Oklahoma City Office Manager Charged With Embezzling $65,000

Accused Ellen Chidester

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OKLAHOMA CITY – The former office manager of a dentist’s office on the metro’s south side allegedly stole more than $65,000 from her employer who trusted her implicitly. That’s only the amount of money investigators say they can prove.

Dr. Christian H. Pilgrim said he’s known Ellen Chidester for about 25 years. For most of that time, she was the office manager where he worked.

He said she had complete access to the company credit card and finances, as well as payroll.

“I trusted this lady so much that I never looked at the credit card statements,” Dr. Pilgrim said. “She took care of me like, basically like a mother.”

Not keeping an eye on the bank statements was a mistake he didn’t know he made until a year after she stopped working there. While his wife, Elizabeth, who started working with him, was searching for a specific receipt, they happened upon some odd charges made with the company card.

“Liz said, ‘Have you been making any purchases to Dress Barn, and Clinique?’” Dr. Piilgrim recalled, “and to that I said, ‘No I have not.’”

Further inquiry into credit card charges turned into a full-blown investigation by Elizabeth and his staff, scrutinizing all of the charges allegedly made by Chidester.

“There were so many,” Ms. Pilgrim said, “and so few actual business expenses.”

For three months, they searched through credit card statements, called stores to retrieve receipts, and sat on the phone with Amazon.com for hours working to find all the fraudulent charges.

“Every day I would come in and my stomach would hurt because every day they would come in and say ‘Dr. Pilgrim, guess what we found. Guess what we found today. Did you know what you paid for today?’” Dr. Pilgrim said.

They said they found Chidester used the card to buy all sorts of things, from Disney World tickets, to gifts for her family, lotions, clothes, movies, that she used it to pay for the electric bill for her Shawnee Lake house, and for a family member’s wedding.

“Every year they would buy me a Christmas gift,” Dr. Pilgrim said, “and little did I know that I was actually paying for it on the company card.”

They could only access credit card statements from seven years back, and they left out any suspicious charges that they couldn’t obtain receipts for to prove she had spent the money personally.

“We couldn’t even get a hold of the Walgreens receipts but there were thousands of dollars every December from Walgreens,” said receptionist Jordan Patterson.

Ms. Pilgrim also found that Chidester was allegedly overpaying herself in payroll.

According to court documents, she allegedly spent about $47,870 in personal charges on the company card, and overpaid herself $18,000, $65,870 altogether.

News 4 tried to reach Chidester at her home for comment but no one came to the door.

She is charged with with two counts of felony embezzlement and has pleaded not guilty.

“I would like to have my money back and I think the people need to know exactly what she’s done,” Dr. Pilgrim said. “I think she portrays herself as something she’s not.”

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Content retrieved from https://kfor.com/2019/03/26/metro-dental-employee-accused-of-stealing-thousands-from-her-trusting-employer/

Oklahoma Dental Employee Charged with Stealing Patients’ Credit Card Info


A former Midwest City (Okla.) Family Dentistry employee was charged with stealing patients’ credit card information to pay court and phone bills, according to KFOR.

Here are six things to know:

1. The Oklahoma Board of Dentistry began investigating after an initial complaint from Midwest City Family Dentistry that an employee was potentially stealing patients’ credit care information.

2. Investigators found the former employee may have stolen patient’s credit card information during her time as an office worker at Gentle Family Dentistry in Norman, Calif.

3. According to court documents, she used the dentist’s credit card to pay her family’s court fees and made phone bill payments while at Gentle Family Dentistry.

4. Court documents also allege the former Gentle Family Dentistry employee stole patient information and made two $500 charges to a California bill-pay service.

5. The former employee has prior convictions, including concealing stolen property, false personation, uttering bogus checks and uttering false instruments.

6. A warrant is out for her arrest. She is charged with embezzlement and identity theft.

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content retrieved from https://www.beckersdental.com/dentists/34017-oklahoma-dental-employee-charged-for-stealing-patient-s-credit-card-info-6-things-to-know.html

Former OKC Oral Surgery Center Employee, Facing Embezzlement Charges, Suspected in More Patient Thefts


OKLAHOMA CITY – A former surgical center employee, charged earlier this year with embezzling a patient’s refund, is suspected of doing the same to more than 30 other patients to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars, according to recently filed court records.

Erin Marie Bokemper, 31, of Midwest City, was charged in March with felony embezzlement and computer crimes after a patient at Oral and Maxillofacial Associates, 3601 NW 138th St., reported she never received her $1,000 refund after backing out of a planned procedure.

“A patient had contacted them and said they were supposed to be refunded a certain amount of money and for whatever reason the money didn’t make it to the patient,” said Oklahoma City police spokesperson Officer Megan Morgan. “They discovered that the employee had set it up to where that money was sent to her personal account, rather than to the patient.”

Bokemper, who was employed as a customer service representative, is scheduled to appear in Oklahoma County court in that case next month. However, new search warrant filings and police records show Bokemper’s alleged diversion of patient dollars extends beyond just the one patient and $1,000.

On June 1, OMA called police to report that an audit the company conducted found that between October 2016 and September 2017, Bokemper allegedly took more than $24,000 from 34 patients accounts and credited the funds to two credit cards, according to police reports and two search warrants filed this week.

“This same employee had done this, multiple times and that it was possible up to $24,000 worth of money had been embezzled by this employee,” Morgan said.

Calls to Bokemper’s attorney went unreturned. An employee at OMA told News 4 it is not commenting.

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Content retrieved from https://kfor.com/2018/07/20/former-surgical-center-employee-facing-embezzlement-charges-suspected-in-more-patient-thefts/

Erin has a previous record, including a string of 2016 felony charges from embezzlement.

First and Last Name
Erin Marie Bokemper
Jun. 1, 2016
Admin Office Of Courts (Oklahoma)
Embezzlement (Emb) | Using a Computer Network for The Purpose of Obtaining Money and Other Things of Value by Use of a FA | Compu, Using a Computer Network for The Purpose of Obtaining Money and Other Things of Value by Use of a False and Fraudulent Representation, in Violation of 21 O.s. 1951 – 1981 | Emb, Embezzlement, in Violation of 21 O.s. 1451 – 1463

Former OK dental office employee facing charges after allegedly stealing patients’ credit card information

Carla Winn

NORMAN, Okla. – A former dental office employee is charged with stealing patients’ credit card information and using it for herself.

Carla Wynn is a former office worker in at least two dental offices around the metro area, one in Midwest City, and one in Norman.

The initial complaint came from Midwest City Family Dentistry and an investigator with the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry began the investigation.

“Called us that the office manager was embezzling other items, and potentially taking credit card information out of patient files, and potentially forging prescriptions as well,” said Oklahoma Board of Dentistry Executive Director Susan Rogers.

An employee who did not want to be interviewed on camera told News 4 several patients came forward saying their information had been stolen. That’s when the office checked with one of Wynn’s past employers, Gentle Family Dentistry in Norman, and discovered there were more allegations.

According to court documents, while Wynn was a receptionist there in Norman, she used the doctor’s credit card to pay her daughter’s court fees, and made two phone service charges to Cricket Wireless.

While there, she also allegedly stole a patient’s information and made two $500 charges to a California bill-pay service.

“She actually already has prior criminal charges for similar things,” Rogers said, “which is part of the reason that we decided to file the charges that we did.”

Previous convictions against Wynn include concealing stolen property, false personation, uttering bogus checks, and uttering false instruments.

According to the affidavit, investigators said she “prepared a written statement outlining her use of credit card information” in the victims’ names.

Wynn is charged with embezzlement and identity theft. A warrant has been issued for her arrest.

Content retrieved from https://kfor.com/2018/07/17/former-dentist-office-employee-facing-charges-after-allegedly-stealing-patients-credit-card-information/

Oklahoma woman pleads guilty to embezzling more than $280,000 from dental office

blankOKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma woman has pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $280,000 from a dental office. Officials with the United States Department of Justice say Annette M. Straily, of Comanche, pleaded guilty to bank fraud and singing a false federal income tax return in connection with a $283,000 embezzlement scheme from a Duncan dental office. Officials say on May 24, Straily was charged with one count of bank fraud and one count of filing a false federal income tax return. From April 2012 until June 2017, Straily worked as the office manager of a dental office in Duncan, Oklahoma. As part of her job, she prepared checks, paid invoices, managed the accounting system, and maintained the petty cash fund. Yesterday, officials say Straily pleaded guilty to preparing an unauthorized office check, in the amount of $1,266.80, made payable to herself in February 2017. Straily reportedly admitted that she forged the signature on the dental office’s check and later presented that check for payment against the dental office’s bank account at a local bank. As part of her plea, Straily further admitted that she embezzled funds from her former employer from around April 2012 through June 2017. Straily stipulated in a plea agreement that the total restitution due to the Duncan dental office from the embezzlement scheme is $283,005.11. In addition to pleading guilty to bank fraud, Straily pleaded guilty to signing a false tax return. She admitted that on April 13, 2016, she signed a personal federal tax return for the 2015 calendar year that she knew was false because it reported only $49,127 in total income. At yesterday’s plea hearing, Straily admitted that she omitted on the 2015 return more than $100,000 of embezzled income for that year from the dental office. As part of her plea agreement, Straily agreed that she owes $54,286 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service for the tax loss. At sentencing, Straily faces up to 30 years in prison on the bank fraud count, plus five years of supervised release, and a $1,000,000 fine. Straily also faces up to three years in prison on the tax count, in addition to one year of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine. Straily will be sentenced in approximately 90 days, officials say.
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Content retrieved from http://kfor.com/2018/06/07/oklahoma-woman-pleads-guilty-to-embezzling-more-than-280000-from-dental-office/

The company that you keep…

Sadie Hight

Our Hall of Shame features a couple of articles about the goings on at Dr. Bert Franklin’s office in Tulsa OK.  (See https://www.prosperident.com/adultery-murder-embezzlement-tulsa-ok-dental-office-beginning/ and https://www.prosperident.com/woman-first-tries-embezzlement-impersonates-dentist-part-crime-wave-affecting-tulsa-ok-office/).

In addition to Dr. Franklin (who was charged with murder) and Paige Maples (charged with impersonating a dentist, had previous embezzlement conviction), the office employed a hygienist named Sadie Hight.  Sadie was charged three counts of obtaining or attempting to obtain controlled substances by forged or altered prescription.  Happily for Sadie, these charges were dismissed.

However, looking into Sadie’s background revealed that she was disciplined by the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry in 2010 for the same offense.  Interesting…

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Oklahoma dental assistant arrested for embezzlement

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Marina Lewis I DA

Embezzlement (F) 2010, Comanche County

Unlawful Possession of COS with Intent to Distribute (F) 2011, Comanche County

Possession of CDS (F) 2001, Comanche County

Possession of CDS (F) 2011, Comanche County

Unlawful Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (F) 2000, Comanche County

Unlawful Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (F) 2000, Comanche County

Unlawful Possession of Marijuana (F) 2000, Comanche County

Possession of CDS (F) 2012, Comanche County

Distribution of COS (i) 2012, Comanche County

*was on 6/20/14 Agenda. Board voted to deny request for a permit, Board Office received

notice to appeal this decision July 21st, 2014. Ms. Lewis did not make it clear if she will be

present at the meeting/ or if her appeal is only in writing.

Arrest Information
Full Name: Marina Renea Lewis
Time: 5:29 PM
Arresting Agency: CCSO
Personal Information
Arrest Age:30
Current Age: 34
Gender: Female
Birthdate: 01/14/1982
City: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Height: 5’05”
Weight: 125 lbs
Hair Color: BROWN
Eye Color: BROWN
Place of Birth: OK



    STATUTE: 4700060303 ( M)


    STATUTE: 2114510000 ( M)

Adultery, murder and embezzlement for Tulsa OK dentist Dr. Bert Franklin. But it’s only the beginning…

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Update November 9, 2018.  Bert Franklin has been sentenced to life without parole for the murder of a 19 month old boy. “He is a danger to society,” Roxanne Lewis Randall, mother of the victim, told an Oklahoma County judge Friday during the former dentist’s sentencing. “He will plot, manipulate and murder.” Dressed in black and white stripes and shackles, Bert Glen Franklin hung his head as Randall called him “pure evil.”
Update December 6, 2017 – Just when you think that this story could not become any more bizarre, new allegations have surfaced alleging that in addition to the murder that Dr. Frankin has already been accused of, he is also accused of attempting to hire someone to kill the baby’s mother so that she could not appear as a witness in the murder case he is facing.  It is alleged that the amount offered for this “hit” was $300.  See full details in this People Magazine article — http://people.com/crime/oklahoma-dentist-accused-of-ordering-hit-on-mother-of-toddler-he-allegedly-killed/
Update May 1, 2017 – this story has now been profiled on the Dr. Phil Show.  Part of Dr. Phil McGraw’s interview with Roxanne Lewis-Randall is below.  You can see the full interview on Dr. Phil’s web site here — http://www.drphil.com/videos/grieving-mom-roxanne-lewis-randall-describes-events-from-the-night-authorities-allege-bert-franklin-fatally-injured-her-toddler/
Dr. Bert Franklin looks like a wholesome, kindly dentist.  His bio on his practice’s web site suggests a privileged and principled background:

Dr. Bert Franklin is a native Tulsan. He grew up attending Victory Christian School, where he was the Valedictorian of his class. He then went on to accomplishing his undergraduate degree in Biomedical Chemistry with a minor in Biology in just 3 years with a Magna Cum Laude Honors.

Realizing the importance of education instilled in him by his parents, he continued his education by attending the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry, where he received the Dental Wellness Partner Scholarship, an honor only awarded to four individuals in the country.

He is probably the last guy you would think would get into the trouble he now faces. The married father of four was living a double life, carrying on an affair that lasted over a year, with Roxanne Lewis, a woman who apparently didn’t know that Dr. Franklin was married to someone else. Roxanne Lewis Then he was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Ms. Lewis’ 19-month old son, after his autopsy determined cause of death to be “blunt-force trauma to the head.” But Dr. Franklin’s troubles weren’t over yet.  Next, he was charged with billing $80,000 to a patient’s credit card without authorization. And if all of this wasn’t bizarre enough, one of Dr. Franklin’s employees was been charged with impersonating a dentist.  See our story at https://www.prosperident.com/2016/08/17/woman-first-tries-embezzlement-impersonates-dentist-part-crime-wave-affecting-tulsa-ok-office/. This must have been an exciting office to work in — you just never knew when the police would show up to arrest someone. _________________________

Dr. Franklin’s license suspended

Update:  On August 25, 2016, the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry suspended Dr. Franklin, but not because he is accused of committing murder.  The suspension is a result of approximately 20 patient complaints alleging unprofessional acts and use of unlicensed auxiliaries. Read the story here: On Friday morning, the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry voted unanimously for an emergency temporary suspension to be placed on Bert Franklin’s dental license. Suspension papers were served to Franklin, who remains locked up at the Oklahoma County jail.  And the temporary suspension is not based on the murder charge he is facing, but on dozens of patient complaints the board has received. The Oklahoma Board of Dentistry listened to claim after claim of how Franklin performed faulty dental work, allowed his unlicensed dental assistant to do unsupervised procedures, and how he reportedly gave drugs to patients who had no treatment plan in place. “It is very shocking to see,” said Dr. James Sparks, President of the Board of Dentistry. “It makes us all look bad.” The documents also allege a patient who was supposed to be under nitrous oxide during a procedure was still awake and heard Franklin and his assistant saying “filthy sexual things” to each other all while he was being treated in the dental chair. Franklin is also accused of asking one of his patients if he could borrow some money for a piece of dental equipment, and then charged a total of $80,000 to her credit card. “Every patient should go in with a comfort and belief that they are safe. And for him to take advantage of a person in that manner is completely unacceptable,” said Board of Dentistry Executive Director, Susan Rogers. Rogers says they began investigating Franklin and his Signature Smiles practice back in February of this year, but since he was arrested for the murder, their phones have been ringing off the hook. “This is a very unusual case. We have a dentist that is charged with First-Degree Murder, which is very serious,” said Rogers. “In the last three days we have received multiple phone calls we still have 20 individuals we still need to go interview.” News 9 has also learned that Franklin’s dental assistant was also charged with impersonating a dentist in Tulsa County and is currently out on bond. “The allegations that have come forth the last two days have actually been much more horrific than the original charges,” said Rogers. “To the point that we are obviously very concerned and we are following through with every person who contacts us to legitimize their complaint and see if its valid or not.” Franklin does have a right to a full hearing, but he can’t do that while he is in jail facing the murder charge. News 9 has learned he is now also facing two counts of obtaining money by fraud in Tulsa County. News 9 spoke with Franklin’s attorney about the hearing and the additional charges, and he said Franklin has much bigger worries to deal with right now. Content retrieved from  http://www.news9.com/story/32798057/board-of-dentistry-votes-to-temporarily-suspend-bert-franklins-dental-license

Woman first tries Embezzlement, then Impersonates Dentist. Only Part of Crime Wave Affecting Tulsa Office

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page maples Paige Maples seems like bad news.  She was convicted in 2014 of felony embezzlement in a dental office, and was ordered to repay $23,000 to the dentist who she victimized.  In February 2016, she was charged with driving under the influence and speeding, and her parole from her 2014 conviction was revoked.
Update on this — Paige pled guilty to practicing dentistry without a license on Feb 16, 2017 and received a suspended sentence. See http://www.newson6.com/story/34502979/tulsa-woman-pleads-guilty-to-unlawful-practice-of-dentistry for details.
Then in August 2016, she was charged with practicing dentistry without a license (she is actually a dental assistant), when she impersonated a dentist in the office where she worked (the same office where Dr. Bert Franklin, the owner, has been charged with stealing $80,000 from a patient and murder — see related story at https://www.prosperident.com/2016/08/17/adultery-murder-embezzlement-tulsa-ok-dental-office-beginning/. Jeepers — what is it about this office? _____________________________________________________________ Here is Paige’s 2014 sentencing for embezzlement:

Date: 11-17-2014


Case Number: CF-2014-792

Judge: William C Kellough


Plaintiff’s Attorney: Tom Sawyer

Defendant’s Attorney: Robert Stubblefield


Count # 1. Count as Filed: EMB, EMBEZZLEMENT , in violation of 21 O.S. 1451 Date Of Offense: 01/01/2012 Party Name: Disposition Information: MAPLES, PAIGE LANELL Disposed: CONVICTION, 11/17/2014. Guilty Plea. Count as Disposed:EMBEZZLEMENT (EMB) Violation of 21 O.S. 1451

Outcome: 1-17-2014 CONVICTED 1 MAPLES, PAIGE LANELL 91985621 Nov 17 2014 11:29:34:123AM – $ 0.00



And her DUI arrest:

Gender: F
Race: W
DOB: 3/24/1982
Height: 5′ 6″ (1.68 m)
Weight: 140 lb (64 kg)
Hair Color: BLN
Eye Color: BLU
Inmate ID: 1169365
Home Address: 3624 E 142ND ST APT.
State: OK
Zip: 74008
Arrest Information:
Arrest Date Arrest Time Arrested By Booking Date Booking Time Assigned Cell
2/7/2016 2:49 AM OHPLIPE 2/7/2016 4:36 AM
Release Information:
Release Date Release Time Release Reason
2/7/2016 9:03 AM 112 – Bond (Surety/Cash)
Offense Information:
Description Case # Court Date Bond Type Bond Amt Disposition
DUI 1ST OFFENSE 2/16/2016 Surety Bond $1,000.00 112 – Bond (Surety/Cash)
SPEEDING 15MPH OR MORE 2/16/2016 Surety Bond $100.00 112 – Bond (Surety/Cash)

Back Door Embezzlement — Oklahoma City mother, daughter accused of practicing dentistry without licenses case turn themselves in 

Monica Salazar-Orozco and her mother Elizabeth Hinojosa, both of Oklahoma City, walking to the courtroom to plead guilty at the Oklahoma County Courthouse in Oklahoma City Wednesday, July 24, 2013. Hinojosa, a dental assistant and her daughter, a dental receptionist, both plead guilty to practicing dentistry without a license. Photo by Paul B. Southerland, The Oklahoman
Monica Salazar-Orozco and her mother Elizabeth Hinojosa

A mother and daughter facing charges of practicing dentistry without a license surrendered to authorities Monday and were booked into the Oklahoma County jail on multiple felony complaints, records show.

Elizabeth Hinojosa, 47, of Oklahoma City, is charged with two counts of practicing dentistry without a license. Hinojosa also is charged with one count each of forgery, medical battery and embezzlement.

Monica Salazar-Orozco, 28, of Oklahoma City, is charged with two counts of practicing dentistry without a license.

Hinojosa and Salazar-Orozco are accused of pulling teeth, performing root canals, injecting anesthesia and forging prescriptions, court papers show.

They were arraigned Monday in Oklahoma County District Court and are free on $20,000 bail each, jail officials said.

Both women had been on the run since warrants were issued for their arrest Aug. 31, state Dental Board investigators said.

Hinojosa, also known as “Dr. Liz” by the victims, was a dental assistant and her daughter was a receptionist where the alleged incidents took place between September 2010 and May 2011, according to a probable cause affidavit filed with the charges.

Both worked for Dr. Salam Ramadan, who owns and operates Dental Spa locations at 1211 SW 44 and 3315 NW 63 in Oklahoma City.

Ramadan has said she didn’t learn about the alleged incidents until she was contacted by the board, which started investigating when it received a complaint.

Susan Rogers, executive director of the state Dental Board, said Ramadan is not suspected of any wrongdoing, and may have been targeted by Hinojosa.

Hinojosa was hired by Ramadan and a different dentist as a Spanish translator as well as part-time dental assistant.

Rogers said neither dentist Hinojosa worked for spoke any Spanish, and relied on her or her daughter to translate for patients during procedures and to set appointments. But they scheduled appointments after the offices closed and forwarded office calls to their personal phones, she said.

Hinojosa and Salazar-Orozco performed unlicensed dental work on at least 22 adults and children, including extractions, fillings, bridges and other procedures, investigators allege.

Rogers said Monday that 48 victims have come forward, and as many as 100 adults and children may have been victims.

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Content retrieved from Oklahoma City mother, daughter accused in illegal dentistry case turn themselves in | News OK