Visitors to our Hall of Shame are probably familiar with the saga of Kristi Heffington.
(The main story on Ms. Heffington is HERE, a story about a friend of Ms. Heffington who was also indicted is HERE, and we placed a business, S.O.S. Dental Experts, for which Ms. Heffington appears to have some involvement, on our watchlist — see story HERE.)
As hard as it is to believe, there is more. A woman named Jami Marie Peterson, also of Maryland, was convicted of theft scheme, conspiracy to commit theft scheme, identity fraud, and conspiracy to commit identity fraud for being Ms. Heffington’s accomplice in various fraud schemes. The court transcripts reveal that Ms. Heffington and Ms. Peterson had made plans to open a bar together and that they needed money to do so. The transcript indicates that Ms. Heffington was the sister of Ms. Peterson’s fiance.
In May 2020, Ms. Peterson’s appeal of her convictions was denied. The appeals judge specifically highlighted that “the trial court indicated that it had the opportunity to observe Ms. Peterson and judge her credibility and that ‘quite honestly I don’t believe a word [she] said’ “.
The appeal judge also highlighted Ms. Peterson’s conflicting statements around her involvement with creating Care Credit accounts used by Ms. Heffington in the perpetuation of her fraud. Ms. Peterson initially denied her involvement in the creation of these accounts but subsequently issued an “affidavit of correction” in which she did confirm her involvement.
What is is about Maryland these days? We seem to be seeing an unusual number of embezzlement matters there.
Our next “subject” is Cherie Tracey-Shreve, who sometimes goes by Cherie Shreve. Interestingly, it appears that she knows another Maryland embezzler, Kristi Heffington (read about Kristi HERE).
Cherie was recently indicted in Maryland. Here is the text of the indictment:
STATE OF MARYLAND, Prince George’s County, to wit:
COUNT 1 THE GRAND JURORS OF THE STATE OF MARYLAND FOR THE BODY OF PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY ON THEIR OATH DO PRESENT THAT CHERIE LYNN SHREVE, BETWEEN THE DATES OF DECEMBER 4, 2014, AND DECEMBER 19, 2014, DID PRESENT, CAUSE TO BE PRESENTED AND ASSITED IN THE PRESENTATION TO CAREFIRST BLUECROSS BLUESHIELD, AN INSURER, DOCUMENTS AND STATEMENTS MADE IN SUPPORT OF A CLAIM WITH A VALUE GREATER THAN $300 KNOWING THAT THE DOCUMENTS AND STATEMENTS CONTAINED FALSE INFORMATION ABOUT A MATTER MATERIAL TO THE CLAIM, IN VIOLATION OF 27-403 OF THE INSURANCE ARTICLE, AGAINST THE PEACE, GOVERNMENT AND DIGNITY OF THE STATE. (FALSE/MISLEADING INFO FRAUD -$300)
COUNT 2 THE GRAND JURORS OF THE STATE OF MARYLAND FOR THE BODY OF PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY ON THEIR OATH DO PRESENT THAT CHERIE LYNN SHREVE, BETWEEN DECEMBER 4, 2014, AND MARCH 30, 2015, DID CONSPIRE WITH KRISTI HEFFINGTON TO COMMIT INSURANCE FRAUD, AND MORE SPECIFICALLY TO PREPARE FALSE DOCUMENTS AND STATEMENTS TO BE PRESENTED TO CAREFIRST BLUECROSS BLUESHIELD IN REGARDS TO CLAIMS FOR DENTAL BENEFITS WITH A VALUE GREATER THAN $300, IN VIOLATION OF THE COMMON LAW OF THE STATE OF MARYLAND, AGAINST THE PEACE, GOVERNMENT AND DIGNITY OF THE STATE. (CONSPIRE TO COMMIT INSURANCE FRAUD)
COUNT 3 THE GRAND JURORS OF THE STATE OF MARYLAND FOR THE BODY OF PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY ON THEIR OATH DO PRESENT THAT CHERIE LYNN SHREVE, BETWEEN THE DATES OF DECEMBER 4, 2014, AND FEBRUARY 4, 2015, PURSUANT TO ONE SCHEME AND CONTINUING COURSE OF CONDUCT, CONSPIRE WITH KRISTI HEFFINGTON TO STEAL CURRENCY OF CAREFIRST BLUECROSS BLUESHIELD HAVING A VALUE OF AT LEAST $10,000 BUT LESS THAN $100,000, IN VIOLATION OF CR 7-104 OF THE ANNOTATED CODE OF MARYLAND, AGAINST THE PEACE, GOVERNMENT AND DIGNITY OF THE STATE. (CONSPIRE – THEFT-SCHEME: $10,000 TO UNDER $100,000)
COUNT 4 THE GRAND JURORS OF THE STATE OF MARYLAND FOR THE BODY OF PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY ON THEIR OATH DO PRESENT THAT CHERIE LYNN SHREVE ON OR ABOUT THE 19th DAY OF DECEMBER, 2014, DID FORGE, CAUSE TO BE FORGED AND AIDED AND ASSISTED IN THE FORGING OF THE ELECTRONIC SIGNATURE OF DR. RONALD MOSER ON A CLAIM PRESENTED TO CAREFIRST BLUECROSS BLUESHIELD IN VIOLATION OF THE COMMON LAW OF THE STATE OF MARYLAND, AGAINST THE PEACE, GOVERNMENT AND DIGNITY OF THE STATE. (FORGERY)
COUNT 5 THE GRAND JURORS OF THE STATE OF MARYLAND FOR THE BODY OF PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY ON THEIR OATH DO PRESENT THAT CHERIE LYNN SHREVE ON OR ABOUT THE 19TH DAY OF DECEMBER, 2014, DID UTTER AND PUBLISH AND ASSIST IN THE UTTERING AND PUBLISHING OF A FORGED SIGNATURE OF DR. RONALD MOSER ON A CLAIM SUBMITTED TO CAREFIRST BLUECROSS BLUESHIELD IN VIOLATION OF THE COMMON LAW OF THE STATE OF MARYLAND, AGAINST THE PEACE, GOVERNMENT AND DIGNITY OF THE STATE. (UTTERING A FORGED INSTRUMENT)
COUNT 6 THE GRAND JURORS OF THE STATE OF MARYLAND FOR THE BODY OF PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY ON THEIR OATH DO PRESENT THAT CHERIE LYNN SHREVE ON OR ABOUT THE 19th DAY OF DECEMBER, 2014, DID ASSUME THE IDENTITY OF DR. RONALD MOSER TO FILE CLAIM WITH CAREFIRST BLUECROSS BLUESHIELD, IN VIOLATION OF 8 -301 OF THE CRIMINAL LAW ARTICLE OF THE ANNOTATED CODE OF MARYLAND, AGAINST THE PEACE, GOVERNMENT AND DIGNITY OF THE STATE. (ASSUMING IDENTITY OF ANOTHER)
COUNT 7 THE GRAND JURORS OF THE STATE OF MARYLAND FOR THE BODY OF PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY ON THEIR OATH DO PRESENT THAT CHERIE LYNN SHREVE ON OR ABOUT THE 22nd DAY OF DECEMBER, 2014, DID STEAL CURRENY OF CAREFIRST BLUECROSS BLUESHIELD HAVING A VALUE OF LESS THAN $1,000 IN VIOLATION OF CR 7-104 OF THE ANNOTATED CODE OF MARYLAND, AGAINST THE PEACE, GOVERNMENT AND DIGNITY OF THE STATE. (THEFT: LESS $1,000 VALUE)
____________________________________ ASSISTANT STATE’S ATTORNEY FOR PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, MARYLAND
There are indications that Ms. Heffington is working for, or involved in the ownership of a company providing outsourced dental claims submission and processing. The full story is here — https://www.prosperident.com/s-o-s-dental-experts-added-to-our-watchlist/ .
Update September 3, 2019:
Ms. Heffington was recently found to be in breach of her probation conditions. Her sentence, which was originally 10 years, with all but 9 months suspended, was changed to 10 years, with all but 18 months suspended. The additional 9 months that is not suspended is to be served in prison, not house arrest.
We understand that Ms. Heffington is appealing.
Former dental office employee Kristi Eunice Heffington has pled guilty to three offences relating to her work in a dental office.
According to court records, she was indicted for seventeen offences including Fraud, Forgery, Assuming the Identity of Another, Conspiring to Commit Insurance Fraud, two counts of Theft Scheme more than $10,000 but less than $100,000, and Fraud in Procuring Issuance of Credit Card.
In the end, Kristi pled guilty to three of the charges for which she was indicted; False/ Misleading Info Fraud (Maryland Code 27-407.1), Identity Fraud (Maryland Code 8-301), and Conspiracy to Commit Identity Fraud (Also 8-301).
For the remaining 14 offences that Kristi was charged with, the disposition was recorded as “nolle pros,”which normally means that the State of Maryland decided not to prosecute on these charges.
Kristi was sentenced to 10 years in prison, of which all but 9 months was suspended, with the 9 month sentence to be served at home with a monitoring system. She was also ordered to pay restitution of $25,000 to Ron and Anne Moser of Crownsville MD.
Our research indicates that Ms. Heffington continues to work in the dental field. She may be using the name Kristi Tracey.
In an interesting twist, Kristi and her husband, Matthew Heffington, commenced a lawsuit against the Mosers (presumably the same people who Kristi was ordered to pay restitution in the criminal trial) for defamation and other torts.
Court reporting of the proceedings states that the Heffingtons “alleged that Dr. Moser and Anne then “conspired to develop a scheme to disparage [Kristi’s] reputation, and to cause injury to her financial, mental, psychological, emotional, and personal well-being, as well as interfere with her own standing as an employee in the dental community.” In furtherance of that conspiracy, the Mosers falsely reported to the police that Kristi had stolen over $3,000 from the Practice; filed a false insurance claim asserting that Kristi had stolen over $100,000 from the Practice; filed a civil action in the District Court of Maryland for Anne Arundel County falsely alleging that Kristi had wrongfully refused to repay a $5,000 loan from Dr. Moser; and called [Matthew’s employer] , and made false allegations about Kristi and false allegations that Matthew had participated in Kristi’s alleged theft scheme.”
A delay in Kristi’s criminal trial caused the Heffingtons to seek to delay the civil proceedings, on the basis that Kristi’s testimony in her lawsuit against the Mosers might compromise her position in the criminal trial, where she intended to assert her Fifth Amendment rights. Her request to postpone the civil trial was initially denied, but was granted on appeal. The appeal was then overturned again by the Maryland Court of Appeal, meaning that her lawsuit was unsuccessful
This case has received a bit of attention from legal scholars because of the interplay between the civil and criminal proceedings with respect to preserving Kristi’s right not to self-incriminate in a criminal matter while still allowing her to seek civil recourse against the Mosers n civil court.
The reporting of the appeal makes for interesting reading and is available below.
A Fort Washington woman was sentenced to five years of probation and to pay almost $3,000 for stealing money from a medical insurance company by using her employment at a dentist’s office to submit false claims, prosecutors said.
Randii Lei Adams, 43, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to one count of felony theft Thursday for falsifying insurance claims to Ameritas Life Insurance Corporation worth a total of $5,810, according to information from the Maryland Attorney General.
From February 2005 until June 2006, Adams worked as an office manager at Health Professionals Inc. in Fort Washington. While employed at the dental practice, Adams filed false insurance claims using names of her family members and then had them cash the checks they received and pay her a portion of the money from the check, prosecutors said.
Adams was ordered to pay $1,800 in restitution and a $1,105 fine.
Her attorney, Brian Bregman, said Adams had already paid some of the money back prior to her sentencing, which is why she was not required to pay back the entire amount.
“She took responsibility and is going to make restitution and try to make things right,” Bregman said.
Bregman added there was another person of interest in the case but could not provide further details.
The Attorney General’s office did not respond to questions about whether the family members who received money from Adams also are facing charges.
Randii had several prior convictions dating back to 1998.
Greenbelt, Maryland – Michelle Rampersad, age 31, of Frederick, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to wire fraud in connection with a three year scheme to fraudulently endorse her employer’s insurance reimbursement checks and deposit the checks for her own benefit, including gambling expenses, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.
According to her plea agreement, Rampersad worked at a dental practice located in Greenbelt, Maryland, and was responsible for logging in reimbursement checks from insurance carriers and preparing the checks for deposit into the office bank account. Beginning at least in March 2004, Rampersad fraudulently endorsed the checks to herself, using a prescription stamp bearing the name of the dental practice to make it appear as if the checks had been endorsed by the dental practice to Rampersad. She deposited the checks into her personal bank account. She failed to log the checks into the office accounting system in an effort to conceal the fraud.
Under this scheme, from March 2004 to August 2007, Rampersad fraudulently endorsed approximately 184 checks totaling $400,954.04 and used the funds for her own benefit, including gambling expenses.
Rampersad faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release. U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams, Jr. has scheduled sentencing for December 5, 2008 at 9:30 a.m. As part of her plea agreement, Rampersad has agreed to pay restitution for the full amount of the loss.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the U.S. Postal Inspection Service for its investigative work and commended Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan C. Su, who is prosecuting the case.
A Finksburg woman is facing six charges after allegedly stealing more than $60,000 from her employer by paying herself for overtime hours she never worked and making personal purchases on a business credit card.
Tiffany Ann Collins, 30, of the 3000 block of Old Westminster Pike, has been charged with three counts of theft scheme $10,000 to under $100,000, two counts of theft less than $1,000 and one count of theft scheme $1,000 to under $10,000.
Collins is being held at the Carroll County Detention Center without bond. She is scheduled to appear in court on May 8.
On Aug. 7, Maryland State troopers responded to a dental office in the 1000 block of Washington Road in Westminster for a report of a theft scheme.
The owner of the office told the police that she recently discovered Collins, who worked as the office’s manager since July 2009, had been paying herself for overtime hours she didn’t work.
When the owner confronted Collins about it, Collins claimed it was a mistake, according to court documents.
The owner then attempted to review statements for a business credit card that was issued to Collins, but found most of the statements missing from the file. The ones that the owner could locate showed purchases unrelated to business for expenses such as television and cellphone accounts.
Police then obtained a handwritten statement from one of Collins’ co-workers who said Collins asked to come over to talk on Aug. 5.
Collins told her co-worker that the office’s owner found out Collins had been paying herself for overtime hours not worked, but didn’t think that the owner knew that Collins had been paying her BGE and television bills through the office, according to court records.
The co-worker said Collins also told her that when purchasing business supplies at stores such as Target, she would also buy personal supplies without telling the owner or paying the office back.
When interviewed by police, Collins said she paid herself for overtime hours not worked because she felt she worked those hours due to business-related phone calls and time spent at the office after hours, according to court documents.
She also admitted using the business credit card for BGE and several other bills as her money got tight.
The total amount that Collins allegedly stole from the dental office is $60,894.40 over a seven-month period, according to court documents.
This is an electronic case record. Full case information cannot be made available either because of legal restrictions on access to case records found in Maryland rules 16-1001 through 16-1011, or because of the practical difficulties inherent in reducing a case record into an electronic format.
Life sentence cut to 40 years in death of Glen Burnie dentist
Reduction in Ro case part of sealed plea agreement
May 02, 2013|By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun
Nearly seven years after she admitted that she plotted to have her boss killed in his Glen Burnie office to cover up thefts from his dental practice, Shontay Joyner Hickman had her life sentence reduced Thursday to 40 years in prison for testifying against her cousin.
The reduction, in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court, was part of a sealed plea agreement in which Hickman, 38, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty last year to first-degree murder in the slaying of Dr. Albert Woonho Ro, who hailed from a family well-known in the area’s Korean-American community.
Hickman said she brought Jeter and two men she did not know to Ro’s office. Police said they found Jeter’s DNA on a toothbrush box there. No one else has been charged.
An assistant in Dr. Ro’s office, Hickman admitted she siphoned more than $17,000 from his practice.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)—A well-liked Anne Arundel County dentist was murdered in his own office. His assistant admits hiring a hitman to commit the crime. Now that man is on trial.
That assistant who hired the hitman is now the state’s star witness. She’s expected to testify against the hitman, who is also a member of her family.
In 2006, Dr. Albert Ro was bludgeoned to death. Police found the popular Glen Burnie dentist inside his office, stabbed 39 times and beaten beyond recognition.
“Shock. I think we were having a nightmare. This is unbelievable. The family is traumatized,” said Ro’s loved one.
A grand jury indictment says Ro was killed at the hands of 25-year-old Dante Jeter, whose trial is underway.
Jurors are expected to hear testimony against him from his own cousin, 37-year-old Shontay Hickman.
Three months ago, the state’s star witness pleaded guilty to murder in the case. Hickman, Ro’s former receptionist, says she paid Jeter $1,000 to kill her boss. The motive was cash.
Hickman confessed to embezzling $17,000 from Ro. Worried about getting caught, she ordered a hit.
On Tuesday a bank fraud investigator poured through records, showing Hickman withdrew money right after the beating to pay Jeter. Hickman agreed to take the witness stand in exchange for a shorter sentence, 40 years in jail.
Hickman is expected to testify first thing Wednesday morning.
Police believe there were two others involved in the attack. If Hickman reveals more information about who they are, her sentence could be reduced even more, to 30 years.
This case sat cold for four years until police found a fingerprint at the scene, linking them to Jeter.
Appeals court affirms conviction for 2006 murder of Glen Burnie dentist
The Maryland Court of Special Appeals has affirmed the conviction of a Baltimore man serving two life sentences for the murder of a Glen Burnie dentist in 2006.
Dante Jeter, 27, asked the state’s second highest court to look at the admissibility of expert fingerprint analysis testimony, jury instructions and autopsy photographs that were admitted during his trial in Anne Arundel Circuit Court.
But the Court of Special Appeals wrote in its opinion that the trial court did not err, and affirmed Jeter’s conviction.
A county jury in 2012 convicted Jeter of first-degree felony murder, first-degree murder, second-degree murder, second-degree burglary, robbery, and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder for the death of Dr. Albert Ro in his Crain Highway offices on Sept. 26, 2006.
Investigators said Jeter’s cousin, Shontay Hickman, 40, of Baltimore, was a dental assistant for Ro and had embezzled more than $17,000 from his practice. Fearing Ro had learned of the scheme, Hickman offered Jeter $1,000 to kill him, investigators said.
Ro was beaten to death, but investigators didn’t immediately charge Jeter or Hickman with his murder.
In July 2008, a detective who was new to the case spoke to Ro’s wife, who said she remembered her husband mentioning something about missing insurance checks.
Police used cell phone records and a latent fingerprint found in the office to tie Hickman and Jeter to Ro’s murder.
Jeter was sentenced to two consecutive terms of life in prison, the first without the possibility of parole, plus two consecutive fifteen-year terms for the burglary and robbery convictions.
Hickman testified against Jeter in exchange for a lighter sentence. She ultimately pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison with all but 40 years suspended.
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