A woman is accused of forging numerous prescriptions from her work.
Marla Rebecca Bright, 31, of First Broad Drive in Bostic, turned herself in to the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office on May 25 after a representative with Shelby Dental Care Center reported the forgery of doctor’s signatures on prescriptions for the drug Norco, a pill mixture of acetaminophen and hydrocodone, on May 12.
The discovery was made after the dental office received a call from CVS for verification on the signature, according to Shelby Police reports.
Bright allegedly printed off prescriptions and forged a doctor’s signature. First reports indicate eight prescriptions had been forged. Investigators believe a total of 14 prescriptions were printed off.
Each prescription was for varying amounts of the drug, said Capt. Steve Seate.
The initial investigation showed five of the eight prescriptions were filled for people who have no patient history at the office. Investigators do not believe she was selling the medicine.
Bright has been working at the office for more than two years as a dental assistant, Seate said.
When asked about the incident, the practice sent a written response.
“In response to a recent news report about a former Shelby Dental Care Center employee, we would like to clarify our on-going policy regarding the administering of controlled substances. Our policy is one of strict adherence to state and federal guidelines, which we follow carefully. Any member of our team found not to be in compliance with these standards are relieved of their responsibilities and employment with Shelby Dental Care Center. This is now a legal matter and is being handled by the proper local and state authorities… Patient safety and privacy are of the utmost importance to us and we go to great lengths to make sure that neither are compromised,” Dr. Brenton Young and Dr. Pauline Cahill said in the statement.
She is charged with 14 counts of felony common law forgery, 14 counts of felony forging and uttering and 14 counts of felony obtaining a controlled substance by fraud.
She has bonded out of jail and is due in court June 27.
Content retrieved from http://www.shelbystar.com/news/20170601/dental-assistant-accused-of-forgery
Michele Williams of Keller TX was fired from the dental office where she worked on suspicion of embezzlement. She has now been given a 60-year prison sentence for murdering her husband, Greg Williams. Her initial claim was that her husband had been murdered by an intruder.
Possible motives included the desire to be with her bodybuilder lover, Gene Wallace, and to collect on $650k of life insurance that was in place on Greg Williams.
There are many twists in this story — here is a small part of it:
When Michele Williams dialed 911, the lies came quickly and easily. Playing the part of hysterical wife, she screamed through tears, “My husband was shot. Somebody was in the house.”
The call came in at 4:40 am on October 13, 2011, and Keller police rushed to the Williams’ lavish home in the Twin Lakes subdivision. Michele met them in the front yard, spouting the same story about an intruder. Inside the home, detectives found the television on full blast and a child asleep on the sofa.
The gated community was soon swarming with cop cars, detectives and forensic analysts. The corner lot was cordoned off with crime scene tape, and police searched every inch of the nearly 5,000-square-foot home.
Michele, fully dressed with her hair fixed, was behaving oddly. For starters, she told the police she’d been asleep, but her clothes and demeanor didn’t seem it. “Women do not typically sleep in their bra,” one detective noted in his report. Another catalogued Michele’s emotional state. “She was not crying. She was screaming.”
Michele was taken to the Keller police station for questioning, and after a few hours, her implausible story began to fall apart. Her husband, Greg Williams, had been shot in the head while lying in bed. The .45-caliber gun purportedly used by an intruder was found near the back door next to a wrench.
Both weapons were clean of fingerprints. There was no sign of forced entry, and the $20,000 the couple kept in the house hadn’t been touched.
Michele claimed an intruder dressed in black smacked her in the head with the wrench before shooting Greg in the right temple and fleeing out the back door. The couple’s 4-year-old daughter had slept through the entire ordeal. Michele was the sole witness to the crime.
A neighbor’s security camera footage showed only one car entering the gated subdivision in the hours surrounding the murder. Police confirmed the vehicle belonged to a newspaper delivery person.
With her first yarn unraveled, Michele needed to switch spools. After two hours of questioning, the Keller police officer interrogating Michele provided her with a new cover story.
The officer told her about a case where a husband killed himself, and the wife cleaned up to the scene in order to collect on a life insurance policy.
“If there was something that happened that was unintentional, or if something happened and you covered it up, please tell me now,” the officer said. “[It’s] either self-inflicted and you covered it up or potential you may be involved.”
Caught between a scenario in which she was a cold-blooded murderer or one that painted her as a frantic wife and mother acting impulsively, Michele chose the latter.
“He did it,” she said, with her head in her hands. Ever the charmer, Michele even congratulated the detective on cracking the case. “I would not have made it through the day,” she said. “You won.”
Michele didn’t have an explanation as to why a successful businessman and devoted father would commit suicide, but now she could explain her own behavior. Claiming that she wanted to spare their young daughter from the painful truth, Michele told the police she cleaned the gun and Greg’s hands before frantically staging a home break-in and calling 911.
That explanation, however flawed, provided a reason why the house was devoid of forensic evidence. Michele admitted she wiped down the crime scene with bleach and — to really sell her story to their sleeping child — hit herself in the face with a wrench.
Although the suicide claim was flimsy, Keller police struggled to find a motive for murder. There’s only one recorded instance of police asking Michele if she was having an affair. It occurred less than an hour into her interrogation, and she skillfully dodged the question.
“No issues with you and him? No affairs?” the officer asked. Michele responded, “We are [together] almost 99 percent of the time. We are side by side. We work together on everything.”
From the start, Keller police doubted Michele’s credibility. But without any physical evidence to tie her to the murder, she was arrested for filing a false police report and allowed to go home.
According to sources close to Michele, she didn’t spend the days following her husband’s death in mourning. She went to her sister’s house around 5 pm the day of the murder and never mentioned Greg’s name.
“Michele was crying on and off, but it didn’t seem genuine,” her sister, Laura Cusick, said in a police interview.
Michele spent the night there and awoke the next morning with a big appetite. Laura says Michele came into the kitchen about 8:30 am, all dressed up, with her hair fixed and makeup on. “She said she wanted to go to IHOP for breakfast,” Laura told the police. “I found it odd.”
After a leisurely breakfast, Michele met with her lawyers and wrote an $18,000 check from Greg’s business account to attorney Kenneth Wincorn. Then she hopped in Greg’s BMW and took her children on a week-long vacation at Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine. She was later spotted at sports bars and shopping for adult Halloween costumes.
With Greg dead, Michele began liquidating his assets. She sold Blueberries, the frozen yogurt shop she’d begged him to buy her, for $50,000 on Craigslist. She also sold the client list from his computer company, DFW IT Pro, for $8,000.
But time was running out on Michele’s holiday. The Tarrant County medical examiner’s office ruled Greg’s death a homicide on November 3.
The autopsy was not consistent with a self-inflicted wound and instead proved someone shot Greg from a distance of 12 to 18 inches. The toxicology report determined Greg had a large dose of Diphenhydramine (a sedative common in sleeping pills) in his system at the time of his death.
The couple’s 4-year-old daughter — who inexplicably slept through the television blaring, a gun being fired and police storming the house — was never tested for a sleeping agent. Child Protective Services placed her in a family friend’s home in the days following her dad’s death, and she remains in their care now.
Keller police continued to comb the Williams’ home, hoping to find a shred of evidence Michele had overlooked in her cleaning frenzy. But she wasn’t one to get caught in a lie. By the time she met Greg, she’d already had a lot of practice.
Sex, lies and audiotape
Like Michele, Brandon Dixon grew up in Hurst. He went to elementary, middle and high school with Michele and her sister, Laura.
Michele’s father worked odd jobs in construction and as a handy man. But Brandon likens his real job to a con man.
“He would get hurt on purpose and try to sue the company,” Brandon says. “He was caught on camera jumping in front of car and then trying to say it was their fault.”
In a small town like Hurst, news travels fast. And even though Michele’s father never went through with filing a lawsuit, his failed exploits were well-known.
“Lies, cheating and manipulation, that was normal for her,” Brandon says. “It has been nonstop for Michele her whole life.”
Michele, a petite brunette with an athletic build, developed a taste for younger men as a student at LD Bell High School. She was pregnant by age 15. At 17, Michele dropped out of school and married her first husband, 16-year-old Kenneth O’Brien.
Ken joined the military, and the couple moved around a lot. The marriage fell apart while her husband was stationed in Germany, and Michele returned to Hurst with three young children in tow.
Brandon was in his 20s, and reconnecting with Michele after so many years felt magical.
“I was head over heels in love with this girl and her kids,” Brandon says. “I was unaware of a lot of things that were happening until after the fact.”
Brandon’s first clue that his new girlfriend wasn’t who she said she was came right before the couple planned to marry. Michele revealed she was still married to her first husband.
Brandon was furious that she’d lied about being divorced, but Michele insisted she had a good reason. Her husband had been abusive and cheated on her. She was embarrassed to tell the truth and scared to send him divorce papers.
“The real truth is that she was the one cheating on him, and there was no abuse, ever,” Brandon says. “She is very manipulative, and she is very good at it. She can make you believe a fence post talks.”
Unfortunately, Brandon didn’t find that out until after his own marriage was in shambles.
Brandon and Michele married in 1994, and things went well at first. Michele worked as a dental assistant, and Brandon owned his own IT company. Michele changed jobs a lot, but Brandon didn’t think much of it. She also brought home all sorts of dental equipment and supplies.
“To say the least, I probably had the cleanest teeth in town,” Brandon says.
Eventually, Brandon says Michele was fired for stealing and took a night job in telemarketing. “She started coming home with tons of cash,” Brandon says, “and I immediately got suspicious.”
Brandon asked Michele for her work number in case he or the kids needed to get in touch with her. “She was dumb enough that she gave me a real number, and when I called, I found out it was a topless bar. I walked in there and I said, ‘You’ve got five minutes to get your clothes on and get out of here, or you’re coming home to an empty house.’”
Michele quit on the spot, but Brandon’s trust issues with his wife were just beginning. Acting on neighbors’ reports that cars frequented the house while he was at work, Brandon installed an audio recorder. In the span of one day, he says he heard Michele having affairs with two different men.
“She couldn’t deny it. I had it on tape,” Brandon says.
After Brandon confronted her, he demanded a divorce. Michele was furious, and while Brandon was at work, she sought revenge.
“I had a really nice saltwater fish tank, with thousands of dollars worth of fish in it,” Brandon says. “She poured Comet in it and killed everything.”
But Michele didn’t stop there. Brandon also had a dog, a healthy Dalmatian mix named Domino. In what was perhaps her first experience drugging and killing a living being — Brandon believes she drugged the dog to make it seem sick — Michele had Domino put to sleep.
“If you are shocked at this point, we have only scratched the surface,” Brandon says. “This has been a nightmare that has not stopped. You cannot get this girl gone.”
Although abominable, what Michele did to Brandon Dixon pales in comparison to her adventures with other men. John Paul Ray, also a student at L.D. Bell High School in Hurst, is the father of Michele’s first child.
Instead of revealing this information to John, she told Kenneth O’Brien the baby was his. The couple got married, and Ken joined the military to support his new family.
Two more kids and five years later, their marriage fell apart. But Michele kept the ruse alive for 13 years. John told the police that Kenneth paid child support from ages 5 to 18 and was unaware he was not the father.
Once Brandon and Michele divorced, she moved in with John, and the two had a common law marriage for eight years. Their relationship ended abruptly when Michele met Greg Williams.
Suspicious that Michele might be cheating, John searched her purse for signs. He found receipts for a dog collar, whipped cream and cherries, along with a to-do list that mentioned buying a birthday card for someone named Greg.
With her affair confirmed, John moved out and left most of his possessions behind. When he returned to retrieve them, John found Michele running a garage sale, selling off his tools and other personal effects.
“Michele did not like living paycheck to paycheck,” John said in a police interview. “She wanted a better life.”
Good life gone wrong
Before his death, Greg Williams was married three times. He had two daughters, one with his first wife, Kathy, and one with Michele. Greg and Kathy remained on good terms, even though he’d remarried twice. The tension between Michele and Kathy, however, was palpable even before the murder.
“I knew from day one she was nothing but trouble,” Kathy Williams says. “She was fake, and she lied all the time.”
When Kathy was married to Greg, he had just started his computer company, DFW IT Pro. He spent a lot of time at the office, building the business from the ground up. By the time Greg met Michele, however, he was already living the good life. He paid for her to get breast implants, and the couple had a maid and a nanny.
Despite a picturesque suburban home and a precocious toddler, Greg and Michele were not the all-American couple. The pair met through an online community for bondage, domination, sadism and masochism, and their wild house parties led to multiple complaints with the Twin Lakes homeowners association.
Nevertheless, the couple seemed committed to making their third marriage work. They hosted birthday parties for their children from other marriages at their Keller home, and Michele’s three adult children held barbecues and swimming parties there. Her oldest son often invited his friend, Gene Wallis, to the house. Trim, young and fit, Wallis was a personal trainer and body builder.
“I’d see him at the house when I went to pick my daughter up from their parties,” Kathy says. “He was always there.”
Another fixture at Greg and Michele’s parties was his attorney and friend Kenneth Wincorn. “He was close with Greg,” Kathy says. “He came over for holiday parties at Christmas and Thanksgiving.”
Wincorn says he knew Greg — and later Michele — through DFW IT Pro, and the parties he attended at their home were for company clients.
Taylor, Greg and Kathy’s daughter, was also included in the cast of characters who frequented the Williams’ Keller home. At first, Michele was nice to Taylor.
“We used to go out shopping all the time, and we’d go to a movie afterward,” Taylor, now 16, recalls. Taylor even joined Michele, Greg and their daughter on a cruise to Mexico.
Since Greg and Kathy’s divorce in 2003, the couple had agreed to share custody of Taylor. Kenneth Wincorn’s firm drew up the papers. Kathy says there was no formal child support arrangement.
“There didn’t need to be,” Kathy says. “I knew Greg would take care of his responsibilities. He was that kind of man.”
As time went on, Michele began to grow increasingly jealous of Greg’s relationship with Kathy and Taylor. During the summer of 2010, Taylor was spending weekdays with her dad and weekends with her mom. That meant a lot of time with Michele. The two started butting heads, and Michele claimed Taylor, 12, was addicted to prescription drugs.
“She wanted to get Taylor out of the house, and she wanted me out of Greg’s life,” Kathy says. “But her actions actually made us closer, and that really bothered her.”
Pre-teen Taylor had never been in serious trouble, and her parents doubted she had a drug problem. Not getting the results she wanted, Kathy believes Michele slipped prescription painkillers in her own coffee and blamed Taylor.
Michele spent two days at Baylor Grapevine hospital for benzodiazepine opiate ingestion, and Greg sent Taylor to a drug rehab facility. There was never any evidence that Taylor was responsible for Michele’s overdose on antidepressants and narcotics, but she was labeled a drug abuser and ordered to undergo therapy.
After that incident, Kathy stopped letting Taylor spend the night at Greg’s. “If I had the money, I’d be suing a lot of people,” Kathy says.
Even before the police admitted they had doubts about Michele’s story, few people believed Greg committed suicide. He had too much to live for, and he knew all too well how much pain an untimely death caused.
In December 2010, Greg’s best friend and brother-in-law Byrnn Fletcher committed suicide. “He was devastated,” Kathy says. “It was one of the very few times I saw Greg cry.”
Of all the people Keller police interviewed after Greg’s death, the only one who believed he could have committed suicide was Michele’s oldest son. Citing Greg’s confidence and his passion for DFW IT Pro, everyone else strongly denied the possibility.
Ryan Robinson, a DFW IT Pro client, told the police he didn’t believe Greg would ever leave his business in limbo. Ryan recalled a conversation he’d had with Greg after Byrnn committed suicide.
“Greg said he didn’t understand how life could get bad enough that you would want to kill yourself,” Ryan said in an interview with police. “He told me that no matter how bad life got, he could never do that to his family.”
Greg valued his family very highly because he didn’t have an easy childhood. He grew up with an abusive father and poured his frustration and anger into fitness from an early age. A fourth-degree black belt, Greg worked out three or four times a week with a trainer. Michele told the police Greg had started talking steroids to bulk up even more.
In addition to a love of exercise, Greg was also a gun enthusiast. Both he and Michele owned guns that they kept in their Keller home. Michele’s gun, a silver .40-caliber pistol, was stored in the safe.
But Greg kept his gun, a black .45-caliber Les Baer, loaded in a bag underneath his night stand. Michele told the police she didn’t like Greg’s gun being there, unsecured.
Due to the success of DFW IT Pro, Greg was able to invest in several other businesses. He owned Blueberries, a frozen yogurt shop in Keller where Michele worked, and a weight training gym. Michele and Greg were just days away from closing on a $4.5 million home in Keller when he died.
“Greg wasn’t a perfect man, don’t get me wrong,” Kathy says. “He had a temper like you wouldn’t believe, and he always put work first. But he didn’t deserve to die, and he definitely didn’t kill himself.”
The Tarrant County medical examiner’s toxicology report found sedatives and painkillers in Greg’s system. Michele told the police Greg regularly took Tylenol PM, and she saw him pop a couple of pills in his mouth the night he was murdered. Kathy finds that story hard to swallow.
“He wouldn’t have taken an aspirin to save his life,” Kathy says. “He did not take pills. He worked through the pain.” Kathy says Greg even declined prescription pain pills when he had surgery on his throat.
Michele, however, had no trouble knocking back a couple of pills to dull her pain. Due to chronic shoulder and back problems, Michele had multiple prescriptions for pain medicine.
“Percocet, Vicodin, you name it,” Kathy says. “It was all over the house.”
Greg’s niece, Ashley Austin, told the police that she had trouble sleeping one night when she was staying with her uncle. Michele asked Ashley if she could slip something in Ashley’s drink to help her relax.
“I slept that night and most of the next day,” Ashley said in an interview with police.
* * *
The night Greg was murdered started out like any other. Greg and Michele took their daughter to see Taylor’s choir concert. Greg videotaped the performance and gave Taylor and hug and a kiss goodbye. Greg and Michele stopped at Taco Bueno for dinner and returned home to Keller.
Michele told the police the couple was excited about closing on their new home the next day, and they stayed up late into the night discussing all the details. One crucial fact never came up, though. The financing for their home was a fraud.
According to the Williams’ mortgage lender, the Capital One account used to secure the loan was bogus. Although they’d reported an average monthly balance of $141,061, the real amount was $10,018.
Someone had altered the account numbers, and the lender hadn’t noticed the sophisticated fraud right away. With Greg dead, Michele canceled the meeting with the mortgage company, and the phony account was never discussed — until the police came calling.
The first words out of Michele’s mouth after she told the police that Greg had killed himself were, “I don’t care about a penny.” But her actions proved otherwise. In addition to putting his businesses up for sale almost immediately, Michele continued to cash checks for DFW IT Pro after she’d sold the company.
Two of the DFW IT Pro checks Michele cashed in the months after Greg’s death were from attorney Kenneth Wincorn. The amount was undisclosed.
Michele Williams was arrested on January 9, as she headed to Lifetime Fitness in Flower Mound. She was indicted for murder, tampering with evidence and making a false police report. The only adult present at the time of Greg’s murder, Michele was at once the crime’s sole witness and its sole suspect.
Her bond was set a $522,000. But Michele’s charms worked wonders even while behind bars: She spent just over a week in jail before making bail at the drastically reduced price of $85,000. Dressed in athletic clothes, Michele walked out of jail with a GPS monitor and a bounce in her step on the arm of attorney Kenneth Wincorn, who was now officially representing her.
Kathy was livid when she learned Wincorn was defending Michele for Greg’s murder. “That money she paid him was part of Greg’s estate, and it never should have gone to pay the legal bills of the woman accused of his murder. The fact that he first represented Greg makes it almost unbelievable.”
Wincorn says his professional relationship with Greg Williams was limited to being a client for DFW IT Pro. Online court records list Wincorn as the attorney for Kathy and Greg’s 2003 divorce, and Wincorn’s name and signature appear on legal documents regarding the couple’s child custody agreement as recently as 2008. Wincorn says his firm was involved in the divorce, but he denies ever representing Greg personally.
According to Wincorn, he first learned of Greg’s murder from an associate at DFW IT Pro. “It was very shocking,” Wincorn says, adding that Michele later sought his representation.
A week after Michele was indicted for murder, she attempted to make a claim on Greg’s $150,000 policy. Michele stated Greg’s cause of death as homicide. Suspicious, the insurance clerk did a quick Google search on Michele. Then, instead of sending a check, the clerk called the police, who noted it in their investigation.
Once her plot to cash in on Greg’s death was foiled, Michele Williams got to work reinventing herself. With three marriages under her belt, she was no stranger to changing names. This time, she went with Shelley Williams, a fitness guru and single mom.
On Facebook, Shelley publicly announced her relationship with Gene Wallis — the friend of her oldest son, a man nearly 15 years her junior and a frequent guest in Greg’s home. Shelley and Gene opened a Kettle Bell fitness business in Bedford and promoted it vigorously online.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram featured Shelley and Gene in a video just three months after Michele’s indictment for murder. No connection between accused murderer Michele Williams and fitness instructor “Shelley” was made.
Outfitted with a GPS ankle bracelet, Michele spent the following months juggling her young boyfriend, fitness classes and court dates while she awaited trial. She’d often show up to court dressed for a night on the town, sporting mini skirts, knee-high boots and low-cut blouses.
“She has never mourned Greg’s death for a second,” Kathy says.
Robb Conover was friends with Greg Williams for more than 20 years and attended many of Michele’s hearings. He recalls how she manipulated the courthouse.
“When Michele went to leave, she asked a group of police officers to escort her out. She knew how to twist people. She got these cops to see her as an innocent woman who needed protection,” Robb says.
Michele may not be innocent in the eyes of Tarrant County, but she’s not guilty of murder, either. On October 9, 2013, Michele reached a plea deal with the county and is expected to face 18 years in prison for tampering with evidence and “deadly conduct” — a third-degree felony that exists in only a few states. Even though Michele admitted she cleaned the gun and Greg’s body, the lack of DNA at the crime scene created doubts that a first-degree murder charge would stick.
Michele’s sentencing is set for April 21, 2014. Why such a lengthy delay between plea deal and punishment? Because she is pregnant with twins.
Kathy Williams thinks Michele’s relationship with Gene Wallis started while Greg was still alive and could be the elusive motive behind his murder.
“If Greg found out that she was sleeping with her little boyfriend, he would’ve left her, and she would have gotten nothing,” Kathy says. “Greg would put up with a lot, but he wouldn’t put up with cheating.”
With her husband dead, Michele is the only other person who could say what Greg knew before he died, and she has already admitted to lying to police and 911 operators about the circumstances of his death. She also has a track record of cheating on every husband she’s ever had.
Michele was the beneficiary on Greg’s life insurance policy, which was taken out on August 12, 2011 — almost exactly two months before he was murdered. The terms of her plea deal mean she won’t see a dime of that money. Of course, neither will Greg’s family, unless they win yet another court battle.
“She has ruined so many lives through this, you can’t even imagine,” Brandon says. “She is a professional manipulator. If the courts would have gone ahead and interviewed all of us, this may have gone in a different direction.”
Citing the pending sentence, a spokesperson for the Tarrant County DA declined to comment on the case. Robb Conover offered his own assessment of the deal.
“You can get away with murder in Texas as long as you know how to clean it up,” he says.
In response to an interview request, Michele’s attorney released a statement on her behalf. Wincorn talked about the complications in the case created by a squeaky-clean crime scene.
He said the prosecution would have struggled to prove intentional murder without a shred of DNA evidence. The problems with defending Michele were equally as complicated.
“If a jury concluded that Michele tampered with the evidence, the jury could then conclude that she intentionally killed her husband, manipulated the crime scene and then lied about it,” Wincorn wrote.
Assuming Michele’s sentencing goes through as scheduled on April 21, no jury will ever get the chance to hear the full story and decide on an appropriate punishment. With an 18-year sentence, Michele might serve 10 years, leaving her plenty of time to reinvent herself once again.
Surrounded by family and friends, a Houston woman was sentenced Tuesday to 18 months in federal prison on charges that she embezzled from her elderly father.
Shirley A. Scheets, 50, was ordered to prison by Aug. 3 after U.S. District Judge Richard E. Dorr heard testimony during a sentencing hearing in U.S. District Court in downtown Springfield. The prison time is followed by three years of supervised probation, and Scheets also must immediately make restitution to her father, Dr. Glen Schuster, who testified against her from a wheelchair and described himself as financially broke, urging the judge to mandate a long prison term and restitution to him. His daughter, Lea, sat nearby. In lieu of a timely payment, Scheets may make installments under a formula outlined by Dorr, who said the sentence was dictated by a guilty plea entered earlier by Scheets.
Despite pleas for leniency, Dorr said probation was inconsistent with the magnitude of the crime, he wouldn’t be swayed by the emotions of the testimony about Scheets’ character and must follow the facts in the case. “It’s as though we’re dealing with two different people,” Dorr said after hearing several pleas for probation. Scheets’ attorney, Scott McBride of Rolla, can appeal.
About 75 friends and family gathered in a small third-floor courtroom in support of Scheets, who served as her father’s office manager at his South Sam Houston Blvd. dental practice and assisted him on a horse and dog breeding operation east of Houston. About 85 letters of support were reviewed by the judge, who noted the outpouring of support was exceptional in his career.
Friends and acquaintances said Scheets was a faithful, loving daughter who returned to her native Houston to help her father after he lost his office manager and needed assistance on the family farm. They noted she was eager to always help others.
Dr. B.C. Taylor, a Houston veterinarian, said he found Scheets active in the care of the animals when he arrived for calls. A family friend and former Schuster employee, Bob Richards, said the dentist’s daughter was always busy on the farm, performing chores.
“My personal feeling is that this shouldn’t have ever occurred,” Richards said of the charges brought in the April 2009 indictment by a grand jury.
Julius Fraley, a longtime neighbor to Schuster, said Scheets was actively involved in the management of the farm and readily helped him.
A high school classmate, Becky Bryan of Rolla, described how her friend returned to Houston to help her dad, telling her, “Daddy needs me.” Bryan said the statement was typical of her friend. “Shirley is the cream of crop,” she told the judge.
Bryan said Schuster’s testimony left her puzzled. “The man I know wouldn’t have ever said that,” she told Dorr and wondered if he was operating with “full capacity.”
Scheets’ employer, Dr. Tom Dunn, another local veterinarian, said Scheets was a trustworthy employee who excelled at her job. Texas County Sheriff Carl Watson said the Scheets family members were “good, hard-working people” and said he found the defendant to be faithful to family and willing “to do what was right.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Robyn McKee said she didn’t doubt the sincerity of those seeking probation for Scheets, but the facts in the case files painted a different picture.
In a court filing last week, Scheets admitted to:
*Cashing $31,119 in CDs without the authorization of her father.
*Making $25,407 in credit card payments from her father’s business accounts without his authorization for charges she incurred.
*Taking $43,213 in Schuster’s Social Security checks without his authorization.
*Drawing out $25,056 on the victim’s accounts without his permission.
Dorr noted the agreed-upon loss reflected about $100,000 less than what was determined by investigators.
Scheets also admitted that she concealed from her father the fact that she did not file income tax returns or pay Dr. Schuster’s income or personal property taxes from about 1997 to 2007. She admitted representing to her father that his tax returns and income and personal property taxes were being filed and paid in a timely manner. She also shielded Dr. Schuster from “learning the true nature and amount of the accumulated tax liability,” according to her agreement with the U.S. attorney’s office. A pre-sentence investigation report also shows Scheets was convicted with employee theft, a misdemeanor, in 1984 in Reno, Nev., McKee said.
Scheets told the judge she was sorry for her actions. She said she worked hard to juggle the demands of the dental practice and farm to provide her father with a sense of self-worth, but cash from the business wasn’t enough to cover his expenses. Scheets told the judge she regretted not telling her father about his IRS tax shortfalls and for the resulting turmoil occurring in her family. “It has split the family wide open,” she said. Scheets no longer has any relationship with her father, and she told the judge Tuesday it would likely be the last time she would ever see him.
McKee, the federal prosecutor, said the Scheets’ claims of juggling financial accounts to keep Schuster’s affairs afloat didn’t add up, noting that his Social Security checks were cashed and not deposited into the proper account. The actions, McKee alleged, had left Schuster as “a virtual pauper” without insurance after his policies lapsed. Amid sobs in the courtroom, McKee said those gathered weren’t aware of the magnitude of the financial crime. Scheets also must face a county civil suit on credit card debt seeking about $5,100.
The U.S. Bureau of Prisons will assign Scheets’ incarceration venue. McBride asked that the location be a state close to her home.
PREVIOUSLY: A Houston woman who admitted stealing about $125,000 from her father was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison Tuesday afternoon.
Shirley Ann Scheets received the sentence in U.S. District Court in Springfield. She also was ordered to serve three years of supervised probation and must pay $124,795 in restitution to her father, Dr. Glen Schuster, a retired dentist.
Scheets must report to prison Aug. 3. She has the right to appeal.
Several Houston residents testified on Scheets’ behalf, and about 85 sent letters to the judge.
Schuster testified against his daughter from a wheelchair. Another relative also testified against Scheets.
Sobs were heard throughout the courtroom as Scheets received her sentence.
PREVIOUSLY: A Houston woman admitted stealing about $125,000 from her father and not filing his tax returns over a 10-year period in a court document entered Wednesday in U.S. District Court.
Shirley Ann Scheets, who is set to appear for a sentencing hearing Tuesday in federal court, admits:
*Cashing $31,119 in CDs without the authorization of her father, Dr. Glen Schuster, a retired dentist.
*Making $25,407 in credit card payments from her father’s business accounts without his authorization for charges she incurred.
*Taking $43,213 in Schuster’s Social Security checks without his authorization.
*Drawing out $25,056 on the victim’s accounts without his permission.
The agreed-upon loss triggers an increase in her possible sentence under federal guidelines. She reserved her right to challenge the assessment during her sentencing hearing.
Scheets also admitted that she concealed from her father the fact that she did not file income tax returns or pay Dr. Schuster’s income or personal property taxes from about 1997 to 2007. She admitted representing to her father that his tax returns and income and personal property taxes were being filed and paid in a timely manner. She also shielded Dr. Schuster from “learning the true nature and amount of the accumulated tax liability,” according to her agreement with the U.S. attorney’s office.
Schuster entered a guilty plea in February to taking the $31,000. She was originally indicted by a federal grand jury in April 2009.
Content retrieved from http://www.houstonherald.com/news/scheets-receives–month-prison-sentence-for-stealing-from-father/article_f6402eee-8068-11df-a854-001cc4c03286.html
A dental assistant who practiced in Swift Current was recently expelled from the Saskatchewan Dental Assistants’ Association.
Tanis Martens entered guilty pleas of professional misconduct to a hearing in front of the Discipline Committee over the phone on May 9th, 2015, for infractions she committed in a Swift Current business dating back to November 2012 to August 2013.
Martens was charged for fraudulently submitting claims for reimbursement in relation to dental work that had not been performed and fraudulently deposited the cheques as a result of the non-existent insurance claims between November 1st 2012 and August 29th 2013. Martens also plead guilty to unlawfully removing and wrongfully converting gold between May 1st 2013 and May 30th 2013.
“Our process is that when a complaint comes in, as a self-regulating health organization, we are required to investigate it, so any complaint is documented and then forwarded to a professional conduct committee. That committee meets and holds interviews and they determine whether there is sufficient evidence to warrant a professional discipline committee meeting. When notices are served and the Disciplinary Committee meets and the charges are heard, the member has the opportunity to enter a plea,” said Executive Director Registrar of the SDAA, Susan Anholt.
“In this instance the member entered a guilty plea. The council for the professional conduct committee lays forward the case and the Discipline Committee considers it and rules on it, and they felt that there was sufficient reason to expel her for a certain length of time. There is a potential to reapply after five years, but the member actually has to reimburse the cost of the investigation and the hearing,” she said.
In the summary document of the final decision, members of the Discipline Committee said that she abused a position of trust, and that “Martens committed both theft and a repeated series of frauds. She misrepresented herself in calls to the insurer. She not only did not admit the misconduct at first, but also implicated other workers.”
“There’s a lot of trust in the healthcare professions and when trust is breached, it really has a significant impact on the whole profession,” added Anholt. “The profession very much says we want to be honorable healthcare providers, and it’s just something that we want our members to understand that this is inappropriate and unacceptable.”
The decision was made on June 17th, 2015, and Martens must reimburse the SDAA $24,733.25 if she wishes to reclaim her license.
A Sumter woman and a Santee woman are among the eight who recently plead guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud that bilked Blue Cross Blue Shield out of $368,000.
Lorraine Porcher, 46, of Sumter, and Kimberly Donaldson Broughton, 33, of Santee, reportedly worked with Malentha Robinson-Taylor, 45, of Cordova, to file false insurance claims out of an Orangeburg-based dentist office.
“The dentist realized it,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Winston David Holliday Jr. “Malentha was out, and he noticed he was getting explanation of benefits for patients he didn’t remember seeing.”
The way the scheme worked is that Robinson-Taylor identified some friends with state insurance through Blue Cross Blue Shield, he said. Because the doctor she worked for is not a network provider for those policies, the individual is expected to pay out of pocket and then receive a check to apply toward that expense.
“But they never had dental services,” Holliday said. “Malentha made it up. So say she said (you) had wisdom teeth removed. You get a $2,000 check in the mail, and you say ‘thank you. Here’s your cut.’”
The claims submitted totaled about $800,000, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Friday news release.
This is not an unusual scheme, Holliday said.
“Doctors’ offices in particular are susceptible if there are not checks and balances over access to billing,” he said.
The maximum penalty for conspiracy to commit mail fraud is imprisonment for 20 years and/or a fine of $250,000. U.S. District Judge Joseph F. Anderson Jr. of Columbia accepted the guilty pleas and will impose sentences after he has reviewed the pre-sentence reports prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.
“It’s a formula that takes into account factors such as the amount lost and criminal history,” Holliday said. “It’s not as though the judge is sitting there deciding between zero and 20 years. It’s much more academic.”
The others involved in this case are: R.L. Robinson-Taylor, 46, of Cordova; Robert Green, 55, of Orangeburg; Pamela Richardson, 41, of Florence; Latisha Brown, 36, of Lake City; and Cheryl Frazier, 42, of Orangeburg.
Content retrieved from http://www.thestate.com/news/local/crime/article13827674.html#!
Eight Plead Guilty in Fraud Scheme Involving Blue Cross Blue Shield
U.S. Attorney’s OfficeOctober 25, 2013
COLUMBIA, SC—United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that Malentha Robinson-Taylor, age 45, of Cordova, South Carolina; R. L. Robinson-Taylor, age 46, also of Cordova; Robert Green, age 55, of Orangeburg; Kimberly Donaldson Broughton, age 33, of Santee; Pamela Richardson, age 41, of Florence; Latisha Brown, age 36, of Lake City; Cheryl Frazier, age 42, of Orangeburg; and Lorraine Porcher, age 46, of Sumter, each have entered a guilty plea in federal court in Columbia to conspiracy to commit mail fraud, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349. United States District Judge Joseph F. Anderson, Jr. of Columbia accepted the guilty pleas and will impose their sentences after he has reviewed the presentence reports, which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.
Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that Malentha Robinson-Taylor worked for an Orangeburg-based dentist. She and her husband, R. L. Robinson-Taylor, recruited individuals who supplied their Blue Cross Blue Shield policy numbers to them. Ms. Robinson-Taylor then submitted claims as though these individuals had been seen by her dentist employer, even though they had not. When checks were sent directly to the beneficiaries for services that had not been performed, they split the proceeds with the Robinson-Taylors. The other six individuals who pled guilty were all beneficiaries who received checks as part of the fraud scheme. The total claims submitted totaled approximately $800,000. The amount paid was around $368,000.
Mr. Nettles stated the maximum penalty for conspiracy to commit mail fraud is imprisonment for 20 years and/or a fine of $250,000.
The case was investigated by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Winston David Holliday, Jr. of Columbia is prosecuting the case.
BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — An embezzlement case in Brunswick County has finally come to an end.
This week two women pleaded guilty to charges from 2012.
While they were working at the Tidewater Dental Office in Calabash, they stole more than $100,000 over the course of a few years.
Jada Atkinson (above, left) and April Winch pleaded guilty yesterday.
Assistant District Attorney Daniel Thurston says Atkinson will serve 30 days in jail time with five years of probation. She has to pay back $10,000 in criminal restitution and $104,000 in civil restitution. Winch was sentenced to 100 hours of community service and three to five years of probation. She will have to pay back $1,000 in criminal restitution and $109,000 in civil.
Paige Maples seems like bad news. She was convicted in 2014 of felony embezzlement in a dental office, and was ordered to repay $23,000 to the dentist who she victimized. In February 2016, she was charged with driving under the influence and speeding, and her parole from her 2014 conviction was revoked.
Update on this — Paige pled guilty to practicing dentistry without a license on Feb 16, 2017 and received a suspended sentence.
See http://www.newson6.com/story/34502979/tulsa-woman-pleads-guilty-to-unlawful-practice-of-dentistry for details.
JUDGE WILLIAM C. KELLOUGH. DEFENDANT PRESENT, NOT IN CUSTODY, REPRESENTED BY ROBERT STUBBLEFIELD. STATE REPRESENTED BY TOM SAWYER. COURT REPORTER IS CARRIE SLOAN. CASE CALLED FOR FINDING & SENTENCING. COURT FINDS DEFENDANT GUILTY.
THREE (3) YEARS IN THE CUSTODY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, WITH ALL TIME SUSPENDED. $600.00 FINE, $150.00 VICTIM’S COMPENSATION ASSESSMENT, $23,465.54 RESTITUTION. DEFENDANT TO BE UNDER NO FORMAL SUPERVISION.
DEFENDANT ADVISED OF APPEAL RIGHTS. RULE 8 AND JUDGMENT & SENTENCE ISSUED. BOND EXONERATED.
NORRISTOWN – A former dental assistant and a receptionist at a Main Line dental office were not smiling when they learned they’ll be taking their toothbrushes to jail for performing illegal, after-hours dental procedures.
Cheryl A. Laing, 46, and Jessica Gullickson, 25, once roommates who resided in the 2100 block of South Sproul Road, Broomall, Delaware County, each was sentenced in Montgomery County Court on Monday to two to 23 months in the county jail, to be followed by four years’ probation, in connection with incidents that occurred when they secretly worked after-hours, setting up their own fake practice at the Smilz 4 Life dental office in the 700 block of Old Lancaster Road in the Bryn Mawr section of Lower Merion between 2010 and 2012.
“You’re not qualified to render professional care. What I see here is an attempt to beat the system for pecuniary gain. Well, the system caught up with you,” President Judge William J. Furber Jr. scolded the women. “Honestly, I don’t know why you did this. Extra money? It’s greed.
“Did you ever consider the health risks you’re creating for people? What if an emergency occurred? You’re not capable of helping them,” added Furber, who also ordered each of the women to perform 200 hours of community service.
Laing and Gullickson, each of whom pleaded guilty to charges of unauthorized practice of dentistry, theft by deception and recklessly endangering other persons, must report to the jail Jan. 6 to begin serving the sentences. They are eligible for the jail’s work release program.
With the charges, prosecutors alleged Laing and Gullickson performed dental procedures, while not being properly licensed, that included taking X-rays, injecting numbing agents, performing root canals, tooth extractions, installing crowns and braces and dispensing medications. The illegally conducted X-rays were filed under the name of Laing’s pet dog, Scottie, testimony revealed.
“You can’t have people holding themselves out to be professionals when they don’t have the credentials. There’s too much at stake,” said Assistant District Attorney John N. Gradel. “These two people are not altruistic in any way, shape or form. They’re just in it for the money, pure and simple.”
Authorities alleged Laing and Gullickson did not acquire patient histories and did not investigate if patients had drug allergies before providing treatment at their phony practice.
During regular office hours, Laing was employed as a licensed dental assistant at Smilz 4 Life, which was operated by a licensed dentist. Under the law, Laing was not permitted to perform any of the procedures and had to perform her duties while the licensed dentist of the office was present, court papers indicate.
But after business hours and after the licensed dentist left, Laing, authorities alleged, set up her own dental practice at Smilz 4 Life while holding herself out to patients as a licensed dentist.
Gullickson, a receptionist at Smilz 4 Life during regular business hours, acted as Laing’s dental assistant, authorities alleged.
Laing, investigators alleged, advertised through word of mouth in the Bryn Mawr area that she could perform virtually all dental procedures for uninsured patients at a drastically reduced price. Laing and Gullickson accepted cash payments and kept no patient records of their activities.
The owner and licensed dentist of the practice told investigators he was unaware that his business was open after hours and that Laing and Gullickson provided dental services without his knowledge, according to the criminal complaint filed by Lower Merion Detective John Mick.
“I never grew up to be a criminal, mean or malicious to anyone,” Laing, who was represented by defense lawyer Jason Donoghue, told the judge before learning her fate. “I’m sorry for any inconvenience that I caused or any harm.”
“I never meant for any of this to happen. My intentions were never to be criminal,” added Gullickson, who was presented by lawyer David Mischak.
Mischak and Donoghue argued for leniency on behalf of the women, characterizing the women as “caring and giving,” women interested in helping the less fortunate and who perform community service through local churches to help the elderly and homeless.
The judge ordered the women to share in the payment of more than $5,100 in restitution to the victims of their scheme.
One patient told authorities that during her root canal, Laing left the room to see another patient and told Gullickson, who had no medical or dental training whatsoever, to assist and “look for the roots,” according to the criminal complaint. Another patient reported to police he was in “excruciating pain” for the 45 minutes it took Laing to extract his tooth.