealing with somebody with serious mental problems,” he said. “I recognize she has made some restitution, and I recognize the damage she has done to the practice.”

Before passing sentence, Nobles said, “I do hope you’re able to survive it.”

District Attorney Scott Thomas said while he would have liked to see more active prison time for Mallard, he understood the judge’s reasoning.

“The defendant came to court, pleaded guilty, and paid partial restitution,” Thomas said. “We asked for a higher level of an active sentence and the judge decided not to give the highest sentence. But 60 to 84 months in prison for a 62-year-old is still a significant amount of time in prison, especially for somebody with no criminal record, no prior charges or convictions.”

Michael Mills, Mallard’s attorney, said the embezzlement started in September 2005 and continued to November 2015. The aftermath cost Mallard her home, a lot she owned, a beach home, and her retirement savings, he said.

Mills said he saw the embezzlement as one crime instead of the six with which she was charged. But Tonya Montanye, a prosecutor working with Thomas, said when Mallard was working at Eastern Carolina Women’s Center, she was writing checks to herself and giving herself raises to which she was not entitled. When she left the center, she had a $150,000 annual salary.

Co-workers grew suspicious when they saw pictures of an extravagant cruise ship suite she stayed in and began wondering how she could afford it, Montanye said.

 Mallard’s large spending habit included taking $22,000 from the center to pay off one month of her personal credit card bills. In six years, from 2011 to 2015, she took $686,451 from the center to pay on her personal credit card that had monthly charges from $500 to $1,000. She made $35,230.13 in unauthorized purchases from the company credit card, Montanye said.

“She had a very extravagant lifestyle,” she said.

That lifestyle included spending $2,775 at Peacock Plume, making seven purchases one day buying shoes that cost up to $398, Montanye said.

Bill Faison, who was also representing Mallard, said she had a college education and liked working at the center and everyone there liked her.

“But plain and simple, Betty is mentally ill,” Faison said. “It is unfortunate. … it acted out on her job. She spent the money on such silly things: handbags … just nothing. Just threw her life away for nothing.”

But Mallard was not a threat to anyone, Faison said.

The person signing the checks shouldn’t be keeping the books, but that wasn’t the case, he said.

“Because of her mental illness, she has done a terrible thing,” Faison said. “She is now broke, destitute, has given it all up and now faces whatever your honor thinks should be done.”

Dr. Rob Patterson of Eastern Carolina Women’s Center said Mallard’s actions harmed the practice. Two doctors had to resign because they could not afford to pay themselves while trying to compensate for the embezzlement.

Fifty employees were also affected and morale was harmed, which possibly harmed patient care, Patterson said.

Mallard, wearing a blue dress, stood before the judge.

“I would like to express my deepest regret and remorse to Eastern Carolina Women’s Center,” Mallard said in a quiet voice. “I take full responsibility for my actions. … I have great respect for the practice, physicians and employees and felt a great sense of loyalty toward the group.”

Mallard said she realized she had mental health issues that cause her irrational behavior.

“I’m deeply saddened to have disappointed those who placed their faith and confidence in me,” she said.

As part of her sentencing, Nobles ordered Mallard to get a mental health assessment at the Department of Corrections and to reimburse Eastern Carolina Women’s Center the remaining balance of more than $600,000 owed in restitution.

Do you have questions about embezzlement?  Give Prosperident a call at 888-398-2327 or send an email to requests@dentalembezzlement.com

 

Content retrieved from: http://www.newbernsj.com/news/20170320/former-medical-office-administrator-going-to-prison