The former general manager of Afdent Dentistry, which has offices in Mishawaka and Fort Wayne, has been charged in federal court with defrauding the company of more than $3 million over six years.
According to an indictment filed in federal court, Brian Nordan, 42, embezzled money from Afdent beginning in 2012 for the benefit of himself, his partner and spouse, Dustin Coleman, and his sister, Angela Jasinski.
In addition to creating a separate company that sold marked-up toothpaste to Afdent for $25 a tube, federal prosecutors allege that Nordan used company credit cards to pay off his personal credit cards, make purchases at Lowe’s and pay his husband and sister salaries while they weren’t working for the company.
According to a separate civil case filed by Afdent, Nordan was terminated in June 2018 after the company discovered Jasinski and Coleman had been secretly receiving pay. Legal filings state that Afdent’s owner was unaware of Jasinski and Coleman’s ghost employment.
Nordan, Coleman and Jasinski were all arrested on multiple felony wire fraud charges on Monday and Tuesday, according to federal court filings.
“Employers hire individuals with the understanding that they will be honest and not exploit them for personal financial gain,” said United States Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II. “When, as alleged in this indictment, individuals do exploit their employers for illegal financial gain, my Office and our law enforcement partners will investigate and prosecute.”
A long-time employee of a local dental office has been arrested in connection with the alleged theft of nearly $300,000 from her employer over at least a four-year period beginning in 2015.
Malinda A. Downey, 47, of Madison, has been charged with one count of theft, a Level 5 felony, but additional charges could be forthcoming as accountants, Indiana State Police and the Jefferson County Prosecutors Office continue investigating the case.
Downey is currently free on a $10,000 cash bond. She appeared in Jefferson Superior Court Friday, for a reading of the charges and a “not guilty” plea was entered with her trial date set for 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020.
Downey, who was arrested by state police Wednesday, had been employed as an office worker at Pawlak Orthodontics, 160 Demaree Drive, Madison, for 17 years using both Ortho-Trac and Quickbooks programs to track customer payments, services and patient information before depositing receipts in the bank account for the business.
According to a probable cause affidavit, Dr. Elizabeth Pawlak, owner of the practice, had suspected discrepancies in receipts and deposits for some time but on July 11 and July 12 discovered that cash payments from two new patients were not properly documented. Pawlak then conducted a review that confirmed payments recorded in Quickbooks did not match those recorded in Ortho-Trac and an estimated $150,000 could not be accounted for.
At that point, Pawlak asked Indiana State Police to investigate the case and Det. David Makowsky advised Pawlak to seek a complete audit of her books.
The affidavit said Pawlak spoke with Downey about the discrepancies on Aug. 12 with Makowsky present and Downey indicated that she must have recorded the transaction incorrectly. When confronted with other discrepancies, Downey did not have an explanation for the missing funds.
Eventually, Makowsky asked Downey how much money was missing and she told him she “did not know.” He asked if she had taken any money prior to 2014 and she said she “didn’t think so” and that she “did not remember if she ever put any money back,” the affidavit said.
At that point Downey said she did not want to speak to Makowsky any further. They set up a time to meet the following day but prior to that Downey notified Makowsky that she did not want to meet with him further.
Autumn Dean, an accountant with Hartman and Williams LLC, completed an audit of the records at Pawlak Orthodontics and, based on a summary between the Ortho-trac and Quickbooks records, $292,251.32 was found missing between 2014 and 2019, the affidavit said.
Dean’s report indicated that a sample comparison of Ortho-Trac entries made under Downey’s login credentials compared to payments recorded in Quickbooks from 2015 to 2019 showed that payments were recorded in Ortho-Trac but not in Quickbooks and that $74,078.00 was missing in Quickbooks. Additional transactions still are being scrutinized.
The investigation led to Wednesday’s warrant issued for Downey’s arrest on the Level 5 felony charge of theft (over $50,000). She was booked at the Jefferson County Jail and later released on bond.
Pawlak has since issued a statement to reassure patients that the thefts that are charged were from Pawlak and not customers.
“We at Pawlak Orthodontics want to thank our patients for being dedicated to our office. We appreciate the loyalty you have shown us. We have had an unfortunate situation occur. A former employee has been charged with theft of funds from our office. We want to assure everyone that this has not affected any patient’s accounts. These were cash-only payments and only affected the bottom line for Dr. Pawlak.
“We want to assure everyone that we have taken measures to make sure that something like this will not occur again. Again, we sincerely appreciate the support and patience we have received from everyone while we deal with this issue.”
NEW HAVEN, Ind. (WANE) – An ex-employee from Downie Family Dentistry is accused of hacking into the dentistry’s phones and sending messages to customers saying the dentistry was closing due to the dentist having a drug problem. The dentist’s office says neither are true.
employee was fired from Downie on Thursday over an embezzlement
scandal, office personnel said, but before he left, he promised revenge,
according to the dentist’s office.
told us many times ‘I’m going to take the ship down,'”
said Downie Chief Operating Officer T.J. Wagner. “If you let go of me, I
will take the ship down with me.'”
Dentistry said the employee had access to the website and its Facebook
page and changed both to display the message “Unfortunately, due to the
escalation of Dr. Downie’s chronic substance abuse problem, from cocaine
to methamphetamines, we’ve had to close our doors. If you believe you
have been treated by Dr. William Downie while he was under the influence
of a controlled substance, you should immediately call the Indiana
The Downie Dentistry’s
Facebook page has been taken down. Dr. William Downie called the
accusation of him abusing drugs “ridiculous.” He said the schedule for
Friday is “slammed” and he does not plan to make any changes to business
hours. In addition to the misinformation, Downie says the ex-employee
stole a company vehicle. He says he went with police to recover the car.
When he returned to the dentistry, he found out what else had been
done. Downie and the rest of the dentistry’s management staff are
talking with police to determine the next steps that should be taken.
Some customers are worried about what could happen next.
have, if anything, in the process of learning how to run a business,
which again is quite a learning process and always is a learning
process, learned about parameters in place that secure patient
information to make sure that things like that are the topmost of
importance,” said Downie.
When the employee was let go over embezzlement accusations, Downie said the Dentistry was not planning to press charges because “everyone deserves a second chance.” Now, the plan is to get the word out that Downie Family Dentistry is not closing and Dr. Downie has never used illegal drugs.
A Martinsville woman has been charged with felony theft for allegedly stealing funds from her Owen County employer. Amy J. Woodall, 44, was arrested Tuesday and released after posting $7500 cash/surety (or 10 percent) bond.
Barbara J. McAlister, 64, pleaded guilty to one charge of corrupt business influence, a Class C felony, and five charges of theft, a Class D felony. She was also ordered to pay more than $142,000 in restitution.
According to the probable cause affidavit, McAlister, who worked as a bookkeeper and receptionist for Spaulding Dental, pocketed cash payments for dental work and used other checks or insurance money to balance the books.
Gayle Spaulding said this incident has hurt her business and her family and has consumed their lives since McAlister was arrested in October 2011. During a statement to the court, Spaulding said she felt betrayed because a former employee had committed this crime against her family’s business.
“You built a trust with me, Barb, and you violated that trust,” Spaulding told the defendant. “You took complete advantage of that trust. You took that money because you could. And that saddens me.”
A total of $94,535.32 is being withheld from a $100,000 cash bond McAlister posted for her son, who was arrested on charges of domestic battery and strangulation.
Senior Judge Steven Fleece ordered McAlister to pay the difference – $5,464.68 – in addition to the net value of her retirement fund, which Fleece estimated was more than $42,000.
McAlister apologized to the Spaulding family for everything she had put them through, especially their three children.
“Those kids were like my own, and I love them,” McAlister said.
Fleece also issued no-contact orders for the Spauldings and their children as well as ordered McAlister to stay away from the Spaulding Dental office.
Chief Deputy Prosecutor D.J. Mote said he was satisfied with the outcome of the case.
“We hope that this sends a message to all of those who would violate the trust of their employers. We take this very seriously,” he said.
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December 23, 2008 — An Indiana dentist is suing his former office manager and her ex-husband in an effort to reclaim some of the more than $100,000 the woman charged on company credit cards, reports the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette.
The lawsuit seeks the recovery of the money stolen and more than $200,000 in interest and damages from Cindy Abbott and her ex-husband, Rodney Abbott, according to the news story. Abbott is currently serving a six-month sentence in jail and was ordered to pay more than $200,000 in restitution to Thomas Brunner, D.D.S., after she pleaded guilty to theft and two counts of fraud.
According to court documents and testimony, Abbott used the dental practice’s credit cards to make a series of purchases that could not be reasonably linked to the practice — such as CDs, dog treats, clothing, and food — in amounts totaling more than $130,000. She also used the credit cards for cash advances of at least $51,000.
She was also accused of stealing more than $160,000 in cash receipts from the dental office, the Journal Gazette reported.
Dental hygienist Denise M. Lawrence, 40, was charged with dealing in a schedule III controlled substance and four counts of obtaining a legend drug by fraud or deceit after she allegedly posed as other women in Dr. Randall Miller’s Shelbyville dental office to call in prescriptions for hydrocodone and other drugs over a 10-month period. The prescriptions, 35 in total, were all ordered in Lawrence’s name for pick up but only two were actually prescribed by the dentist. More than 30 additional unauthorized prescriptions were called in by Lawrence using the names of her relatives. She was caught after a pharmacy suspicious of one of the prescriptions tipped off police. Lawrence is free on bond.
CROWN POINT — The Lake County prosecutor’s office charged a Valparaiso man this week with embezzling thousands of dollars from a Merrillville dental business.
Prosecutors named Casey J. Tinnel, 28, an office manager for Advance Dental Care of Merrillville, in a Lake Criminal court charge. They allege he was responsible for depositing customers’ payments in the business bank account, but kept some money for his own use and covered up the shortage.
Debra McCarthy, an area supervisor for the Dental Center, alleged an audit discovered $8,812 missing.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced charges against an Indianapolis investment adviser, its president, two associates and several affiliated companies for engaging in two fraudulent farm loan offerings, in which they made Ponzi scheme payments to investors in other offerings and paid themselves hundreds of thousands of dollars in undisclosed fees. The SEC obtained a temporary restraining order and emergency asset freeze to halt the scheme.
According to the SEC Complaint, Defendants Veros Partners, Inc. and Matthew D. Haab, its president, along with Jeffrey Risinger and Tobin Senefeld have fraudulently raised at least $15 million from at least 80 investors. The Complaint alleges that Veros and Haab raised those funds, mostly from Veros’ own clients, in two separate farm loan offerings. The investors in the 2013 and 2014 Offerings were informed, orally and in writing by Haab, and in the written offering documents, that investor funds would be used to make short term operating loans to farmers for the 2013 and 2014 growing seasons.
Contrary to these representations, the Complaint alleges that although some investor money was loaned to the farms, significant portions of the loan proceeds were not used for current farming operations but were used to cover the farms’ prior, unpaid debt. In addition, Haab, Risinger, and Senefeld allegedly used money from the 2013 and 2014 Offerings to make at least $7 million in payments to investors in other offerings and to pay themselves over $800,000 in undisclosed “success” and “interest rate spread” fees. According to the Complaint, they also repeatedly misled investors about the risks, nature, and performance of the investments and underlying farm loans. To date, less than $5 million of the approximately $12 million in loans owed in connection with the 2014 Offering have been repaid. All but one of the loans in the 2014 Offering are past due and, according to the Defendants, the loans, most of which included unpaid balances from prior years, will not be repaid in the near future. In addition, the approximately $7 million still owed on those loans ($3 million of which is the subject of a recently filed collection action) is not sufficient to repay the 2014 investors, who are owed a total of approximately $9 million in principal and interest, and are due to be repaid on April 30, 2015.
The farm loan defaults and looming investment shortfall were not disclosed to the investors in the 2014 Offering. Defendants Haab, Risinger, and Senefeld have advised the Commission that their only recourse to repay the investors is by fees they expect to receive from other existing or planned offerings, including at least two 2015 farm loan offerings to Veros clients through which they are seeking to raise almost $25 million. The SEC brought this action to enjoin Defendants from raising additional investor funds, to prevent them from ensnaring more victims in their scheme, and to prevent the further dissipation of investor assets. The SEC also seeks the disgorgement of Defendants’ ill-gotten gains, as well as prejudgment interest and significant civil penalties.