Florida man uses identity theft to obtain $41,000 of dental implants

Timothy Powell, 52, of Plantation, FL, has new $41,000 teeth and an almost $10,000 dog.

He paid for none of it.

One of his victims, a man by the name of Harry Brenner, suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, police said.

The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said Powell used stolen identification to rack up the fraudulent charges for the teeth implants and the pet.

He applied for credit to get his teeth fixed through the Friedman Dental Group and filled out credit card applications Aug. 1, according to court documents.

Powell produced a fake Connecticut driver’s license with the name Harry Brenner. He also provided Brenner’s social security number.

The credit applications were approved, and Powell received dental implants during three appointments from Aug. 2 to Aug. 9, documents show. The implants were not completed and some of his teeth were only temporary, he said.

In total, the procedure costed $41,154.01.

Shortly after, Brenner, who lives in DeBary, FL, began receiving bills from the dental company and alerted police.

Investigators with the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office contacted the Friedman Dental Group and later identified Powell as a suspect through fingerprints from his applications.

Police later found out that Powell used Brenner’s identity to purchase a French bulldog for $9,958.69 from Petland in Plantation, FL.

Powell told police he was given Brenner’s information by a man named “Rico,” who also provided him with the fake driver’s license.

He said Rico encouraged him to get his teeth fixed at the Friedman Dental Group and drove him to and from the place. Rico told him that if he got his teeth fixed, he’d “look better for conducting fraudulent transactions at other locations in Florida.”

Investigators received photos from the dental company showing Powell with damaged and rotting teeth.

He said that Rico got Brenner’s information from the “dark web.”

Powell also fraudulently withdrew $9,650 from a bank in Daytona Beach, FL, on Sept. 27, using the name “Larry Gene Kelly,” according to the Daytona Beach Police Department.

He told authorities that he purchased Kelly’s identification from an “unknown male” for $100.

Powell is charged with grand theft, using ID without consent and false report of a crime. He is also charged with unauthorized possession of a driver’s license and fraudulent use of personal identification, among other charges.

Content retrieved from: https://www.wsfa.com/2018/11/21/florida-man-uses-fake-id-steals-k-dental-implants-k-french-bulldog/

Florida dental clinic employee stole thousands of dollars from patients, authorities say

A dental clinic receptionist stole thousands of dollars from customers over the course of more than a year, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said.

Lucina Rodriguez, 52, of Deltona was arrested Friday on two counts of grand theft after 30 bank deposits totaling more than $180,000 disappeared. The money was linked to prepayments she collected from patients, sheriff’s spokesman Andrew Gant said.

When she took payments she did not give receipts or file evidence of the transaction in the patient’s medical records, according to investigators.

One patient canceled a procedure in late September and requested a $400 refund. Authorities said Rodriguez used the money to send to her family in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.

Gant said investigators interviewed employees at the clinic and determined Rodriguez had been stealing cash since January 2016, making close to $15,000 deposits to personal bank accounts.

She was fired on Sept. 19, and money stopped disappearing afterward, Gant said.

Rodriguez was taken to the Volusia County Jail. Bail was set at $5,000.

Content retrieved from https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/breaking-news/os-deltona-dental-receptionist-grand-theft-20171020-story.html

Fla. Dental Assistant Charged with Insurance Fraud

A Florida dental assistant is facing charges of workers’ compensation fraud, grand theft and perjury after reportedly failing to tell her most recent employer that she had collected a $17,000 workers’ comp settlement for an allergic reaction to latex gloves while working for another dentist.

Carmen Burgado, 48, surrendered on the charges and was booked into the Duval County Jail. The insurance fraud charges follow an investigation by the Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud.

According to authorities, Dr. James Spurling, whose office is located at 2500 Monument Road Suite 102, hired Burgado on Jan. 6, 2003. Four days later, Burgado reported she was having an allergic reaction to rubber gloves. The Hartford Insurance Company paid more than $13,000 in workers’ compensation coverage on Burgado’s claim, with Burgado collecting more than $8,500 directly as compensation.

After filing the most recent workers’ comp claim, Burgado reportedly denied in a deposition that she had any previous claim or a history of skin allergies or dermatitis.

Burgado was previously diagnosed with chronic dermatitis of the hands and informed that she should not wear latex gloves. On May 3, 1999, Burgado received $17,000 in a lump-sum settlement for a 1997 workers’ comp claim.

If convicted on the insurance related third-degree felonies, Burgado could be sentenced up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine on each charge.

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.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2004/02/12/36728.htm

From 2002 — Florida office manager accused of bilking dentist

OLDSMAR — Dr. Stephen Grote says he has spent the past 2.5 years working for nothing. But the Oldsmar dentist said he didn’t know it until August, when a trip to the ATM delivered the message “insufficient funds.”

Thus began the start of a lengthy investigation and the discovery that Denise J. Wilson, Grote’s office manager and best friend of 12 years, had embezzled more than $123,000, Pinellas County sheriff’s officials said Wednesday.

“She would write in the recorder that she was paying a check to Florida Power but she was writing it to herself,” said Grote, 53, who has practiced dentistry in Oldsmar for 20 years. “She forged my signature.”

Wilson, 48, of 6625 Fletch Road, Land O’Lakes, was charged Tuesday with grand theft, scheming to defraud and forging 87 checks. She was being held in the Pinellas County jail Wednesday night in lieu of $110,000 bail.

Wilson forged the checks between March 2000 and July 2002 and deposited the funds into a SouthTrust Bank business account for Oral Reconstructive Techniques, a dental laboratory she and her husband ran out of Grote’s office, authorities say. The largest check was for $4,000. Grote said he fired Wilson after discovering the missing money.

“She said that she didn’t have an explanation on why she committed the theft, but that once she started she could not stop,” sheriff’s Detective John Spoor said.

Spoor said Wilson would not say how she spent the money. But, Grote said, during the past two years, she and her husband, Mark Wilson, have remodeled their home, purchased three BMW motorcycles, a Chevrolet Avalanche and taken a European vacation.

Mark Wilson, who has denied knowing about the theft, told authorities he believed his wife was using money from an inheritance to pay for those luxuries. Spoor said he has referred information on Mark Wilson to the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney’s Office, which will decide whether to file any other charges.

“At this time, the evidence that I have is all toward her because she did the stealing of the checks,” Spoor said.

Reached at home Wednesday night, Mark Wilson declined to comment.

Grote said he has since hired an accountant to review his books. He acknowledges that he failed to have adequate safeguards in place against theft: He had the same person balancing his books and writing the checks.

While the theft has not affected his dental practice, unpaid bills have ruined his credit rating and left him feeling betrayed.

“We are heartbroken for the loss of a friendship,” Grote said. “We thought it was a very sound friendship. It was a total devastation mentally.”

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Content retrieved from: http://www.sptimes.com/2002/11/07/NorthPinellas/Office_manager_accuse.shtml

FL dentist’s daughter allegedly forged 500+ pain pill prescriptions

A Lakeland dentist’s daughter is behind bars after Polk County Sheriff’s deputies say she forged hundreds of prescriptions using her father’s prescription pad.

According to detectives, Stacey Sumner, 46, forged prescription painkillers for herself and patients. Now, the entire office at Sonrise Dental Clinic on Bartow Road in Lakeland is under investigation by both the PCSO and the Department of Health.

Investigators said Sumner worked as a receptionist at the clinic, where her father is also the dentist. Sumner’s father, Dr. William Johnson, told investigators he knew his daughter was addicted to Hydrocodone. He declined to comment to Bay News 9 at his office Friday.

Dr. Johnson has his own trouble; investigators said there are missing and incomplete records on his patients.

Deputies said cell phone video, taken by a confidential source, shows Sumner forging her father’s name on a prescription for Hydrocodone. It was one of more than 500 she allegedly forged over the past 15 months.

Investigators said Sumner was using family and friends who were patients at the clinic to fill the prescriptions. One of those friends, Lois McDermott, has also been arrested.

“[Sumner] would either give the friend some money to cash them in at the pharmacy, or give them some pills in return, and she would direct them to which pharmacies to go to,” Polk Co. Sheriff Grady Judd said.

According to Judd, so many prescriptions for Hydrocodone had been written, some area pharmacies stopped accepting their prescriptions from the clinic.

“I don’t see anything that’s going on,” one of Johnson’s patients, Dorothy Fuqua — whose son was having dental work done at the clinic — said. “We’re not here to get pain pills. He’s just in there getting three teeth pulled.”

Judd said there may be more arrests in the case that come as the investigation continues.

“I’m not naïve enough to think this is the end of it right here,” Judd said, “not when you have this many prescriptions.”

Sumner is charged with trafficking Hydrocodone, forgery and obtaining prescription by fraud. She was arrested in 2002 for the same crime, also while working for her father.

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Lawsuit alleges wife of slain Tarpon Springs FL doctor conspired to kill him; also suspected of embezzling from him

The children of a 74-year-old doctor stabbed and shot dead two years ago inside his Tarpon Springs home are suing their stepmother, Rebecca Schwartz, claiming she conspired to kill him.

A year after Dr. Steven Patlin Schwartz was killed on May 28, 2014, Tarpon Springs police arrested his handyman, Anton Stragaj, 38, who is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit. He has been charged with first-degree murder.

Rebecca Schwartz, 55, has not been charged in the case. A 13-page complaint filed Wednesday in Pinellas County chronicles several claims against her, including that she helped Stragaj kill her husband, embezzled money from Schwartz and coerced him into changing his will to benefit her more than his three adult children. His estate is worth at least $10 million, court records show.

Wil Florin, the Palm Harbor attorney representing Schwartz’s family, said his death has caused a “tremendous impact” on them.

“Not only did they have the emotional rug pulled out from under them, but they had the financial rug pulled out from under them,” he said. “All of the support that (Schwartz) was providing, which was significant, has been terminated by Ms. Schwartz.”

Rebecca Schwartz could not be reached for comment Tuesday. Her attorney, Denis de­Vlaming, said he planned to file a motion to dismiss the lawsuit and request that Florin show proof of the allegations.

“Mrs. Schwartz has vigorously denied having anything to do with the death of her husband,” he said. “We’re going to hold their feet to the fire.”

Among the claims in the lawsuit:

Before and after his death, Rebecca siphoned “significant sums of money” from Schwartz’s accounts. She was also “caught embezzling funds” from his practice, Main Street Medical in Dunedin. About one month before the murder, she hired a document shredding service to dispose of several boxes of paperwork that were “likely relevant to the embezzlement of funds,” records state.

The lawsuit also claims that Rebecca told her husband to change his estate plan so that it benefited her rather than his children. The doctor accepted “under the threat of exposing information important to his reputation in the community.”

Florin would not say what information she had. Last year, the Tampa Bay Times reported that Schwartz fatally shot a dentist in New Mexico about 50 years ago. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison, but was granted parole in 1971 and pardoned in 1977.

The lawsuit also provides details into Stragaj and Rebecca’s “close personal relationship.” In public, the records say, she referred to him as her “right-hand man” and said Stragaj, for $15,000, “will take care of anyone you want.”

On the day Schwartz was killed, Rebecca told police she had arrived at the couple’s 1310 Belcher Drive home on the Anclote River and found the house in disarray. Drawers in her bedroom were open and money, jewelry and watches were missing, according to court records filed last year.

Rebecca called 911 and police dogs found Schwartz’s body near the garage. Investigators found Stragaj’s DNA on Schwartz’s shirt.

But the lawsuit claims Rebecca and Stragaj staged a “break-in,” destroying part of a door, removing jewelry from the master bedroom and taking the hard drive of the home’s surveillance system. Rebecca also owns a .22-caliber gun, the suit says. The records state that police have determined the same caliber was used to shoot Schwartz.

Tarpon Springs police declined to comment on the investigation.

Schwartz’s children live in Florida. Kelly May of Spring Hill did not return a call for comment. Casey Schwartz is in prison on a DUI manslaughter conviction, records show. Carter Schwartz is in medical school and referred a reporter to his uncle, James Schwartz, who did not return a reporter’s call.

Rebecca, who married Schwartz in 2010, has two children from her first marriage.

Stragaj of Palm Harbor remains at the Pinellas County Jail awaiting trial.

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.tampabay.com/news/courts/civil/lawsuit-alleges-wife-of-slain-tarpon-springs-doctor-conspired-to-kill-him/2278927

FL Dentist steals partner’s prescription pads to get oxycodone

A Lauderhill dentist is accused of using his business partner’s prescription pad to get oxycodone, officials said.

Joseph Gorfien, a partner at dental practice Gorfien & Jacobsohn, was arrested Wednesday after an investigation by Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Broward Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities said that Gorfien used Henry Jacobsohn’s professional license information and prescription pads to forge and fill prescriptions for oxycodone without his partner’s knowledge.

When a reporter called the dental practice Wednesday, a recorded message said the office was closed for the day.

Gorfien is charged with 11 counts of purchase of oxycodone, one count of obtaining controlled substances by fraud or forgery and one count of criminal use of personal identification information.

The Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution will prosecute the case.

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This lady has records in both Florida and Georgia


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


Rochelle Lee Pridgen

CountyHillsborough, FL
Booking Number1001409
Middle NameLEE
Eye ColorBRO
Hair ColorBRO
Current Age40
SOID Number00471137
Birth PlaceGA
Birth Date1972-10-02
Arrest Age28
Address CityBRANDON
Address StateFL
Address Zip33511
Arresting AgencyHCSO
Arrest Date2001-01-09 09:00:00
Booking Date2001-01-09 09:44:00
Arrest Location919 MEIZNER REAL AV
Arrest JurisdictionHC
Release TypeCASH BOND
Release Date2001-01-10 21:40:00
Release RemarkM PRIDGEN


Charge # Desc Class Court Disp Bond BP Fine Custody Days Count Type Report # CT Case # Date Agency OBTS Code CRA # Remark
1 FRAUDULENT USE OF CREDIT CARD OVER $100 F3 31O PENDING 500.00 B 1 1 WARRANT 00092385 0020634CF 2001-01-09 HCSO 12736128 FRAU3000 326718
2 FRAUDULENT USE OF CREDIT CARD OVER $100 F3 31O RECOGNIZANCE NBR B 1 1 WARRANT 00092385 0020634CF 2001-01-09 HCSO 12736128 FRAU3000 326718
3 FRAUDULENT USE OF CREDIT CARD OVER $100 F3 31O RECOGNIZANCE NBR B 1 1 WARRANT 00092385 0020634CF 2001-01-09 HCSO 12736128 FRAU3000 326718
4 FRAUDULENT USE OF CREDIT CARD OVER $100 F3 31O RECOGNIZANCE NBR B 1 1 WARRANT 00092385 0020634CF 2001-01-09 HCSO 12736128 FRAU3000 326718
5 FRAUDULENT USE OF CREDIT CARD OVER $100 F3 31O RECOGNIZANCE NBR B 1 1 WARRANT 00092385 0020634CF 2001-01-09 HCSO 12736128 FRAU3000 326718
6 GRAND THEFT THIRD DEGREE ($300 – $20,000) F3 31O PENDING 500.00 B 1 1 WARRANT 00092385 0020634CF 2001-01-09 HCSO 12736128 THEF2000 326718
7 GRAND THEFT THIRD DEGREE ($300 – $20,000) F3 31O RECOGNIZANCE NBR B 1 1 WARRANT 00092385 0020634CF 2001-01-09 HCSO 12736128 THEF2000 326718
8 GRAND THEFT THIRD DEGREE ($300 – $20,000) F3 31O RECOGNIZANCE NBR B 1 1 WARRANT 00092385 0020634CF 2001-01-09 HCSO 12736128 THEF2000 326718
9 GRAND THEFT THIRD DEGREE ($300 – $20,000) F3 31O RECOGNIZANCE NBR B 1 1 WARRANT 00092385 0020634CF 2001-01-09 HCSO 12736128 THEF2000 326718
10 GRAND THEFT THIRD DEGREE ($300 – $20,000) F3 31O RECOGNIZANCE NBR B 1 1 WARRANT 00092385 0020634CF 2001-01-09 HCSO 12736128 THEF2000 326718


Name Birth Date SSN

Florida office manager admits cheating insurers — has previous record


PORT ST. LUCIE — A former dental office manager did a different type of filling: diverting insurance payments to her private bank accounts, according to an arrest affidavit.

An estimated $20,000 illegally ended up in the accounts of Marissa Minor, 31, of Stuart, the affidavit states. She is charged with fraud, possession of forged documents and larceny and is in the St. Lucie County Jail in lieu of $55,000 bail.

She was arrested Tuesday following an investigation that began last year when someone took over her job at Gentle Breeze Dental on Port St. Lucie Boulevard. In December, the new office manager told police she discovered discrepancies in patient insurance payments received while Minor was employed there, from March to November.

After police got involved, they found that checks were deposited in Minor’s accounts at PNC Bank and at JP Morgan Chase Bank. Signatures were forged. Investigators got bank records for the prior 10 months and found more. A total of 30 checks had been taken, the affidavit states.

Bank surveillance videos showed the checks being deposited by a person matching Minor’s appearance. That person drove away in a 2013 Nissan Altima belonging to Minor, the affidavit states.

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://archive.tcpalm.com/news/crime/st-lucie-county/former-dental-office-manager-accused-of-depositing-insurance-checks-into-own-accounts-in-st-lucie-2e-372323081.html

DOB: 5/22/1984
Age: 31
Inmate ID: 239895
Arresting Agency: St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office
Booking Date: 3/15/2016 at 14:10
Visitation: Monday & Tuesday 8:30 AM – 7:15 PM (Schedule Visitation)
Expected Release: N/A
Total Bond: $55,000.00
Housing: D2w-d4
Charge Description Status Bond Amount
Second Deg Grand Theft Pending $25,000.00
Poss Of Forged Notes Or Bills Pending $5,000.00
Organized Fraud 20,000 Or More Less Than 50,000 Pending $25,000.00

Marissa has other arrests from 2013 and 2003.
Race: White
DOB: 5/22/1984
Full Address: 4163 N HAVERHILL RD APT. 1218, WEST PALM BEACH, FL 33417
Gender: Female
Current Facility: RELEASED TO SOR
OBTS: 5002246390
Booking Date: 3/24/2013 at 03:28
Arresting Agency: 40-DELRAY BEACH
Release Date: 3/24/2013 at 12:25
Holds For Other Agencies: No
Jacket Number: 0393578
Booking Number: 2013012560
Charges Number Description Original Bond Current Bond
812.014-4088 LARC – GRAND THEFT 300 LESS THAN 5K DOLS $3,000.00 $3,000.00
414.39-7241 FRAUD – ENGAGE IN PUBLIC AID FRAUD 200 DOLS OR MORE $3,000.00 $3,000.00
DOB: 5/22/1984
Court Case No: F-03-003765
State Case No: 13-2003-CF-003765-0001-XX
Warrant Type: N/A
Assessment Amount: $40.00
Balance Due: $40.00
Hearing Type: N/A
Court Address: 1351 N.W. 12 ST
Previous Case: N/A
Next Case: N/A
Bfile Section: F013
File Location: RECORD CENTER
Box Number: 25-930
Probation Length: N/A
Probation Type: N/A
Defendant in Jail: N
Defendant Release To: PTI/ROR/RIC
Bond Status: N/A
Bond Type: N/A
Date Filed: 2/08/2003
Date Closed: 2/28/2003
Stay Due Date: N/A
Hearing Date: N/A
Probation Start Date: N/A
Probation End Date: N/A
Bond Issue Date: N/A
Bond Amount: N/A
Names / Aliases:
Last Name First Name Middle Name Race Sex Date of Birth
Seq No. Charge Charge Type Disposition
Seq. No. Date Book/Page Docket Assessed Paid Balance Last Assessed Last Payment
1 02/18/2003 ARRAIGNMENT HEARING SCHEDULED FOR 02/28/2003 AT 08:30
5 02/08/2003 REPORT RE: BOND REVIEW SET FOR 02/10/2003 AT 09:00
3 02/08/2003
INSOLV APPL 40.00 0.00 40.00 02/08/2003 N/A
TOTAL: 40.00 0.00 40.00

Florida dental office manager arrested for grand theft


A Naples woman has been arrested and charged with taking funds from a Bonita Springs dental office where she served as office manager.

The arrest stems from a Nov. 8, 2005, report about an alleged grand theft by an employee. The incident occurred at Gulfshore Dental, 9136 Bonita Beach Road, Bonita Springs. Lee County sheriff’s deputies responded.

The complainant, Dr. Steven Kovacs, told deputies that the business had recently discovered that an employee was stealing money from the business by using her personal Visa debit card. The business had suffered a loss between $10,000 and $20,000. Due to the nature of the incident, detectives with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Economics Crimes Unit, along with the State Attorney’s Office, were notified and instructed to assume the investigation.

The investigation revealed that the office manager, Kerri Spagnuolo, was using her Visa debit card to withdraw money out of Gulfshore Dental’s bank account. Spagnuolo reportedly used the credit card machine in the office to transfer funds to her personal account. Bank records show that more than $46,000 from Gulfshore Dental’s account had been removed between March 2005 and October 2005.

Gulfshore Dental’s cash receipts and bank deposits confirmed money was stolen from the daily deposits. Spagnuolo was solely responsible for the daily deposits and handling of cash. Bank and business records confirmed Gulfshore Dental suffered a financial loss of more than $35,000 through stolen bank deposits. Computer records for the business showed Spagnuolo attempted to hide her theft by altering/deleting cash entries for monies paid by patients. As a result of Spagnuolo’s theft, Gulfshore Dental suffered a total financial loss of more than $80,000 between March 2005 through October 2005, reports said.

Spagnuolo, 28, of 15461 Cortona Way, Naples, was charged with grand theft over $20,000 and under $100,000, a second degree felony. She was arrested Wednesday and transported to the Lee County Jail.

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://archive.naplesnews.com/community/former-dental-office-manager-arrested-for-grand-theft-ep-406716427-331533061.html