Ex-employee of Arkansas dentist gets 12 years for $218,000 theft; ‘you kind of disgust me,’ judge says

Angela Kay Henson

The former office manager for a Little Rock dentist was sentenced to 12 years in prison Monday for stealing at least $218,000 from the practice over a five-year period.

The prison term is symbolic — one year in the penitentiary for each year Angela Kay Henson worked for Cobb Family Dentistry on Baseline Road and Dr. Donald Cobb, Pulaski County Circuit Judge Barry Sims said.

He told the 48-year-old Little Rock woman, who had been paid $42,500 a year, that she had done more than just steal money, but also robbed Cobb and his wife of their ability to trust and the efforts of their years of hard work.

“You kind of disgust me,” Sims told Henson before pronouncing sentence. “They cared for you. You abused their trust. You took more than just their money. You took their lives as they knew them.”

Henson pleaded guilty last month, and she has repaid Cobb $168,000, the amount remaining after the insurance reimbursed him. That payment was a loan from a cousin, she told the judge.

Henson received character endorsements from her pastor, Tommy Jones of Grace Church, and her husband Andy’s cousin Kyle Jones, who each described her as being genuinely contrite.

Henson was tearful and apologetic during her eight minutes of testimony. She denied accusations by the Cobb family that she had deliberately tried to sabotage the dental practice.

“I am sorry. I never meant to be mean. I never meant to cause you stress,” she said. “I come from a good family. I raised good kids. I know Dr. Cobb cared about me … and what I did was wrong. But I wasn’t always bad.”

The Cobbs have known Henson since she was 19, and over the years have lent her money when she needed it, such as when her husband was laid off, according to testimony.

Confronted by prosecutor Sharon Strong, Henson said she could not explain why she stole the money.

“I don’t have a logical reason for that,” Henson told the judge. “I can’t make any rhyme or reason out of that.”

Henson denied Strong’s accusations that she had spent Cobb’s money on a swimming pool for her home, a trip to New York or a cruise for her daughter, testifying that she had used other resources for those expenses.

Henson faced a 20-year maximum sentence. Her attorney Matthew McKay asked the judge to consider probation, taking into account her remorse, the restitution and her lack of criminal history.

Strong requested at least five years in prison, the minimum sentence for the Class B felony theft, arguing that Henson feels bad about what she did only because she was caught.

Sims pointed out that the dentist was out substantially more than just the money Henson stole. The cost of the accounting that uncovered the theft was $20,000, while Donald Cobb testified that after Henson was fired, the dentist’s wife discovered about $10,000 in expired insurance checks.

The judge also noted that Henson could have stolen more than authorities know. Cobb could afford only for a five-year forensic audit, which allowed for a review of the finances from January 2013 to January 2018 when Henson’s scheme was uncovered.

Henson had been more than an employee; she was also a friend, Donald Cobb testified. He said he had trusted her absolutely to do a job he could not do himself — managing the business.

Henson’s thievery was discovered in January 2018 after he decided to sell his practice because profits had been falling dramatically, he told the judge.

“I was working harder than I ever did, and I was making less money than I did 10 years ago,” he said.

He hired an accountant to put together his financial records, but Henson dragged her feet about providing the requested documents, he said. Once she did turn over the records, what she had done was obvious, Cobb told the judge.

“It kind of broke my heart and broke my spirit. I didn’t want to have a practice anymore,” he said. Cobb did sell the business in November.

Bills were unpaid. Patients had not been billed. Tax penalties were owed. Cobb described finding 46 pages of insurance claims that had gone unfiled while insurance checks had not been been cashed.

“It was like there was an attempt to bankrupt my practice,” Cobb told the judge.

His wife, who took over for Henson, also told the judge that Henson’s stealing seemed to be malicious.

“It was just total disorganization,” Margaret Cobb testified. “Ms. Henson literally caused us so much anguish and put us through hell.”

She said Henson would steal cash payments, but credit patients’ accounts. Henson even stole the rent one tenant paid, Margaret Cobb said.

She “robbed us of our money … our joy … and also of our trust,” Margaret Cobb told the judge.

Content retrieved from: https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2019/may/29/ex-employee-of-dentist-gets-12-years-fo/

First you steal from a dentist, then a car dealership

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Little Rock, AR – Pulaski County Circuit Judge Barry Sims denied bail Monday to a Bryant woman who was charged with stealing $75,000 from a car dealership after she had already pleaded guilty to stealing $31,000 from a dentist she had worked for.

Kelli Lynn Silor, 49, was arrested in February, four days before she was due to be sentenced by the judge for forgery in the theft of $31,049 from Dr. Richard Lewis of Maumelle between April 25, 2014, and June 9, 2014. She pleaded guilty in December to the Class C felony charge, which carries up to 10 years in prison.

But Little Rock police arrested her Feb. 25 and charged her with theft and forgery counts based on a forensic audit at Parker Cadillac, on North Shackleford Road, that showed $75,265 had been stolen while she was an office manager there, detective Brett Stewart told the judge.

The money came from dealership accounts she controlled, Stewart said.

Some of the money was taken in cash from deposits, and some of it was stolen through forged checks, at least one of which was as large as $9,600, he said.

Silor, in a recorded interview after her arrest, admitted to taking money from the Cadillac dealership, but said she didn’t know how much it was, Stewart testified.

Challenged by defense attorney Rob Berry, Stewart said police had no video of Silor cashing forged checks. The detective also acknowledged that someone else could have accessed the dealership accounts using Silor’s personal identification number.

The money was taken between June 1, 2015, and Jan. 5, he said.

Deputy prosecutor Jill Kamps pointed out that at that same time Silor had been free on bail for the thefts from the dentist’s office, where she had been a receptionist and cashier.

She was arrested in July 2014 by Maumelle police who said she forged and altered checks at the dentist’s office to steal money.

Court records show that in August 2008 in Van Buren County, Silor was convicted of felony theft for stealing $14,776 from Payton Dodge Chrysler Jeep dealership in Clinton by forging checks on the company’s account.

She received a 10-year suspended prison sentence in that case and was ordered to pay restitution at $200 a month.

Two months later she was sentenced to two years in prison in Faulkner County Circuit Court on two counts of defrauding a secured creditor. Details of the case were not immediately available, but court records show she was ordered to pay $50,046 to HomeBank of Arkansas.

She also has convictions for felony hot-check writing from Faulkner County in 2008, Searcy County in 2002 and Van Buren County in 2001 and 2002. She also had seven misdemeanor hot-check convictions between 2000 and 2001 in Greenbrier.

James Silor, her husband of 19 years, testified Monday that the mother of four needed to be released because she has a heart ailment and he is concerned that she’s not receiving her medication while in jail, citing a fainting spell.

He also said he needs her to help manage the household finances, telling the judge that he is struggling to figure out the bills since she’s been jailed. James Silor also testified that he has never seen any excess money in the home.

“If there was money coming in, we sure didn’t see it,” he told the judge.

Sims, saying the evidence indicated a high likelihood of conviction, rejected Kelli Silor’s bail request, meaning she will remain jailed for the foreseeable future.

“She’s admitted to taking over $100,000,” Sims said. “She’s not going anywhere

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