Con man poses as accountant, steals $375k from FL dental office

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Zed-M-Turner-Jr_mugshot.400x800

PALM HARBOR – If the charges are true, it’s not the first time Zed Turner posed as a legitimate accountant to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from an unsuspecting client.

In 1997, he was charged with stealing more than $250,000 from an 88-year-old blind woman from Palm Harbor. He later pleaded guilty and, in exchange for his plea, received four years of probation and paid $107,000 in restitution.

Now Pinellas County sheriff’s detectives say that Turner has returned to his old ways. This time, they say, Turner, 52, of Oldsmar stole more than $375,000 from a dental office where he had been hired to handle the company’s payroll.

Deputies arrested Turner on Monday night on a grand theft charge. He was being held in the Pinellas County Jail on Tuesday in lieu of $375,000 bail. His attorney, Robert Eckard, declined to answer questions, saying he hadn’t seen the Sheriff’s Office investigation.

According to authorities, Turner was hired Jan. 1, 2003, to handle the payroll taxes for a dental business owned by Harry A. Insko at 4050 Tampa Road in Oldsmar. Turner presented himself as a certified public accountant, but he holds no such license in Florida.

Turner was supposed to prepare the employees’ checks, deducting income and Social Security taxes, detectives said. Turner then had Insko cut him a check in the amount of the taxes, saying that he would forward the money to the Internal Revenue Service and Social Security Administration.

Turner, though, kept the money for himself and successfully avoided detection for three years, authorities said. He used the money for his mortgage payments, airline tickets and a new GMC Yukon sport utility vehicle.

“We’re in shock,” said Jan Boromei, an office receptionist and sister-in-law of Insko. “Turner was someone we trusted. To meet him, you’d never know it in a million years. … When we all found out, we were nauseous. That’s how sick we were.”

Insko was out of town and unavailable for comment.

The truth about Turner emerged in June 2006 when the Insko family got a letter from the IRS, authorities said. They later learned from the IRS that no tax papers had been filed for 2003 through 2006.

The Inskos turned to the Sheriff’s Office, and Detective David Kavanagh in the economic crimes unit took up the investigation. Kavanagh said Tuesday he feared there might other victims who have not come forward or even realized they have been taken.

Content retrieved from: http://www.sptimes.com/2007/03/21/Northpinellas/Man_again_accused_of_.shtml

 

Name: TURNER, ZED M JR
Race: WHITE
Gender: MALE
Birth date: 4/11/1954
Hair Color: GRAY OR PARTIALLY GRAY
Eye Color: GREEN
Height: 6′ 2″ (1.88 m)
Weight: 200 lb (91 kg)
DC Number: R09142
Release Date: 12/28/2023
Current Facility: GULF C.I.
Initial Receipt Date: 4/30/2009
Current Custody: MEDIUM
Current Release Date: 12/28/2023
Names / Aliases:
  • TED TURNER
  • ZED TURNER
  • ZED M TURNER JR
  • ZED MONROE TURNER
  • ZED MONROE TURNER JR
  • ZED
  • ZEKE
Charges:
Offense Date Offense Sentence Date County Case No. Prison Sentence Length
01/01/2003 GRAND THEFT O/$100,000 1ST. DEG 04/24/2009 PINELLAS 0705892 16Y 0M 0D
01/03/2002 GRAND THEFT O/$100,000 1ST. DEG 04/24/2009 PINELLAS 0716934 16Y 0M 0D
08/16/2005 GRAND THEFT O/$100K 04/24/2009 PINELLAS 0821174 16Y 0M 0D
Current Community Supervision History:
Offense Date Offense Sentence Date County Case No. Community Supervision Length
01/01/2003 GRAND THEFT O/$100,000 1ST. DEG 04/24/2009 PINELLAS 0705892 14Y 0M 0D
01/03/2002 GRAND THEFT O/$100,000 1ST. DEG 04/24/2009 PINELLAS 0716934 14Y 0M 0D
08/16/2005 GRAND THEFT O/$100K 04/24/2009 PINELLAS 0821174 14Y 0M 0D
Detainers:
Detainer Date Agency Type Date Canceled
04/27/2009 06C INTAKE 0705892 NTFY/P&P
Incarceration History:
Date In-Custody Date Out-of-Custody
04/30/2009 Currently Incarcerated

Savannah Waters arrested on charges that she stole money from a Florida dental office

Savannah_Water_20130404114944_640_480

JUNO BEACH, Fla – Savannah Waters has been arrested by the Juno Beach Police Department on larceny and fraud charges.

An arrest report states that while Waters was employed as the office manager at a Juno Beach dental office she took more than $46,000 in patient payments over a two and a half year period.

Juno Beach detectives say that Dr Kuhl and his wife reported that Waters had taken money from the office.

Waters, according to the arrest report, was responsible for collecting patient payments.

The arrest report says that when Waters was questioned about the thefts by the Juno Beach Police she told them that she needed some help.

She also told investigators that she needed to take care of her family and she needed some time off which she wasn’t given.

Waters was arrested by the Juno Beach Police and has been released from the Palm Beach County Jail on $10,000 bond.


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Content retrieved from: http://www.wptv.com/news/region-n-palm-beach-county/savannah-waters-arrested-on-charges-that-she-stole-money-from-a-dental-office-deputies-say

Troubled Florida oral surgeon pleaded guilty to embezzling from practice where he worked; sentenced to 3.5 years in prison

A St. Cloud oral surgeon was sentenced to five years in state prison this week in a Leon County courtroom and agreed to give up his license to practice dentistry.

John Rowe, 49, pleaded guilty in September to one count of organized fraud and 51 counts of receiving unlawful compensation. He admitted charging patients for anesthesia and billing Medicaid for the same treatment, although he never administered the drugs, said Assistant Statewide Prosecutor Jack McLaughlin.

Rowe also pleaded guilty to one count of grand theft and two counts of homeowners insurance fraud committed in Osceola County.

Judge N. Sanders Sauls, chief of the Second Judicial Circuit, Tuesday sentenced him to 3 1/2 years in prison to be served at the same time as the fraud sentence. The case was transferred to Leon County, where Medicaid is administered, for the plea and sentencing.

”I’m satisfied with the sentences the statewide prosecutor got,” said prosecutor Jon Morgan, who heads the Osceola County office of the Orange-Osceola State Attorney. ”I think they will serve to protect the citizens of this state from him taking advantage of them in the future.”

Dozens of former patients, insurance companies and Florida Board of Dentistry attorneys have sued or complained about Rowe in the past decade.

He got out of federal prison in September after serving more than two years for money laundering and submitting false Medicare claims. Prosecutors said he collected payments from patients for routine dental work, then billed Medicare for surgery he never performed. The incidents happened from 1992 to 1994.

As part of his sentence, Rowe’s state prison term will be followed by 10 years of probation. He also must repay $93,000 to Allstate Insurance Co. for the homeowners fraud and pay for the cost of the investigation by the Office of Statewide Prosecution, the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Unit and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Earlier this year, Rowe was ordered to repay more than $5,000 to Medicare. He stopped practicing dentistry in 1995, when he was sent to federal prison.

When Rowe was granted a license in Florida, the Tennessee Board of Dentistry already had revoked his license for six months in 1983 on charges of gross malpractice and incompetence.

Six years later, the Florida board fined him and sent him to 100 hours of retraining after he pulled teeth without permission.


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Jacksonville woman accused of stealing 104 times from dentist

sandra lynn hill

A Jacksonville woman plans to hire her own attorney after being accused of embezzling money from the dentist’s office where she worked as a clerk.

Former employee Sandra Lynn Hill, 39, of Cobblestone Trail in Jacksonville, was charged Wednesday by Jacksonville Police Department with felony embezzlement.

Hill has been accused of embezzling money from A Beautiful Smile, family and cosmetic dentistry, since December 2012, according to warrants.

Hill’s last day at the office was April 1 and the Jacksonville Police Department received a call from Hill’s former boss about the alleged crime on April 8, according to warrants.

Hill allegedly stole approximately $15,606.18 in cash and $505.25 in payroll hours over the three-year period. Hill is also accused of buying items for herself on Amazon.com using a company credit card, according to warrants.

Hill stole cash from the deposits meant for the company’s bank on 104 known occasions, according to warrants.

At her first appearance on Thursday, Hill said she would hire her own attorney.

Hill’s bond was set at $5,000 and her next court date is scheduled for May 19.


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Content retrieved from:  http://www.jdnews.com/news/20160430/former-clerk-charged-with-embezzlement

Florida dental assistant accused of credit theft

  A Boynton Beach woman who works at a dentist’s office was arrested for fraud Tuesday after she allegedly stole a patient’s credit card information.

Schenique G. Mitchell, 31, is being held at the Palm Beach County Jail in lieu of $9,000 bond. She is facing 10 counts of fraudulent use of a credit card, 10 counts of criminal use of personal identification information, petit theft, organized scheme to defraud and exploitation of an elderly person.

Schenique-G-Mitchell_mugshot.400x800

Mitchell was arrested after telling a Palm Beach County Sheriff’s detective on Tuesday that she had taken a patient’s credit card information for a friend she met “on the block” and knows as “MO.”

While Mitchell told detectives that “MO” told her through a text message to steal credit card information from patients, she didn’t give a specific date of when the request was made.

She said that “she does not know what was ordered, where it was shipped or if it was received,” the affidavit stated. Mitchell also told the detective that “she has done this same crime approximately four other times with four other separate victims.”

Detectives learned of the most recent incident after a patient of Boynton Beach dentist Dr. Edward Broggi reported several fraudulent charges to his credit card, from Dec. 28 through Jan. 2.

Detectives are now requesting the public’s assistance in locating the four additional victims.

In a statement released this afternoon, Sheriff’s office spokeswoman Teri Barbera asked that anybody who has been a patient of Broggi’s since 2011 and has been a victim of credit card fraud or identity theft contact Det. Richter at (561) 357-7053.

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Content retrieved from: Dental assistant accused of credit theft – National Cyber Security | Hacker News

 

______________________

Arrest Record: Schenique G Mitchell
Booked By
Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office
Booked Date
2012-01-17

AddThis Sharing Buttons
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Search for More Arrests

Report a Problem
Arrest Details
Charges
• FRAUD-IMPERSON – USE/POSS ID OF ANOTHER PERSON WO CONSENT
• FRAUD-ILLEG USE CREDIT CARDS – USE MORE 2 TIME 6 MS OBT GDS MNEY 100 DOL MORE
• FRAUD-SWINDLE – OBTAIN PROPERTY UNDER 20K DOLS
• LARC – PETIT THEFT 2ND DEGREE 1ST OFFENSE
• CRIMES AGAINST PERSON – EXPLOITATION OF ELDERLY LESS THAN 20K DOLS
Tracking #
201201170256269
Gender
N/A
Race
Black
Height
N/A
Weight
N/A
Facility
Main Detention Center
Age
35 years old
Date of Birth
Dec 3, 1980
Age at Arrest
31 years old
Eye Color
N/A
Hair Color
N/A

South Florida Check Fraud Victim Suing Wells Fargo Claims Bank Has No System to Track Who Cashes Checks

 


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South Florida Check Fraud Victim Suing Wells Fargo Claims Bank Has No System to Track Who Cashes Checks

Dr. Luis Fabelo says he lost close to half a million dollars and bank let it happen

(see related story here — https://www.prosperident.com/2016/09/16/florida-woman-convicted-500k-embezzlement-dentist/

Willard Shepard

Dr. Luis Fabelo says he’s the victim of check fraud and claims his bank, Wells Fargo, has no policy in place to verify who cashes checks and has filed a lawsuit. Det. Marcos Rodriguez also comments. For its part Wells Fargo said, “We deny the claims and will vigorously defend ourselves in this lawsuit.” (Published Friday, Sept. 6, 2013)

South Florida dentist Dr. Luis Fabelo says he lost “close to half a million dollars,” and thinks what happened to him can easily happen to others.

Fabelo said he’s the victim of an alleged fraud involving one of his former employees, and claims one of the area’s biggest banks doesn’t have procedures in place to stop her or anyone else.

Fabelo said he discovered that former employee Elizabeth De Leon was allegedly stealing hundreds of his checks, putting them in Wells Fargo ATM machines, depositing the money into her own accounts and cashing in.

Fabelo said he started taking a close look at his surveillance cameras when a patient alerted him that he never got credit for a payment he made.

“That led me to look at my surveillance camera and that’s when I saw the payment being taken by my former employee,” he said.

The woman the dentist saw on camera was De Leon, who is now facing charges of grand theft and organized fraud.  Police and Dr. Fabelo said she kept under the radar for months stealing checks that were clearly made out to the doctor, but deposited them in ATM machines at Wells Fargo — which Fabelo says let her put the money into her accounts.

“It shocked me that anybody can do that. Just imagine I write you a check.  Your purse gets stolen and that check can get deposited anywhere and it will go through,” Fabelo said. “Apparently there’s no way that Wells Fargo checks the checks.”

Fabelo said De Leon was part of his team and attended social functions – all the while she allegedly was deleting records that would have clued him in. He said no one at Wells Fargo was checking the ATM deposits.

“All this technology is great but it also has its drawbacks and these are the drawbacks,” Miami-Dade Police Det. Marcos Rodriguez said.

Detectives said that when De Leon stopped working for Dr. Fabelo that didn’t stop her from committing the same fraud at another dentist’s office.

Fabelo said when he asked the bank to give him the thousands stolen back they wouldn’t.  So now he’s suing in federal court alleging that “Wells Fargo has no system, policy, and/or procedure in place to verify the depositor/account holder, was entitled to cash the checks.”

His suit added that were it not for the “deficiencies in Wells Fargo’s ATM deposit procedures, Ms. de Leon would not have been able to deposit (i.e., steal) checks that had been made out to Dr. Fabelo and…his dental practice in her personal account.”

“I think it’s the banks responsibility to check,” Fabelo said.

For its part Wells Fargo said, “We deny the claims and will vigorously defend ourselves in this lawsuit.”

Police said the convenience of ATMs – and banking using smartphones — comes with a price.

“The quicker you can access your money, the quicker that other people can access the money from your accounts also. So it’s like a double-edged sword,” Rodriguez said.

The doctor’s lawsuit also said that Wells Fargo has intentionally deprived him of his funds.

De Leon is pleading not guilty to the charges and her attorney said he is just starting to build her defense.

Experts say in the big picture the message is to keep a close eye on your accounts, and there’s something to be said for a teller looking someone in the eye and asking for a driver’s license.

 Content retrieved from: http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/South-Florida-Check-Fraud-Victim-Suing-Wells-Fargo-Claims-Bank-Has-No-System-to-Track-Who-Cashes-Checks-220521611.html.

Stiff sentence in Florida – Woman gets 20 years for embezzling

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Cassandra Jean Lorenzi had rejected a plea bargain for a year in jail, saying she wanted probation and to pay off restitution

By Aisling Swift

A former Naples dental office manager who embezzled about $220,000 over nearly two years left her sentence in the hands of a judge.

Cassandra Jean Lorenzi, 38, of Fort Myers, rejected a plea bargain to a year in the county jail because she didn’t want to lose her new job. She had hoped she could serve probation and pay off restitution.

To test how intent Lorenzi was in paying her former employer, Aesthetic & Implant Dentistry of Naples, Collier Circuit Judge Fred Hardt gave her a chance, holding off sentencing for six months to see how much she’d pay.

That six-month deadline ended Monday, when Hardt learned she’d paid nothing until handing over a $6,000 check Thursday. The judge also learned the extent of her scheme may have been far more than her restitution amount and Lorenzi wasn’t taking responsibility, but was blaming her manic depression and her employer for manipulating her.

So Hardt sent Lorenzi to a state prison for 20 years ? shocking everyone, even the prosecutor.

“It will put fear in the heart of people who are inclined to steal, especially the employees with a fiduciary duty to their employers,” said Assistant State Attorney Jerry Brock, who prosecutes crimes for the Economic Crimes Unit.

“Even after we interviewed her, she went down to the bank to try to take more money out. She was brazen.”

Dr. Dawn Marie Arena, who built the dental practice since 1997 with her then-husband, Dr. Marcelo Mattschei, was glad to see a resolution after two prior attempts at sentencings.

“It’s finally over, thank God,” Arena said as she left court with her attorney, Yale Freeman, who filed lawsuits against Lorenzi, her husband, Neil, former office assistant Claudia Digirolamo, and two banks. “It’s been six years long in coming.”

Arena said the home the Lorenzis purchased with the stolen money was sold, but the practice received nothing and has since folded, leaving six employees jobless, and she and her husband divorced.

“When tragedies come in, unfortunately bad things happen. I take this as a learning experience,” Arena said, declining to say where she’s working now.

Lorenzi’s attorney, Peter Aiken, declined comment, as did her mother.

Lorenzi pleaded no contest Oct. 22 to scheme to defraud involving $50,000 or more and turned down Brock’s plea offer for a year in jail. The first-degree felony is punishable by up to 30 years in a state prison, and the judge was told Lorenzi had no prior felonies. But Monday, Brock told the judge she had two prior felonies, including a gross cheat-fraud case in Indiana.

Lorenzi, who has been free on $50,000 bond, was arrested by Collier County Sheriff’s Office investigators Sept. 12, 2006, after Mattschei reported that she was stealing from his office and patients’ accounts. He said his wife received a phone call from Judy Cramer, a Household Bank representative, who was suspicious of an account Lorenzi maintained.

Cramer said the only transactions were credit deposits withdrawn from the practice’s SunTrust account. Cramer said she’d been calling for several months, but Lorenzi intercepted the calls, so she called Arena’s home.

Records say Lorenzi overcharged patients, creating two bills ? a legitimate one and one patients weren’t aware of. The second acted as a customer credit and was deposited with Household Bank or Bank One. Cramer said she believed money also was transferred from a SunTrust account to the other accounts. At a prior hearing, Lorenzi told Hardt “all the doctors were doing it.”

When Cpl. Richard Stoneson interviewed Lorenzi on Feb. 18, 2004, she was carrying SunTrust statements, patient checks and other items belonging to the practice. The investigation showed she embezzled from Aug. 26, 2002, to March 1, 2004.

On Monday, Freeman told Hardt that Circuit Judge Cynthia Ellis will be signing a consent judgment against Lorenzi for $220,000. He said Lorenzi and her husband used the money to purchase a home and Lorenzi also stole patients’ identities through their credit card numbers and diverted about $350,000, including thousands of dollars belonging to a man in London.

Freeman said the dental practice was fortunate because patients didn’t sue.

Brock said investigators looked into the credit fraud but said the scheme was too confusing because Lorenzi took money out, returned it, took it out again months later, and returned it, back and forth. Brock said she also handed out discounts without the dentists’ knowledge if patients paid in cash.

Freeman said Lorenzi had an “obstructionist attitude” and refused to cooperate, causing the practice to spend more than $70,000 in legal fees fighting her. Arena urged the judge to impose the maximum, telling him, “During the course of the investigation, Ms. Lorenzi never cooperated or had remorse. The trust of our patient base was damaged.”

Aiken denied Freeman’s contentions that Lorenzi didn’t cooperate, saying she intended to hand over $2,500, but used it to hire an attorney. He said early on, she paid $20,000 and only agreed to pay $80,000 in restitution because others were involved.

“The last six months for her have been tough because she’s been through a divorce and a serious depression,” Aiken said.

Lorenzi blamed manic depression, saying she was diagnosed at age 21, and that she doesn’t handle money well, so she’d turn over her paycheck to her parents, who would be paying restitution and handling her finances. She contended she’d made “every effort” to pay restitution, including selling property for $25,000 and turning over that and an additional $7,500 before last week.

“It was not being able to handle my own finances that led to my problems,” Lorenzi told the judge, blaming Mattschei for giving her too much responsibility when she had no experience. “The checks did go into my account, but the checks going into my account at the start were at his hand. He created a system for not just me, but for others in the office.”

She told Hardt he manipulated her.

Although Arena sought the maximum, Brock asked only for a substantial term, while Aiken urged probation, or a lenient term of incarceration. But Hardt likened the case to that of Lorraine Afshari, who created a fake mortgage company, scammed dozens of investors out of $211,000, and then blamed friends for helping her start a business even though she was mentally ill. Last year, Hardt sent her to prison for 25 years.

“That was another case where the defendant is still in total denial, blaming other people,” Hardt said, adding, “It is the sentence of this court that you be committed to the Department of Corrections for 20 years.”

 

________________

here was a lot of money being deposited into the personal savings account that should have raised suspicion something wasn’t quite right.

Likewise, how the checks were made out to the receiving parties should have prompted some inquiry, according to the attorney representing a Naples dentistry practice in a lawsuit against the bank that deposited the checks.

The lawsuit filed by Aesthetic & Implant Dentistry of Naples against Colonial Bank says the bank failed to detect a scheme by two employees of the practice who the suit claims stole more than $90,000 from the dentists and deposited the money in their personal account, according to the lawsuit.

The scheme began in 2002 and lasted three years, the suit says.

“The people who were operating the scheme were having the patients leave (the pay to the order of) blank and they would put in their own names,” said Naples attorney Yale Freeman, who represents the dentist practice. “The (bank) computers should have generated a report that this is too much money.”

The dentist practice in North Naples employed Claudia Digirolamo as a dental assistant and Cassandra Lorenzi as an office manager, according to the lawsuit. Lorenzi’s duties included handling billing, payment receipt, credit applications and day-to-day operations of the practice.

During the course of their employment, Lorenzi and Digirolamo orchestrated a scheme where they stole checks from the practice and funneled the checks into a personal savings account at Colonial in Lorenzi’s name or that of her husband, Neil R. Lorenzi, according to the lawsuit.

The checks had been payable to the dentist practice and altered, or they were made out to the Lorenzis followed by the coding “EFDA” or something similar, according to the lawsuit.

The bank was “on notice” of the alteration since the alteration was clear in the face of the check, according to the complaint.

Colonial is fighting the lawsuit on the basis of whether the bank can be held responsible for the alleged activities of individuals who aren’t employees of the bank, said David Byrne, general counsel for Colonial, headquartered in Montgomery, Ala.

The fraud against the dentist practice began in 2002 and was discovered Feb. 18, 2004, when a group of checks were found in Cassandra Lorenzi’s purse that had been taken from the dentist practice, according to the lawsuit

A criminal investigation is pending, said Sgt. Dave White, an investigator with the Economic Crimes Unit of the Collier County Sheriff’s Office.

The negligence lawsuit against Colonial initially was filed in Collier Circuit Court and moved earlier this month to federal court in Fort Myers. The lawsuit likely will be bounced back to circuit court, Freeman said.

A similar lawsuit against BankOne earlier this year involving deposits made by the same individuals was resolved recently for $28,000 when the bank agreed to return the money to the dentists, Freeman said.

 


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Content retrieved from: http://archive.naplesnews.com/business/dentists-suit-alleges-bank-didnt-detect-theft-scheme-ep-406578085-330686851.html

Florida Dentist Office Employee Sentenced To Federal Prison For Insurance Fraud

March 7, 2010

A former office manager for an Atmore dentist has been sentenced to four months in prison plus four months of home confinement by a federal judge.

Toni McMurphy, 55,  pleaded guilty to health care fraud and mail fraud in federal court. Friday, McMurphy was sentenced by Judge Kristi K. DuBose to four months in prison. She will be allowed to voluntarily surrender at a future date after being notified by the U.S. Marshals.

Her prison term will be followed by four months of home confinement under the supervision of the Bureau of Prisons during which time she will be subject to electronic monitoring or another location verification system.

McMurphy was not fined, but will face a restitution hearing in May to determine if she will be required to pay restitution to her victims.

At her Friday’s sentencing hearing, several people spoke on McMurphy’s behalf, including Atmore Mayor Howard Shell.

In her plea agreement, McMurphy admitted that while working for Buckley and Buckley Family Dentistry between January 1, 2006, and November, 2008, she bilked about $45,000 from insurance companies by filing false claims for services never performed or by upgrading lower cost procedures to higher cost procedures.

“The insurance carriers would then send reimbursement checks to Buckley Family Dentistry to pay for the fraudulent claims,” McMurphy stated in her plea agreement. “I would then misapply said fraudulent proceeds, thereby allowing me to apply proceeds to different patients and to withdraw cash from Buckley Family Dentistry.”

The mail fraud charge stemmed from an incident in June, 2008, when McMurphy admitted that she filed a false claim with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama asking for reimbursement on behalf of a patient claiming that the dentist had extracted two of her teeth. Blue Cross and Blue Shield then mailed a payment for the services never performed to an Atmore post office box.

McMurphy faced up to 20 years in prison, three years probation and a fine up to $250,000 on each count.

This story has been updated to reflect the sentence is four months in prison *plus* four months home confinement.

 


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Content retrieved from: Former Dentist Office Employee Sentenced To Prison For Insurance Fraud : NorthEscambia.com

Former employee accused of stealing $85K from Florida dental office

A former financial coordinator for a Pembroke Pines dentist is accused of stealing 237 checks over 18 months that were written by patients and insurance companies and worth $85,353, police said.

A former financial coordinator for a Pembroke Pines dentist is accused of stealing 237 checks over 18 months that were written by patients and insurance companies and worth $85,353, police said.

Cynthia Rodriguez, 38, of West Park, was arrested Thursday on suspicion of committing larceny. She had worked for Dr. Hakan Kinaci at Pembroke Pines Dental Associates, according to a Pembroke Pines police report.

Discrepancies were discovered in the office’s operating account in January 2014. Rodriguez allegedly claimed to her employer that she was a kleptomaniac and admitted stealing $11,000, which she promised to pay back, according to the report.

Rodriguez was fired, and a review of her personal bank accounts found that between July 3, 2012 and December 18, 2013, the checks from patients and insurance companies were deposited to her account at an ATM, where surveillance video showed her at the machine, police said.


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Content retrieved from: Former employee accused of stealing $85K from Pembroke Pines dental office

How is this for Nerve? Accused Florida embezzler Kathryn Evelon Swearingen said money was owed her


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Published: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 3:14 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 3:14 p.m.

OCALA – A woman accused of embezzling more than $350,000 from a doctor’s office said the money was owed to her for doing work beyond her normal schedule, such as taking care of email messages.

Kathryn Evelon Swearingen, 44, was arrested at 9:59 a.m. Wednesday by Ocala Police Department Detective Wayne Greene on the campus of the College of Central Florida, where she is a student.

Swearingen was taken to the Marion County Jail, where she was charged with grand theft. Her bond is set at $10,000.

On Aug. 31, Officer Dustin Todd went to meet with Dr. Robert Ford and his accountant, Michael Demeola, after the doctor received a notice from the Internal Revenue Service stating he had not paid them enough money for payroll taxes.

Ford and Demeola told Todd they began researching the office’s two bank accounts and realized that Swearingen, formerly the office manager, had been receiving multiple paychecks for various amounts. The doctor said Swearingen was the person who completed the payroll checks, according to reports.

Greene was assigned to the case. During his investigation, he learned that Swearingen had been an employee at the office for more than 20 years. She had resigned in mid-August.

Greene discovered that this year, in addition to Swearingen’s normal pay, 50 checks totaling $74,074.71 had been made payable to her and were deposited into her personal bank account.

Greene found that in 2011, in addition to her regular pay, 83 checks had been made payable to Swearingen, for a total of $119,381.17. Her reported income in 2011 to the IRS was $34,712.55.

In 2010 and 2009, Greene noted, 105 checks made payable to Swearingen totaled $158,631.30. Her reported income for those two years totaled $97,675.03.

Greene also found out about five additional checks made out to her, which totaled $7,370.77.

The detective interviewed Swearingen on Monday by telephone. She told him she did not feel she was stealing because the money was “owed to her for each time she was sent or looked at an email; answered texts and phone calls during days, nights, holidays and vacations; and from being on call when they weren’t paid for it,” according to reports. She admitted the additional funds were not reported to the IRS.

After the interview, Greene issued a probable cause warrant for Swearingen’s arrest.

Swearingen declined an interview request from the Star-Banner.

Content retrieved from: Accused embezzler Kathryn Evelon Swearingen said money was owed her | Ocala.com


Name: SWEARINGEN, KATHRYN E
Race: WHITE
Sex: FEMALE
Hair Color: BLONDE OR STRAWBERRY
Eye Color: GREEN
Height: 5′ 6″ (1.68 m)
Weight: 230 lb (104 kg)
Birth Date: 3/22/1964
DC Number: U51762
Initial Receipt Date: 12/30/2014
Current Facility: GADSDEN C.F.
Current Custody: MINIMUM
Current Release Date: 11/24/2016
Aliases:
  • KATHRYN SWEARINGEN
  • KATHRYN E SWEARINGEN
  • KATHRYN EVELON SWEARINGEN
  • KATHRYN EVELON WALKER
Charges:
Offense Date Offense Sentence Date County Case No. Prison Sentence Length
12/18/2008 GRAND THEFT O/$100K 12/04/2014 MARION 1203786 2Y 0M 0D
Detainers:
Detainer Date Agency Type Date Canceled
12/04/2014 050 MARION CO NTFY/P&P
Incarceration History:
Date In-Custody Date Out-of-Custody
12/30/2014 Currently Incarcerated