Indiana Employee fired for embezzlement; hacks dentist’s social media

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

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.

The 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.

“He 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.'” 

Downie Family 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 Dental Association.” 

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. 

“We 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. 

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Editor’s note — the ex-employee has been identified in other media coverage as Shannon Martin. A search of his background reveals several misdemeanor charges for assault and intimidation.

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.

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

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

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.

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

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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.

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


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See SEC complaint here —