Bond set for Indiana Dental Office Manager accused of bilking Medicaid out of $365,527

Justyn Arch

VALPARAISO — After having spent the last several days behind bars, Justyn Arch was given the chance Wednesday morning to bond out of jail while awaiting trial on a charge of bilking Medicaid out of $365,527.

The 32-year-old made an initial court appearance from the jail via a video conferencing system on the single felony count of Medicaid fraud.

Porter Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Clymer entered pleas of not guilty on Arch’s behalf and set bond at $2,500 cash.

A trial was set for March 18, with preliminary hearings Dec. 14 and Jan. 25.

Arch was represented in court by defense attorney Bob Harper and the short hearing attracted a group of onlookers.

Arch was working as an office manager at the Crown Point location of Arch Complete Family Dentistry when he repeatedly billed the government assistance program for a type of surgery never performed by the dental practice, according to an investigator with the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit in the Indiana attorney general’s office.

The dental practice was based in Chesterton and briefly had an office in Knox.

The billings were filed on behalf of 171 Medicaid recipients between Feb. 17, 2015, and Sept. 13, 2017, according to court documents.

They involve osseous surgery, which is “rarely performed by general practitioners,” and is a particularly invasive procedure “performed to bone and overlying tissues of the teeth to gain access to the diseased root and bone area, to remove bacteria and infected gums, and to reduce pocketing.”

The charging document includes a list of patients, who said they never had the surgery done or were not even patients of Arch Complete Family Dentistry.

A dentist, who used to work for Arch Complete Family Dentistry, reportedly told investigators that he never performed the surgery in question or saw it performed at the practice. The dentist said he was aware of the fraudulent claims submitted by Arch claiming he provided services he did not, which led to his decision to leave the practice, according to charging information.

Other employees also said they never saw the osseous surgery performed at the practice.

Arch had been in the same courtroom nearly three years earlier when he testified he had nothing to do with the Jan. 16, 2015, shooting death of 23-year-old Melinda Lindsey in the same house he now lives along Ind. 149 in Portage Township.

Arch had owned the house at the time of the murder and testified during the trial of Melinda’s husband Steven Lindsey, who was found guilty and sentenced in April 2016 to 55 years behind bars.

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Indiana Dental Office Employee Accused Of Forging Prescriptions

(Brookville, Ind.) – A dentist office employee is accused of forging pain medicine prescriptions.

Jessica Andre, of Brookville, came under investigation by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department on November 9 when Brookville Family Dentistry filed a complaint.

Police determined Andre, 29, was writing prescriptions for opioid pain medication to herself. She was taken into custody without incident.

Andre was arrested and charged with Obtaining Prescriptions by Fraud (level 6 felony). She was held in jail at the Franklin County Security Center until she posted bond.

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Indiana dental employee gets probation must pay $142k restitution

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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Indiana woman and husband embezzle $247k from dentist; husband tries to avoid repayment by declaring bankruptcy.

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.

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Hygienist wrote her own prescriptions


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.

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Alleged embezzlement drills hole in Indiana dentist’s account

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.

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SEC Charges Indianapolis Investment Advisor, Veros Partners, With Fraud. Veros had hundreds of dental clients

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.

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See SEC complaint here —