Pennsylvania woman convicted of $100K theft from Montco dental office; receives 6 months house arrest

NORRISTOWN — A Bucks County woman faces several years of court supervision and a hefty restitution bill after she admitted to embezzling more than $100,000 from her employer, a Montgomery County dental office.

Michelle Zonay, 40, of the 500 block of Barrington Court, Sellersville, was sentenced in Montgomery County Court to 60 months in the county’s intermediate punishment program, the first six months of which must be served under house arrest, after she pleaded guilty to a felony charge of theft by unlawful taking in connection with incidents that occurred while she worked for Celebrity Smiles along Bethlehem Pike in Springfield.

While under house arrest Zonay can leave her home only for court-approved purposes such as work and medical appointments.

Zonay will serve the remainder of the 60-month sentence under intensive probation.

Judge Todd D. Eisenberg also ordered Zonay to pay $103,849 in restitution in connection with the theft.

An investigation began in November 2017 when the owner of the dental practice reported to Springfield Township police that he discovered an employee, identified as Zonay, had been stealing from the business, according to the criminal complaint.

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Police: Former Dickson City, PA dental worker changed payment records to steal cash

A former employee at a Dickson City dental practice changed billing records to pocket $3,406 in cash that 13 patients paid over the course of seven months, borough police said.

Toniann V. Lagreca, 32, 449 Delaware St., Jermyn, also is accused of taking a prescription booklet and writing prescriptions to herself for Percocet and antibiotics by forging a doctor’s signature, Officer John Wilson wrote in a criminal complaint.

Lagreca worked at Aspen Dental on Business Route 6 until she was fired July 10 for theft, police said.

Employees at the dental practice became aware of the thefts once they noticed numerous payment changes made under Lagreca’s username.

Police said Lagreca accepted cash payments from patients trying to settle their bills. Between November and June, the amount she entered into the payment system, though, was lower than the amount the patient paid. She pocketed the difference.

Lagreca also changed some patient addresses in the payment system so their outstanding bills would be rerouted to the office rather than the patient’s home, police said. One patient had his $76 balance referred to a debt collection agency because his address was changed.

Police interviewed Lagreca on Wednesday and she admitted to the theft and to forging prescriptions. Wilson noted that Lagreca was “very cooperative” during the investigation.

Lagreca forged eight prescriptions for Percocet between November and July. She forged two prescriptions for amoxicillin between June and July last year, police said.

Lagreca is free on $50,000 unsecured bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. July 26.

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Former PA dental office manager charged with theft

A North Strabane Township woman was arraigned Tuesday on theft charges after she allegedly stole more than $68,000 through falsification of pay records while working as an office manager at a Peters Township dental practice.

Heather N. Smith, 43, of 14 Smith Place, was charged by Peters police with theft by deception, receiving stolen property and tampering with records or identification.

Township police were contacted in April about suspected fraud at the office of Leonard Radnor, DMD, 157 Waterdam Road. Radnor and his wife told police they had learned Smith might have been fraudulently inflating her own pay over the last few years.

Through an audit and an extensive review of employee payroll documents, police said it was determined that Smith was claiming work hours that had not been approved and which could not have been reasonably worked.

Smith is accused of improperly claiming holiday hours and sick time, as well as overtime, from 2014 through 2017. Police indicated in court documents holiday and sick time are not offered at the practice.

Unauthorized pay increases also were allegedly identified on Smith’s earnings records. Smith had been responsible for recording her own hours on a time sheet, as well as consolidating hours of all employees on a worksheet. She then reported the hours to the office’s payroll company.

Police allege Smith repeatedly falsified the documents to account for her inflated hours. Some of those documents and records were missing from the office.

Police indicated it was suggested Smith did work at home to account for some or all of the overtime hours, but the Radnors did not believe the work needed to be done remotely. The laptop Smith had available for use outside the office did not have the necessary software to process patient claims, police said.

Smith was arraigned before District Judge Jesse Pettit and released on $68,000 unsecured bond. She is scheduled for a July 10 preliminary hearing before District Judge David Mark.



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A repeat offender receives 21 month jail sentence

We previously wrote about Jill D’Angelo, who embezzled more than $475,000, HERE.

However, it appears that not everybody looks at our Hall of Shame, because after spending 41 months in prison, Jill has been at it again.  Here is a recent news article showing what Jill has been up to.  She has now joined an exclusive fraternity known as the Half Million Dollar Club.

Former dental clinic manager gets fed prison in second embezzlement case

A federal judge on Thursday told Jill Bowser that her drug addiction does not excuse her “outrageous conduct” of embezzlement and forging prescriptions and sent her away for 21 months.

U.S. District Judge Cathy Bissoon also tacked on another 10 months for violating probation in a previous embezzlement case.

Bowser is a former dental office manager from West Mifflin.

Twice she has victimized employers who trusted her.

She went to prison the first time, got out, got a new job under a different name and then did the same thing.

Her previous victim, Marjorie Leof, a Pleasant Hills dentist, took the stand and said Ms. Bowser has no respect for the law and doesn’t care about the pain she causes.

“Her narcissism won’t allow it,” she said.

Bowser, 51, pleaded guilty in August to embezzlement and narcotics charges. She stole $87,000 from Steel City Dental Associates in Turtle Creek. She also forged prescriptions for narcotic painkillers so she could sell them.

Bowser and her public defender, Sarah Levin, had hoped for probation and a treatment program to help her deal with a decade-long addiction to narcotics.

Prosecutors wanted jail time.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Shaun Sweeney said that when Bowser was convicted of the same crimes in 2012, she told a judge that she would “never again commit such a stupid, irresponsible and dishonest act.”

Then she did exactly that.

After she was hired at SCDA using a different name, Mr. Sweeney said, she forged and mailed an employment verification form on SCDA letterhead to her probation officer. The letter, purportedly from the owner of the practice, said Bowser was working there, deceiving the probation officer into believing that SCDA knew about her past and hired her anyway.

Bowser used her maiden name and not her married name, Jill D’Angelo, which she had used in the previous case.

Mr. Sweeney said prison is the only way to stop her.

“She undoubtedly would have continued to forge and embezzle for as long as she could get away with it,” he said. “Fortunately, however, the USPO and the FBI were able to put a stop to the defendant’s criminal activity before the defendant completely destroyed SCDA and caused more losses to the insurers.”

The judge agreed and U.S. marshals led Bowser away.

She initially came to the attention of the FBI last year when federal probation officers said they thought she was forging prescriptions again.

She had previously been the officer manager at Dr. Leof’s practice. She forged prescriptions under various dentists’ names to obtain more than 100 scripts for painkillers in her name or the names of relatives, according to the FBI.

Agents also found that she was diverting checks from insurance companies that were supposed to go to the practice’s bank account.

The FBI said she diverted 129 checks and stole $475,000 in all.

She was released from prison in 2016 and was still on probation when SCDA hired her, not realizing who she was.

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“It got out of hand,” said PA dental office manager. She’s accused of taking $47,000

February 09, 2018 12:27 PM

Ex-worker at Pittsburgh medical practice admits embezzling $800K-plus

Editor’s note — as you may know, we normally confine ourselves to investigating dental office embezzlement.  However, we do provide reporting on significant embezzlements in medical offices because the methodologies employed have considerable commonality.

A former office manager of Pittsburgh Ear Nose and Throat Associates admitted Friday that she embezzled more than $800,000 from the medical practice over five years.

Regina Lewis, 47, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Cathy Bissoon to a count of embezzlement in connection with health care.

Judge Bissoon will sentence her in August.

Ms. Lewis and her lawyer, Ryan Tutera, declined to comment as they left the courtroom.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Melucci said Ms. Lewis, who lives in the borough of Liberty outside McKeesport, managed the practice’s six locations from its Liberty Avenue office in Bloomfield and was responsible for paying bills, depositing checks and other financial oversight.

He said that from 2011 to 2016, she deposited company checks into her own PNC Bank account and made purchases for herself using the business’ credit card. She also wrote checks to herself drawn from the company’s pension fund.

Mr. Melucci said she used the money to make personal purchases from StubHub, Ticketmaster, Giant Eagle, Kohl’s and other businesses. Unlike many large-scale embezzlers, she apparently did not use the money for any big-ticket purchases such as cars or real estate.

Asked by the judge whether she agreed with the prosecutor’s recitation of her crimes, Ms. Lewis said yes.

The estimated loss is $818,000, for which Ms. Lewis will likely be ordered to pay restitution from any future earnings.

The medical practice discovered the missing money last year and contacted the FBI, which handled the case.

Ms. Lewis was charged by complaint on March 14 and indicated three days later that she would plead.

She remains free on a $10,000 bond pending sentencing.

No one from the medical practice returned messages Friday. Allegheny Health Network, which acquired the business in 2014, had no comment.

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

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Fifteen charged in Northampton County PA illegal prescription/heroin ring

Fifteen charged in Northampton County illegal prescription/heroin ring

Police say ex-employee stole safe from dental office in Wyomissing, PA

A former employee of a Wyomissing dental office was arrested hours after he broke into the business and stole a safe containing a recent shipment of gold and silver used in making dental crowns, borough police said Tuesday.

Officers apprehended Jeffrey L. Milam, 43, about 5:30 a.m. Saturday, the morning after the break-in of American Dental Solutions, 1301 Penn Ave., was discovered.

An officer spotted him getting into a taxi cab in the 1100 block of Penn Avenue.

Police said Milam bolted from the cab but was caught in a nearby parking lot after a foot chase.

Milam, formerly of Shillington but now homeless, was committed to Berks County Prison in lieu of $25,000 bail after arraignment Saturday before District Judge Ann L. Young in Reading Central Court.

He is charged with burglary, theft, criminal mischief and four counts of theft from a motor vehicle.

Information about Milam’s employment with American Dental Solutions was not available.

According to police:

Officers responded to American Dental Solutions about 7:45 p.m. Friday for a report of a possible burglary in process.

The owner, Justin Damore, found a back door had been damaged.

Earlier in the evening, police were called after a remote garage-door opener was taken from a van belonging to the business that was parked on the street.

Police checked the building but and found no one inside. They learned that after several unsuccessful attempts to enter by prying open the door, the burglar entered via the garage door.

Damore checked to see if anything was missing and found a safe had been taken from a back room. The garage door opener was found nearby.

Damore told police precious metals worth more than $8,000 that had just been shipped to the business were in the safe.

Security camera footage showed a man he recognized as Milam entering the garage and heading to the back room where he picked up the safe and left, shutting the garage door behind him.

Throughout the night, police continued to search for Milam, at one point catching a glimpse of him in an alley between Hill and Penn Avenue, until Officer Bryan McIntrye spotted the suspect getting into the cab.

After he was arrested, Milam was taken to the police station and searched. Officers found numerous electronics and other consumer items that were taken from cars.

He told police that he entered several unlocked car the previous night on Reading Avenue, the parking lot of Viva Bistro & Lounge and the 700 block of Penn Avenue in West Reading.

Milam said that after stealing the safe from the dental office, he walked along the railroad tracks that run parallel to Penn Avenue and hid the safe near the tracks, then walked into Reading.

He returned to Wyomissing early the next morning to recover the safe and entered vehicles along the way.

Police Chief Jeffrey R. Biehl said police recovered the safe.

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


PA dentist sues former employee and her husband for embezzlement — alleges million dollar theft

When Teresa Young pleaded guilty to stealing money from her former employer, she agreed to repay $10,334.

Her former employer, Dr. Duane A. Gruber, has filed a civil suit alleging that she stole much more – about $1 million.

Gruber also sued Young’s husband, Wayne, alleging he conspired with her to steal the money and benefited from her illegal doings.

The Youngs deny that Wayne knew what his wife was doing, and agree with the accusations only so far as to what she admitted in her criminal case.

Gruber, a dentist, charged Mrs. Young with conversion, breach of fiduciary duty and fraud, and both Youngs, of 358 Kennard-Osgood Road, Sugar Grove Township, with conspiracy and unjust enrichment.

Gruber, whose dental practice is in Hempfield Township, said he was alerted by the IRS in about January 2011 of “significant financial irregularities.”

He hired a dental practice consultant to investigate the practice’s finances and come up with policies and procedures to improve management and productivity.

The consultant discovered that Young misappropriated funds, the suit said.

Gruber alleged Young manipulated financial records and patient bills, inflated supply purchasing, misappropriated cash payments and distorted bookkeeping, collections and billings.

Young denied the allegations, other then to admit writing 18 checks to herself or credit card companies for $8,600 on a Gruber account.

Gruber also alleged that Young contracted for better medical and vision benefits for herself, ordered excess dental supplies, gave her family and friends free dental care and manipulated office hours and payroll to receive additional and unearned pay for vacation days.

Young denied all of those allegations. She said all treatment received by family members complied with company policy, and that dental supplies were ordered by someone else.

 Gruber charged that Young used the stolen money to buy horses and equipment and pay expenses for the family business, Young’s Performance Horses, allegations the Youngs denied.

As far as Wayne Young’s involvement, the Youngs said he had no knowledge of his wife’s illegal activities, and received no direct benefit from them.

The sides could not agree on Young’s duties during her 20 years with Gruber, with Young arguing she had far less control of the practice than Gruber alleged.

Notice of the suit was filed Jan. 28, 2013, while the complaint was not filed until May 1.

The Young’s filed their answer May 29, the day Mrs. Young was paroled from jail after being sentenced in November to serve 11è to 23 months.

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

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Pennsylvania woman charged with embezzlement

NEWELL-A Newell woman is facing charges that she embezzled money from a Beaver, Pa., dentist’s office where she worked as a secretary.

Stacey Marie Franczek, 38, of Harrison Street in Newell, has been charged with felony counts of theft, theft by deception, receiving stolen property and forgery for allegedly stealing more than $4,100 from the dentist’s office of Dr. Pamela Crumrine, a Beaver police report said.

Franczek is accused of taking 32 checks intended for Crumrine-21 personal patient checks and 11 insurance checks-and depositing them for her own use, according to a complaint filed by Beaver police Detective James DeGori.

Beaver police began investigating Franczek in February after Crumrine reported that a former office receptionist/secretary was under suspicion of forgery and theft. The dentist provided copies of two checks that had been submitted by patients but had been made payable to Franczek, the report said.

Crumrine began an internal investigation when she received a letter from a patient saying that the “pay to the order of” section of the check had been made out to Franczek, the report said. Another patient said he did not make the check payable to anyone because he had been advised the office had a stamp for that purpose.

In March, Beaver police executed a search warrant at PNC Bank and discovered 32 checks intended for Crumrine that Franczek allegedly had deposited into her personal checking account, the report said.

In an interview with police, Franczek allegedly admitted that she had taken the checks and deposited them into her bank account, the report said. The amount totalled $4,188.50.

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

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