Pennsylvania Dental Assistant Sentenced to One Year for Forging Prescriptions

Belinda Dietrich

A former receptionist of a Harrisburg dentist will spend a year and a day in federal prison for forging 164 opioid prescriptions, according to the Department of Justice.

Belinda Dietrich, 63, will spend three years on probation following her prison time, according to the DOJ.

Dietrich was sentenced Monday on the counts of distributing a controlled substance and making false statements in health care matters, which she pleaded guilty to in April, the DOJ said.

U.S. Attorney David Freed said Dietrich was the former receptionist of a solo dental provider in Harrisburg. Freed gave an example of how the scheme played out.

Dietrich forged the signature of her employer on a blank prescription form on Feb. 13, 2017, Freed said.

The prescription, written for her mother who was not a patient of the dentist, was for oxycodone, Freed said. Dietrich’s mother was also a Medicare beneficiary.

Dietrich had the prescription for 24 pills filled at a Harrisburg-area pharmacy and kept the drugs for her own use. Medicare paid the claim, Freed said.

Between Feb. 17, 2016 and August 2017, Dietrich forged 164 prescriptions for oxycodone and hydrocodone, the DOJ said. Dietrich filled out 10 of the fake prescriptions under her own name, and the rest were written under the names of 11 family and friends.

The prescriptions were filled and the drugs were shared between the group. More than 5,022 pills were obtained through these forgeries, the DOJ said, and all 11 people were prosecuted in connection with the case.

Content retrieved from https://www.pennlive.com/news/2019/10/central-pa-woman-sentenced-on-charges-of-forging-164-opioid-prescriptions.html

Towamencin PA dental office worker charged with giving unauthorized discounts

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NORRISTOWN — A former patient care coordinator for a Towamencin dental practice likely isn’t smiling as she fights charges she allegedly gave unauthorized dental discounts to a boyfriend and other customers.

Michele K. Olinger, 49, of the 100 block of Susquehanna Avenue, Lansdale, who is accused of bilking nearly $13,000 from North Penn Dental Arts between 2001 and 2011, filed papers in Montgomery County Court asking that theft-related charges be dismissed against her on the grounds that prosecutors failed to present sufficient evidence during a March preliminary hearing and that the charges were filed in violation of the statute of limitations for the alleged crimes.

“The commonwealth failed to present any evidence whatsoever that the defen- dant acted with an intent to deceive or to defraud,” defense lawyer Judith L. Watts wrote in court papers filed on Wednesday.

Watts also argued that prosecutors failed to present any evidence that Olinger lacked authority to use the company’s computer system or exceeded the authority given to her use of the computer system.

Watts claimed the statute of limitations for the alleged crimes expired between 2006 and 2009 and therefore the charges should be dismissed.

Because information contained within the computer records of North Penn Dental Arts form the basis for the charges against Olinger, Watts has asked a judge to order the business to preserve its computer system “and to make said system available for inspection by a third party computer company to be hired by defendant.”

Prosecutor Erik Crocker will have the chance to address Olinger’s requests when a judge schedules a pretrial hearing on the matter. A hearing date has not yet been scheduled.

In the meantime, Olinger remains free on $10,000 unsecured bail while she awaits trial on charges of theft of services, theft by deception, forgery, tampering with records, computer trespass and unlawful use of a computer. If she’s convicted of all the charges at trial, Olinger faces a possible maximum sentence of 20 to 40 years in prison.

Olinger has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

An investigation of Olinger began in September 2011 when the co-owner and managing director of the dental business located in the 1500 block of Sumneytown Pike reported the alleged thefts that occurred between March 2001 and June 2011. Olinger began her employment with the company in June 2000, court papers indicate.

The business, detectives alleged, had a policy that stated that only spouses and dependent children of employees were provided a 50 percent discount. All other discounts were to be approved by a company co-owner, detectives alleged.

Between March 2001 and June 2011, Olinger “would provide unauthorized discounts to patients” that defrauded the business of $12,922, according to the arrest affidavit. According to patient billing records, “these discounts were given to Olinger’s boyfriend and family members of the boyfriend or Michele Olinger,” Wittenberger alleged in the criminal complaint.

The discounts were not authorized by the co-owners of the business, detectives alleged.

“Olinger would employ different methods of accounting for the discounts. One method was applying the discount directly to the patient’s account, without authorization,” Wittenberger alleged. “Another method was to transfer the patient’s balance to Olinger’s account and then applying the discount.”

Content retrieved from The Mercury (Pottstown, PA)11 May 2012By Carl Hessler Jr. chessler@journalregister.com

Pennsylvania Woman Arrested for Stealing From Community College Dental Clinic

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

A former employee of Luzerne County Community College was arrested today after money went missing from one of the departments at the college.


Eyewitness News was the only news crew there when Melissa Sue Taney turned herself into Nanticoke police on Wednesday.

 She had  No comment when we asked if she denied or admitted taking the money. .
Detectives say she stole nearly $8,000 from the Luzerne County Community College Dental Clinic.

 Taney worked as a receptionist-secretary at the clinic located in the Health and Sciences Building in Downtown Nanticoke. 

College students who are interested in a career in dentistry work on patients from the community to get hands-on experience.. Those patients pay a small fee for those services. 
Taney was in charge of taking cash payments..

 “She would receive cash from patients and then she would alter the documents to show that less money was taken and she’d pocket the remaining money,” explained Chief Tom Wall of the Nanticoke Police Department.

 “I think that’s a real tragedy,”  said Daniel Whitman, 

Daniel Whitman is taking summer classes at LCCC  

“I think it does put a black mark on the college but as long as they got it under control and is no longer part of it anymore we can keep going in a positive light.” 

Luetter Jacobs lives near the clinic. She wonders if there was some underlying reason for the alleged theft.

  “It’s a hard time you know and people are really struggling. They are taking what little they have to accomplish the bills and things like that.”

The President of Luzerne County Community College called it a violation of trust..and issued this statement which reads in part..  “We are committed to honest practices and won’t tolerate anything less which disrupts the confidence of the community and our students.” 
Investigators did not say why Taney allegedly stole the money. They say the alleged thefts took place in 2016 and 2017. 

Taney faces upto 10 years in prison if convicted.
     She is free on  her own recognizance tonight but would have to pay $75,000 dollars if she fails to show up for future court hearings.

Content retrieved from https://www.pahomepage.com/news/i-team-dental-clinic-theft-investigation/1373659610

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.

Content retrieved from https://www.pottsmerc.com/news/woman-convicted-of-k-theft-from-montco-dental-office/article_d4e6754a-b5e4-11e8-9d68-8f3f0fd21a21.html

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.

Content retrieved from https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/news/police-former-dickson-city-dental-worker-changed-payment-records-to-steal-cash-1.2361144

Former PA dental office manager convicted of theft

Update Feb 2020:

A woman who admitted to committing theft and theft by deception while she was an office manager at a Peters Township dental practice is to report to the Washington County jail on March 1.

Heather N. Smith, 44, of North Strabane Township, pleaded guilty before Judge Valarie Costanzo, who sentenced her to 6 to 23 months confinement, followed by eight years of probation.

The judge also ordered Smith to pay $251,843 restitution to Dr. Leonard Radnor, with minimum monthly payments of $500 to begin 30 days after her release from the jail.

“If the defendant pays the restitution in full, she may petition for early termination of her probation,” Costanzo said when she imposed the sentence in late January.

The judge also ordered Smith to submit to a mental health evaluation and complete recommended treatment, and to have no contact with Leonard or Brooke Radnor, their family members or their business.

After being notified by the dentist and his wife, Peters Township police charged Smith with falsifying payroll records by inflating her hours over a period of years and claiming holiday, overtime and sick pay to which she was not entitled.

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 said.

Charges of receiving stolen property and tampering with records were dismissed.

Content retrieved from: https://observer-reporter.com/news/localnews/theft-from-employer-topped-woman-sentenced-to-jail-must-pay/article_3e96e9ae-541b-11ea-9ff4-ff0bb46bd520.html


Original story:

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 the 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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Content retrieved from https://observer-reporter.com/news/localnews/former-peters-dental-office-manager-charged-with-theft/article_3d661e12-7a36-11e8-ae43-2b8fb12ec48b.html

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.

Content retrieved from https://www.post-gazette.com/news/crime-courts/2018/12/06/Dental-clinic-manager-Jill-Bowser-federal-prison-second-embezzlement-case/stories/201812060141

“It got out of hand,” said PA dental office manager convicted for taking $47,000

February 09, 2018 12:27 PM

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 the 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 the 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 requests@dentalembezzlement.com