Prosperident’s Wendy Askins has put more than her share of embezzlers behind bars. This week, Wendy’s excellent work resulted in another embezzler going away. Read on …
A former office manager for a Roanoke orthodontist has pleaded no contest to embezzling more than $400,000 from the business.
Deanna Mache Gray, who now lives in South Carolina, was indicted in November on 10 felony counts of embezzlement from her employer, Dr. Penny Lampros, between 2012 and 2016.
On Tuesday in Roanoke Circuit Court, Gray, 43, pleaded no contest to four of those charges and saw the other six dropped.
According to Roanoke Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Andrew Stephens, Gray worked for Lampros for more than a decade, handling her schedules, billing and other record keeping.
Stephens said that after Gray left the office in December 2016, inconsistencies were found in the financial records that suggested “widespread theft of cash payments” through voided transactions, ultimately prompting an investigation by Virginia State Police.
“This was a steady occurrence of multiple, multiple, multiple smaller transactions that accrued over a 10-year period,” Stephens said as he detailed prosecution evidence which he said showed thefts as small as $50 to $100 up to larger amounts of $1,000. He also claimed Gray wrote off or adjusted dental treatments for her relatives.
Each count of embezzlement carries the possibility of up to 20 years in prison, but through Gray’s agreement, prosecutors have said they will ask for a punishment within the sentencing guidelines once those are determined.
She will also be required to pay $421,119 in restitution.
Gray’s defense attorney, Ray Byrd, said in court he believed the amount taken was considerably less than the restitution, but he will not present evidence on his client’s behalf until her sentencing hearing, now set for Jan. 15.
Court records show that Lampros has also filed a civil suit against Gray, seeking $850,000 in compensatory damages and $500,000 in punitive damages. That case is scheduled to go before a jury just a few days after Gray’s sentencing, on Jan. 19.
The Homewood Police Department received a complaint from a local Orthodontist regarding possible embezzlement by an employee. After a month’s long investigation by Homewood Police CID the case was presented to the Jefferson County District Attorney’s White Collar Crime Unit. On May 8, 2015 a felony warrant was issued for Susan Warmack Davis, W/F, age 61 of Homewood for the theft/embezzlement of $54770.00:
Holmdel, NJ – A front desk receptionist at a Holmdel orthodontics practice was indicted this week for stealing her boss’ checkbook, and writing about $25,000 worth of checks to herself and her friends, Monmouth County prosecutors announced Tuesday.
Dr. Sezer Olcay, DMD, the owner of Holmdel Orthodontics, said she doesn’t usually write checks, so at first she didn’t notice when pages from her personal checkbook went missing last fall.
“I would check my bank account online and notice checks had been made out in small amounts at first, $25, $50,” Dr. Olcay told Patch Wednesday. “Then the amounts got larger.”
As soon as she realized what was happening, the orthodontist called the police.
Her front desk receptionist, Gina Lena, has been charged with stealing her checkbook and writing out checks to herself as well as two of her friends, she said. This went on for about a 10-week period, Dr. Olcay said, from September through November of 2015. In total, she says, Lena stole $25,000 from her.
HOUMA — More than three years after a Houma woman was accused of stealing money from the doctor’s office where she once worked, criminal charges stemming from the allegations have been dismissed by a local judge.
Tammy Lynn Leonard, 35, 6739 West Park Ave., was accused of embezzling more than $50,000 from her boss, orthodontist Catherine Schwab. She was charged with two counts of felony theft.
Authorities said Leonard allegedly took payments from patients but failed to deposit the money into the doctor’s account.
Last week, state District Judge Johnny Walker threw out the criminal charges citing lack of evidence.
The decision was based on the fact that prosecutors were using printed financial records to prove their claims that money was missing, but were unable to produce the computer files from which the documents originated.
Defense attorney Doug Greenburg wanted to compare the documents to the original files to check for discrepancies, according to court officials.
But the computers, which became outdated, had been donated to charity. When prosecutors got them back, they discovered the files had been irreparably damaged.
Walker ruled that without the files, the charges had to be dismissed.
First District Attorney Mark Rhodes, the prosecutor who handled the case, said the outcome was an unfortunate one.
“This is part of the process necessary in learning how to prosecute computer crimes,” he said. “But it’s unfortunate for Dr. Schwab and Mrs. Leonard that the truth may never be known simply because computer-crime prosecutions are still in the early stages.”
A Wheatland woman was sentenced Monday to three years in prison for embezzling thousands of dollars from a Yuba City doctor’s office.
Jo Ginia Moniz, 43, was sentenced by Sutter County Superior Court Judge Brian Aronson after pleading to a charge of grand theft.
“She got the strictest sentence she could get, so we’re satisfied,” said Dr. Bonita Hoskins, an orthodontist. “It’s been hanging over our heads for 2 1⁄2 years; it’s such a relief.”
Writing herself fraudulent checks and skimming cash from bank deposits, Moniz stole $104,000 from Hoskins and her husband, John, between January 2006 and November 2009, according to the Sutter County District Attorney’s Office.
Moniz was hired in 2001 and promoted to bookkeeper in 2005.
Another employee discovered the fraud and alerted the Hoskins in 2009.
Hoskins said she and her husband were “kind of shocked” when they learned their long-time employee had been stealing from them.
“She was a real confidence man,” Hoskins said. “We didn’t realize the extent of it at first.”
Moniz will serve her prison sentence in the Sutter County Jail as part of the state’s new prison realignment program.
“She continued and delayed everything for two years, so that’s what she received,” Hoskins said.
Sutter County Deputy District Attorney Clint Curry confirmed Moniz was sentenced under the parameters of Assembly Bill 109.
“It’s interesting, too, because the last case we had similar to this, the defendant also received three years, but actually had to serve her time in real prison,” Curry said.
Tiffany L. Lovell, 32, took more than $150,000, also from a Yuba City dentist, between 2005 and 2010.
Hoskins said she and her husband are putting the incident behind them.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The economy initially appeared to be the cause of a local orthodontist’s financial woes, but an audit instead found that a northwest Albuquerque woman allegedly embezzled thousands from the business, according to a criminal complaint.
Albuquerque orthodontist Dr. Mitchell Silverman had been struggling for more than a year financially and blamed the economy until he realized that he had not seen a decrease in patients, but a decrease in profits.
Silverman asked his accounting firm to do an audit in March and auditors found several discrepancies. A preliminary audit found about $150,000 missing from Silverman’s business, the complaint reads.
The audit found Medicaid and other types of checks had not been deposited and were missing, according to the complaint. It also found deletions in the accounting system.
Paula Carver, 42, was the office manager from December 2008 until she was terminated following the audit in late-March. She had been responsible for taking payments from patients as well as billing and receiving payments from insurance companies and Medicaid, according to the complaint.
An Amarillo orthodontist sentenced last year to serve more than four years in prison for health care fraud has asked a judge to permit him to withdraw his guilty plea, alleging an Indiana attorney stole more than $380,000 from him and coerced him to plead guilty to cover up the alleged theft.
Last year, Michael David Goodwin, 65, pleaded guilty to one count of health care fraud. In April 2013, he was sentenced to serve a 50-month federal prison term and was ordered to pay $1.8 million in restitution for defrauding the Texas Medicaid program.
Goodwin also was ordered to forfeit $1.5 million — gross proceeds traceable to the offense — and more than $244,000 the government seized in 2001 from his JP Morgan Chase accounts.
Goodwin frequently had employees schedule more than 100 patients per day and set appointments for large numbers of Medicaid recipients on days when he was out of town, a practice patients and employees referred to as “herding cattle,” according to federal court records.
To accommodate the large volume of patients, Goodwin illegally directed dental assistants to perform exams, make diagnoses and plan treatment for Medicaid patients when the law required licensed professionals to perform the work.
Goodwin, acting as his own attorney, recently sent a series of motions to an Amarillo federal magistrate judge, alleging Clark Holesinger, an Indiana attorney who represented him, had a conflict of interest in the case because he allegedly stole money from Goodwin and his business, Amarillo Orthodontics.
“As a result of counsel Holesinger’s priority being to prevent discovery of the embezzlement, it was not possible for him to provide defendant effective assistance,” Goodwin wrote in his legal pleadings.
“Counsel knew that if defendant went to trial, it would be likely that his embezzlement and theft of funds would become widely known.”
Goodwin alleges in his ineffective assistance of counsel claims that Holesinger and government attorneys withheld information crucial to his defense and that Holesinger pressured him to plead guilty to avoid having the government prosecute Goodwin’s wife and an office manager.
As part of Goodwin’s plea, federal indictments against Patricia Goodwin, Goodwin’s wife, and a Goodwin Orthodontics office manager in the Medicaid fraud case were dismissed.
Government attorneys are challenging Goodwin’s claims and note that he pleaded guilty to the charge. The government also questioned Goodwin’s claims that Holesinger told him that he could not afford a costly defense.
“First, Goodwin did plead guilty and no part of the theft was covered up. Goodwin never explains how the advice to plead guilty could have covered anything up,” government attorneys wrote in their motion.
Brian T. Gensel, a prosecuting attorney in Porter County, Ind., wrote in a letter that Holesinger has been charged with theft for allegedly stealing funds from clients there. Gensel’s letter said Holesinger has resigned his law license “as a result of his inability to refute the theft allegations.”
“Based on information gleaned from the ongoing investigation involving other client victims, it is my belief that attorney Holesinger stole approximately $380,000 from Dr. Michael Goodwin and his wife Patricia Goodwin,” Gensel wrote.
In March, Holesinger, who has been charged with multiple counts of theft for allegedly stealing more than $1.6 million from clients, resigned from the Indiana State Bar. Holesinger, 52, has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Gensel said Tuesday that Holesinger has not been charged with stealing from Goodwin, but said the investigation is ongoing and that Holesinger could face theft charges for allegedly stealing funds from Goodwin.
A call seeking comment from Holesinger’s criminal attorney, Thomas Vanes of Indiana, was not immediately returned.
A Valparaiso attorney already charged in Porter County with stealing more than $2 million from his clients, including a disabled child, has worked out a deal to plead guilty to federal charges in the same case.
In return, federal attorneys are making a binding recommendation that Clark Holesinger, 53, serve 10 years in prison, according to a plea deal filed Friday in the U.S. District Court in South Bend, the same day the information was also filed against him.
The deal calls for Holesinger to plead guilty to one count each of wire fraud and money laundering.
He admits in the deal that he began stealing from his clients in 2008. His victims include a disabled child, whose parents gave him a $612,000 settlement check that was supposed to be used to help care for the child. Holesinger was supposed to invest the money for the child, but he instead used it for his personal and professional expenses, the plea deal and information say.
Saratoga Resident Sentenced To Two And A Half Years In Prison For Failing To Report Over $2.1 Million Of Income
SAN JOSE – Liping Liu was sentenced today to 30 months imprisonment, a $25,000 fine, and ordered to pay $744,248 in restitution for tax evasion, United States Attorney Melinda Haag and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Special Agent in Charge José M. Martinez announced.
According to the plea agreement, Liu was the receptionist and office manager for her spouse’s pediatric dental and orthodontic practice. Liu created a tax evasion scheme in which she skimmed money from various sources, including rental properties and her spouse’s dental and orthodontic practice. Liu admitted that she knew her actions were against the law and she was evading the assessment and payment of federal taxes throughout the course of her scheme.
Liu evaded taxes by funneling money from her husband’s practice into various bank accounts to prevent those funds from appearing in the business bank accounts. The only funds deposited into the business bank accounts were insurance payments, aside from thirteen personal checks in 2006 and one personal check in 2009. Liu admitted that she deposited the insurance proceeds exclusively into the business accounts because she knew the insurance company reported these payments to the IRS. Liu further admitted that she offered a 10% discount to dental clients if they paid in cash or by check, as long as they left the payee section on the check blank. Liu also modified checks, in the memo and payee fields to disguise the source of the payment. This enabled her to deposit the checks into the non-business accounts and evade taxes.
In addition, according to her plea agreement, from 2006 through 2010, Liu was a 50% partner in a limited liability corporation, HSL, which was created to hold rental property. Liu diverted rental checks paid to HSL to non-business bank accounts for the purpose of evading taxes on the HSL entity. She also changed the payee information on numerous rental checks.
From 2006 through 2010, Liu omitted $2,147,741.04 in gross receipts. This resulted in additional tax due and owing of $744,248.
Liu also admitted to providing incomplete and false information to the family bookkeeper, and engaging in a series of structured cash transactions from September 2008 to September 2009, which allowed her to continue to hide taxes from the IRS.
Liu, 56, of Saratoga was charged on March 19, 2014, with one count of tax evasion. She pleaded guilty to the charge on March 24, 2014.
The sentence was handed down by the Honorable Ronald M. Whyte, United States District Court Judge, in San Jose. Judge Whyte also sentenced Liu to a three-year term of supervised release. The defendant was ordered to surrender on December 1, 2014.
Assistant United States Attorney Thomas Moore is prosecuting the case. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation.