Politician alleged to have laundered federal education funds diverted to campaign through daughter’s dental office

Witness connects checks to Schrenko

By Morris News Service

ATLANTA – Linda Schrenko personally ordered others to fraudulently endorse checks to her campaign, according to a witness in Ms. Schrenko’s federal corruption trial Monday.

The witness offered the first testimony of the former state school superintendent personally directing parts of the complex scheme she in which she is charged with embezzling $600,000 in federal funds entrusted to the state Department of Education.

Shawn Neal, a onetime office director for Ms. Schrenko’s daughter, Dr. Katherine Cooper, said the former superintendent and deputy Merle Temple showed up at their Augusta dental office one day and began persuading employees to help fill out the checks, which until that point had no payee listed.

After the employees’ names were added to the checks, they were asked to endorse the backs, Ms. Neal said. She said she signed checks made out to herself and her husband, and was assured by Ms. Schrenko and Mr. Temple that the transfer was legal.

Ms. Neal said she never expected or received any money from the scheme, but was nervous about signing checks when she didn’t know what she had done to “earn” the money. Ms. Schrenko assured Ms. Neal she would later earn the income through a phone survey about the gubernatorial bid, in which Ms. Schrenko was running.

“She explained to me that it was kind of like I was working for the money, but I would not receive any,” she said.

The survey never took place, Ms. Neal said.

Prosecutors say the checks were later cashed and funneled into the 2002 campaign. In all, similar arrangements allegedly made at her daughter’s office generated more than $61,000 for the campaign, the government says.

Prosecutors allege it was all part of a plan to steal more than $600,000 in federal education grants to fuel the political ambitions of Ms. Schrenko and the businesses of South African businessman co-defendant Stephan Botes, whose employee Peter Steyn is also standing trial.

The $590 “focus group” checks such as those Ms. Neal said she endorsed came from companies owned or linked to Mr. Botes, according to testimony.

Ms. Schrenko also filled out a check for an employee who wasn’t present, Ms. Neal said.

“I saw her sign at least one of the checks,” Ms. Neal said.

She said she noticed Ms. Schrenko signing the check because the former superintendent had to be corrected on the spelling of the employee’s name.

It was the first testimony directly connecting Ms. Schrenko to some of the most serious allegations in the 48-count indictment.

During cross-examination, Ms. Schrenko’s attorney, Pete Theodocion, asked a series of yes-or-no questions, getting Ms. Neal to say that Ms. Schrenko never lied about where the money was going and that the ex-school chief maintained that the phone “focus groups” would take place.

Also Monday, former software executive Johnathan Turner wrapped up his testimony after about three days on the stand.

The defense grilled Mr. Turner on his plea deal. Mr. Turner pleaded guilty to structuring $16,000 worth of financial transactions, a fraction of the total $614,000 that Ms. Schrenko, Mr. Botes and Mr. Steyn are accused of stealing.

Mr. Turner, who said he was directed by Mr. Botes, carried out the complex series of wire transfers, cash exchanges and other transactions that prosecutors allege kicked nearly half of the money back into Ms. Schrenko’s gubernatorial campaign.

Mr. Theodocion said that the $16,000 amounted to just 2.5 percent of the total money involved.

“So you got a 97.5 percent discount, didn’t you?” Mr. Theodocion asked.

Mr. Turner explained that the guilty plea mentions the $16,000 was part of a broader pattern.


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Oregon Bookkeeper bags nearly half a million dollars, builds swimming pool. Sentenced to three years.

jodi lynne setzer

Sometimes being too trusting can end up costing you a lot of money.

Medford dentist Sandra Carmeci found this out to the tune of more than $160,000 after her bookkeeper reportedly forged checks and racked up credit card bills in the office’s name over the course of several years.

Medford financial detectives believe Jodi Lynne Setzer, 42, of Central Point, made off with hundreds of thousands of dollars from small businesses in Medford, Phoenix and Rainier by ingratiating herself with the owners.

Winning their trust turned into a lucrative scheme after Setzer allegedly began financing her lifestyle, which included building a pool in her yard and buying clothes, with allegedly embezzled funds, police said.

“Unfortunately, it’s this trust that makes people victims,” Medford police Sgt. Brent Mak said.

Carmeci employed Setzer as her bookkeeper for nearly 10 years. During that time, the two became close, Carmeci said.

“I knew her kid and her family,” she said. “It’s been a difficult year. The deception is the hardest thing, when you find out a friend is not a friend.”

Carmeci became suspicious when some red flags appeared in the practice’s business accounts. A check of the books turned up about $80,000 in embezzled funds siphoned off the business and into Setzer’s wallet.

“At first I didn’t even want to call the police because I knew her and her kid so well,” Carmeci said. “We eventually worked out a deal where she paid me back.”

However, more and more losses were found over time, which eventually added up to more than $160,000, Carmeci said.

The last straw came when Carmeci found that thousands of illegal painkiller prescriptions were collected by Setzer. Carmeci called the police after that discovery.

Meanwhile, Stephen Petersen, a Rainier attorney, was digging through his own books and finding close to $300,000 in losses. He, too, had hired Setzer as a bookkeeper for his law business.

“Honestly, I don’t know how much she got me for,” Petersen said. “I just knew that I should have been doing better than I was. Come to find out, I was losing a lot of money.”

Detectives also contacted the Phoenix-based Noel Lesley Event Services, where Setzer had worked as a bookkeeper for a few months in 2011. In that time, police allege, Setzer wrote several fraudulent checks and made unauthorized fund transfers, with a loss of $39,200.

Financial detectives believe all of this could have been avoided if the business owners had installed a checks-and-balances system in the bookkeeping process.

“You never want just one person handling your finances,” Mak said. “And if you do, then you want to have regular, random audits of the books to see if everything is copacetic.”

Both Carmeci and Petersen said they never noticed the money disappearing from their businesses because the thefts were made gradually, over a period of years. In the end, it added up.

“When you’re running a practice and have a family, you sometimes don’t have time to look closely at the books,” Carmeci said. “But I won’t make that mistake again.”

Setzer faces a number of felony charges, including 10 counts of aggravated theft and first-degree theft. She is scheduled for a pretrial hearing on March 18 in Jackson County Circuit Court


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Content retrieved from: http://www.opb.org/news/article/bookkeeper-bags-nearly-half-a-million-dollars-police-say/

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Embezzler gets three years for scheme

A Central Point bookkeeper was sentenced to three years in prison and was ordered to pay back more than a quarter-million dollars she embezzled from local business owners who entrusted her while unwittingly fueling her lavish lifestyle.

A Central Point bookkeeper was sentenced to three years in prison and was ordered to pay back more than a quarter-million dollars she embezzled from local business owners who entrusted her while unwittingly fueling her lavish lifestyle.

Under a plea deal, Jodi Lynne Setzer, 42, pleaded guilty Monday in Jackson County Circuit Court to two counts of aggravated identity theft, six counts of aggravated theft and two counts of first-degree theft stemming from two different cases.

In addition to the prison sentence, Judge Lorenzo Mejia ordered Setzer to serve two years’ probation and to pay more than $263,000 to the bilked business owners, who include a local event planner and a dentist who considered her a good friend.

Setzer was taken into custody immediately after the brief 11 a.m. hearing.

Most embezzlement cases like these are tied to people with drug, alcohol or gambling problems, but those vices were not in Setzer’s background, Jackson County Assistant District Attorney Jeremy Markiewicz said outside of court.In Setzer’s case, she skimmed money from her employers to live a few notches above what she could earn legitimately, Markiewicz said.

She had a child at one time in a Medford private school and had a pool built in her backyard, according to investigators.

“It was feeding a lifestyle that she really didn’t have enough money for,” Markiewicz said.

“In a lot of these cases, you have people who tend to have their vices,” he said. “She’s not the typical person to do this.”

However, Setzer’s case started as a drug investigation in July 2012 when the dentist for whom she worked as a bookkeeper suspected Setzer was using the dentist’s identity to obtain fraudulent prescriptions for the drug hydrocodone, commonly known by the trade name Vicodin.

Investigators later learned through the Oregon Prescription Drug Monitoring Program that she had forged about 150 prescriptions for about 7,800 hydrocodone doses.

When she and husband Jason Setzer were arrested two weeks later, police found no illegal prescription drugs in their possession, so their case was handled as theft and record tampering, Markiewicz said.

Investigators discovered Setzer used electronic transfers from her employer’s account to pay her personal bills, investigators said.

That employer alone saw almost $205,000 siphoned from her business account by Setzer between April 2007 and April 2012, according to prosecutors. Setzer worked for that dentist for 13 years, prosecutors said.

“She was stealing money from a lot of people for a lot longer time than she was getting hydrocodone,” Markiewicz said.

Setzer’s bank records also revealed that she stole money in similar fashion from two other victims, identified by investigators as a local event planner and a Rainier attorney.

Jason Setzer has an Aug. 13 court hearing scheduled for a change of plea in his case. He faces four counts of aggravated identity theft for his alleged part in the prescription medication fraud, court records show.

Content retrieved from: http://www.mailtribune.com/article/20130625/News/306250332

NY Woman accused of embezzling $500k from dentist; charges subsequently dropped

Higgins-Cheryl

WHITE PLAINS – Acting Westchester County District Attorney James A. McCarty announced that Cheryl Higgins, age 51, of Mohegan Lake, was arraigned on Aug. 4, 2016 on a felony complaint charging her with one count of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class “C” Felony.

McCarty said during the period between Dec. 18, 2007 and March 5, 2015, the defendant, the former office manager for David Sandak, D.D.S. of Advanced Periodontics and Implant Dentistry of Westchester, stole in excess of $500,000 from her employer.

She accomplished this by opening an unauthorized business credit card, according to McCarty, and using Dr. Sandak’s personal credit card accounts.

The defendant proceeded to pay for her own personal expenses using Dr. Sandak’s funds and to purchase items for herself and her family without permission or authority to do so.

The defendant’s bail was set at $100,000.

Charges were subsequently dropped by the District Attorney due to lack of evidence.


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Content retrieved from: http://hudsonvalleynewsnetwork.com/2016/08/05/woman-stole-500k-employer/

Two employees accused of embezzling $800k from Washington dentist


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Dentist claims duo stole $800,000

OLYMPIA — An Olympia dentist is suing a receptionist and a bookkeeper who used to work for him, alleging that they stole an estimated $800,000 from his practice. A separate criminal investigation involves $80,000 in possible embezzlement, but prosecutors say that number could grow much higher.

Prosecuting Attorney Joseph Wheeler confirmed Wednesday that there is a criminal investigation of alleged embezzlement from Dr. Donald Niemann’s dental practice. The two former employees are identified in Niemann’s lawsuit as Bobbi Current, 50, and Kelli Flynn, 44.

Case referred

The case has been referred to the prosecuting attorney’s office, but criminal charges have yet to be filed, Wheeler said.

Current worked as a receptionist at Niemann’s dental practice from 1994 to 2007, and Flynn worked as a bookkeeper there from 1996 to 2006, according to Niemann’s suit.

Current could not be reached for comment Wednesday night. Flynn said in a phone interview Wednesday that she used to work for Niemann but left to take another job. She said she wasn’t aware of any investigation. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Flynn said. “I guess I would have no comment whatsoever.”

Practice since 1975

Niemann has had a dental practice in Olympia since 1975. He said he thinks the embezzlement started around 2000. He said he learned of it through an audit.

Niemann said the alleged embezzlement is “deeply disappointing” and declined further comment.

According to the suit, Current and Flynn took money from Niemann’s practice and “made efforts to disguise and hide these actions from plaintiffs.”

This year, a local couple, Lori and Michael Doughty, pleaded guilty to multiple felonies after they were accused of embezzling about $1.9 million from Fisher Jones Family Dentistry in Olympia. Lori Doughty was sentenced to 10 years in prison, and Michael Doughty was sentenced to 17 months. Both were ordered to pay restitution.

People who work in offices where there are a large number of financial transactions, such as dental offices, might think they can embezzle without being caught, Wheeler said.

Niemann’s lawsuit seeks repayment of funds.

 

Content retrieved from: The Olympian, September 12, 2007

Virginia dentist’s friend sentenced to 3 years; embezzled $422k

Longtime Richmond dentist Edward D. Gardner Jr. trusted his close friend and business partner, David B. Kagey, “as much as I trusted anybody.”

“I thought he was my best friend,” Gardner testified Thursday in Chesterfield County Circuit Court. “I loved him like a brother. I trusted him implicitly.”

The two men and their wives traveled and took vacations together as their business relationship evolved over a decade. Their bonds of friendship seemed only to grow as Gardner hired Kagey to oversee his successful dental practice on Forest Hill Avenue and then help develop a lucrative side business that brought them additional financial rewards.

To Gardner, it now seems largely a mirage.

For at least five years, Kagey methodically and with no apparent regret stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from his best friend and confidant until Gardner’s practice nearly collapsed. Employees’ salaries had to be cut, along with the number of days the practice could operate. Three of the four dentists were let go, leaving only Gardner.

In a bit of irony, the ongoing theft forced Gardner to lay off even Kagey — a decision that Gardner said he deeply regretted at the time.

“It seemed that we should have been doing better than we were,” Gardner testified. “But we seemed to be falling further and further behind in paying our bills.”

Before Gardner and his daughter discovered the theft, Kagey had siphoned off at least $422,000 between Jan. 1, 2006, and Dec. 31, 2010. A forensic accountant hired by Gardner believes the loss totaled as much as $750,000.

Kagey’s “lies, deceit and longtime betrayal” — as Chesterfield prosecutor Larry S. Hogan described it — culminated Thursday in a three-year prison term for Kagey.

Judge Harold W. Burgess Jr. sentenced Kagey, 57, to a total of 40 years in prison with 37 years suspended on four felony counts of embezzlement, to which Kagey had pleaded guilty in September. At Hogan’s urging, Burgess deviated up from state sentencing guidelines, which called for probation and no incarceration — largely because Kagey had no criminal record.

The theft, Burgess said, “represents a continuous pattern of deceit” that was made worse by the “unusually close relationship” between Kagey and his victim.

But the judge did give Kagey credit for living a law-abiding life tarnished by one mistake, and successfully raising two children with his wife of 30 years. At one point, all of them stood in support of him. “It’s sad to see a man like you before me,” the judge said.

The judge ordered Kagey to pay $439,191.89 in restitution to Gardner, which includes about $16,000 Gardner collectively paid to his daughter and the forensic accountant to unravel the theft. When Kagey is released at age 60, he must repay a minimum of $1,000 a month.

Aside from the theft, Kagey “has had an otherwise exemplary life,” defense attorney G. Manoli Loupassi said, and has at all times admitted to his “guilt, his embarrassment and his shame.”

The attorney explained Kagey’s thievery as “stealing to pay” for a lifestyle that was beyond his middle-class means, and “trying to be something he’s not.”

But Hogan described Kagey as a callously deceptive man who “fidgeted like a 3-year-old” when caught in lies during questioning by a Chesterfield detective. When Gardner’s dental practice was on the verge of insolvency, Hogan noted, Kagey admonished employees to cut back on basic supplies — while he used stolen funds to play country club-level golf and spend $17,000 at Paper Moon, a topless club in South Richmond.

Hogan said Kagey had none of the usual vices — gambling, alcohol or drugs — that would explain why he stole such vast sums. “It was all spent frivolously,” the prosecutor said.


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Content retrieved from: http://www.richmond.com/news/article_e7280e55-ffb1-5cef-8524-860d69416120.html

Walla Walla educator, bookkeeper, 7th Day Adventist, embezzles $823k, sentenced to 18 months in prison

July 18 2014–WALLA WALLA — A former Walla Walla University finance professor and self-employed bookkeeper will spend time in federal prison on a charge of wire fraud in connection with the theft of more than $800,000 from a local dentist.

Dana G. Thompson of College Place was sentenced in U.S. District Court in the Tri-Cities this week to serve 18 months in prison.

Thompson taught finance at the Seventh-day Adventist university in College Place for 15 years and kept books for about 13 years for Walla Walla Dental Care owner Dr. Dan Laizure.

Thompson pleaded guilty in April and in May told the Union-Bulletin there were extenuating circumstances in the case, but did not give additional details.

The theft from Laizure was carried out by writing unauthorized checks from the dentist to himself, banks and other people in guise of insurance company refunds, according to court documents. Upon deposit, those checks electronically debited Walla Walla Dental care’s account.

In addition to his prison sentence, Thompson was ordered to pay $823,832 in restitution. Laizure is to be repaid $773,832, while $50,000 will go to Traveler’s Insurance for costs associated with Laizure’s investigation of the loss of money.

Thompson has handed over $34,000 from the sale of his home and a gold coin collection, according to court documents.

Court documents from his sentencing hearing Tuesday state Thompson will be on probation for three years following his release from prison. He will have to make all financial information available to his probation officer, including authorization to conduct credit checks and see federal income tax returns. Thompson also must disclose all financial assets and liabilities to the supervising officer, and he cannot sell or give away an asset without court approval.

As well, Thompson cannot incur any new debt, open lines of credit or enter into any financial contracts without permission from his probation officer, sentencing documents said.

Authorities may search him, his home, office or vehicle at any time during his probation, and he must complete a mental health evaluation and follow certain treatment recommendations.

Thompson has waived his right to appeal. The court recommended he serve his sentence at the federal prison in Sheridan, Ore.

Laizure said Thursday he refuses to be “bogged down” with the incident, and is looking forward.

“This is out of my hands,” the dentist said. “I have way too many things to think about for the future.”


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Content retrieved from: http://insurancenewsnet.com/oarticle/Local-educator-bookkeeper-sentenced-for-embezzlement-a-532274

 

Washington dental office manager gets 7-year prison term for theft of $560,000

michaelee roehrs

By Laura McVicker

Published: April 2, 2010, 12:00 AM

The former office manager of a Hazel Dell dental clinic accused of stealing more than $560,000 from the practice and illegally obtaining prescription painkillers was sentenced Thursday to seven years in prison.

A frail-looking Michaelee Roehrs, 66, pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree theft and seven counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud. The charges relate to her embezzling money from Sheron Dental between 2001 and 2008.

As part of a plea agreement, attorneys decided on an exceptional sentence of 84 months. Clark County Superior Court Judge John Wulle imposed the sentence Thursday.

Before sentencing, several people testified about the damage Roehrs’ actions had on the business, both financially and emotionally.

Dentist Richard Sheron detailed the extensive steps Roehrs took in her embezzlement, going so far as to use the names of dead relatives when she forged prescriptions for the narcotic hydrocodone.

She also deposited checks into her personal bank account and offered fake discounts to patients in order to get them to pay with cash, he said.

But the worst thing she did, Sheron said, was violate the trust of the family-owned business.

“For over 20 years, I thought Ms. Roehrs was a trusted friend,” Sheron said as he faced the judge. “But she was a thief.”

That violation of trust was one of the reasons why Clark County sheriff’s Detective Tom Mitchum called it “egregious.”

“It was by far one of the most prolific financial crimes I’ve ever investigated,” he said.

The embezzlement was uncovered in March 2008 after a new office worker looked at the business records and realized something was amiss. The dentist hired a forensic accountant, who could only research records back to 2001, when a new software program was installed.

Sheron Dental won a lawsuit in June 2008 that found Roehrs civilly liable for $562,239. Criminal charges were filed in July.

Roehrs has paid $20,000 so far in restitution, but Clark County Deputy Prosecutor Jeannie Bryant said the victims don’t expect the financially strapped defendant to pay much more.

Roehrs’ court-appointed attorney, Jeff Barrar, called the plea agreement a reasonable conclusion to a case that could have entailed a month long trial.

“For a frail woman of her age in poor health, it might be a life sentence,” he said.

After hearing the victim, the prosecutor and her attorney go into extensive detail about the allegations, Roehrs stood up to have her say. She denied the accusation that she hadn’t shown any remorse.

“I’m very sorry for what I did,” Roehrs said, breaking into tears. “I love Dr. Sheron. I love his family.”


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Content retrieved from: http://www.columbian.com/news/2010/apr/02/former-office-manager-gets-7-years-in-dental-clini/.

Minnesota woman sentenced for stealing almost $500,000 from dental office

teresalarson_UPT3Woman sentenced in Moorhead embezzlement case

MOORHEAD – A Moorhead woman was sentenced to almost four years in prison after pleading guilty to stealing almost $500,000 dollars from the dental office where she worked as manager.

Teresa Rae Larson, 45, was sentenced in Clay County District Court Tuesday to three years and nine months after pleading guilty to four counts of diversion of corporate property, a felony. Eleven other counts against Larson were dismissed as part of a plea agreement.

Larson admitted to stealing from her employer, Northland Dental, starting in January 2006 and continuing until last April.

Victims who spoke in court Tuesday said Larson used the more than $497,000 she stole for cosmetic surgery, trips to Hawaii, clothes, jewelry, and for work on her home.

Larson apologized to her victims in court.


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Content retrieved from: http://legacy.wday.com/event/article/id/92648/

Former manager of South Carolina dental office gets 6 years in prison for embezzlement

linda-gregg
Linda Branton Gregg, 54, of Armadillo Court near St. Stephen pleaded guilty Wednesday in a Moncks Corner courtroom to a charge of breach of trust of more than $10,000 after money went missing from St. Stephen Family Dentistry. (PROVIDED)

A former office manager for a St. Stephen dentist was sentenced Wednesday to six years in prison for funneling tens of thousands of dollars from the practice.

Linda Branton Gregg, 54, of Armadillo Court near St. Stephen pleaded guilty in a Moncks Corner courtroom to a charge of breach of trust of more than $10,000.

Ninth Circuit Judge Roger Young gave her the maximum 10-year prison sentence, which was suspended in lieu of six years in prison and three years of probation.

Gregg had been arrested in December 2011 on suspicion that she stole more than $80,000 from St. Stephen Family Dentistry on South Main Street, where she had worked for about 25 years.

Capt. Rick Ollic of the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office, which investigated the case along with the St. Stephen Police Department, said Thursday that “it was a good outcome based on the circumstances.”

The loss of the funds was said to have devastated the dental practice financially and its owner, Dr. Tristan Cordray, emotionally, his attorney said.

Though she faced only one charge, Gregg also stole money from Dr. Herbert Orvin, who had owned the practice before his death, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

A native of Ravenel, Cordray purchased the business in 2008, shortly after he graduated from dental school and decided to practice in a rural area, according a Post and Courier profile of him that was published before the allegations surfaced.

The practice sued Gregg and her fiance, Douglas Allen Kaufman. In December, Circuit Judge Markley Dennis awarded $569,371.47 in damages to the dentist.

One of Cordray’s attorneys in the lawsuit, Oana Johnson of Charleston, said the theft had been a “big loss.”

“Part of the problem was that they all trusted her,” Johnson said. “That’s as painful as losing money sometimes.”

Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or twitter.com/offlede.

 


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http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20140123/PC16/140129744

Manhattan dentist receptionist stole patient info to buy $700K in Apple gift cards; sentenced to two years in prison

annie-vuong2
A receptionist at a Manhattan dental office stole confidential information from hundreds of patient’s and teamed up with a former Apple employee to open fraudulent credit lines and buy hundreds

Update April 2018:

MANHATTAN, NY — A former receptionist at a Manhattan dental office was sentenced to at least two years in prison on Tuesday for stealing the personal data of hundreds of patients at the dental office where she worked and using it to buy Apple products, prosecutors said.

Annie Vuong, 31, was an integral part of an identify theft ring that began stealing information like names, birthdays, address and social security numbers from patients at Vuong’s Manhattan dental office, district attorney Cy Vance said. Vuong would send the stolen data to Devin Bazile, a former Apple store employee, who would use the information to purchase instant credit offered by Apple.

Between May and November 2012, Vuong copied the data of at least 653 patients and shared it with Bazile, prosecutors said.

In total, Vuong, Bazile and two other co-defendants purchased more than $700,000 in Apple products using the fraudulent credit, according to authorities.

“Annie Vuong exploited her access to confidential patient information to commit large-scale identity theft against hundreds of unsuspecting victims, as a jury found in this 189-count conviction,” Vance said in a statement. “Her role as the source of stolen information set this entire scheme into motion, enabling her co-defendants to rack up more than $700,000 in fraudulent purchases.”

The group was indicted in February 2015 after more than two years of investigation by Vance’s office.

In March, Vuong was found guilty of 189 charges, including grand larceny and identify theft. She was sentenced to serve between two and six years in state prison.

Vuong’s three co-defendants have already been sentenced. Baile, 33, was sentenced to serve between three and nine years in prison.

Content retrieved from: https://patch.com/new-york/soho-little-italy/manhattan-receptionist-who-stole-patient-data-sentenced-prison


Original story:

A receptionist at a Manhattan dental office stole confidential information from hundreds of patient’s and teamed up with a former Apple employee to open fraudulent credit lines and buy hundreds of thousands in Apple gift cards, authorities said.

Annie Vuong, 27, allegedly copied the confidential records of over 250 patients, including their dates of birth, addresses and Social Security numbers and emailed the pilfered data to her cohort, former Apple salesman Devin Bazile, 30, court records show.

Bazile used the patients’ information to apply online for instant Apple credit lines ranging from $2,000 to $7,000 with an accomplice, Sharniqkwa Dukes, authorities alleged.

They received bar codes via email that could be used like a credit cards.

Bazile and another accomplice, Joshua Haughton, allegedly recruited crooked Apple employees in Manhattan, White Plains and New Jersey, authorities said.

They’d email the bar codes to Apple salesmen, including Ahmeen Evans, 26, to buy the gift cards so as not to arouse suspicion, court papers say.

The cybercrime ring allegedly bought $700,000 worth of Apple products with the fraudulent gift cards, according to the indictment.

The four were indicted on 394 counts of grand larceny, identity theft and other raps for the scam that ran from May to November 2012, court records show.

They pleaded not guilty at their arraignment Tuesday in Manhattan Supreme Court. Justice Melissa Jackson set bail at $750,000 for the ringleader, Bazile.

Vuong, her attorney said in court, is currently working for American Express.

“Using stolen information to purchase Apple products is one of the most common schemes employed by cybercrime and identity theft rings today,” said District Attorney Cy Vance. “We see in case after case how all it takes is single insider at a company – in this instance, allegedly, a receptionist in a dentists’ office – to set an identity theft ring in motion, which then tries to monetize the stolen information by purchasing Apple goods for resale or personal use.”

Content retrieved from: Dentist receptionist stole patient info to buy $700K in Apple gift cards | New York Post

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