MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A former employee of a Cumberland County dental practice is charged with stealing more than $2,000 from the business.
Gina L. Stahlnecker, 48, of Etters, manipulated a company account so that she alone would receive checks without her employer’s knowledge, Upper Allen Township police said.
According to charging documents, Stahlnecker, a dental assistant, confessed to her employer that on one occasion several years ago, she took dental scrap metal such as removed fillings, caps, and bridges and sold it for money she shared with the staff.
The owner then contacted the company’s contracted metal refinery and learned it had been sending checks to Stahlnecker’s address since 2005, the complaint states. The checks totaled $2,363.52.
Stahlnecker is charged with forgery, tampering with records or identification, theft by unlawful taking, theft by deception, receiving stolen property, theft by failure to make required disposition of funds, and deceptive business practices. She has been fired from her job.
She turned herself in on Wednesday and was released on $4,000 unsecured bail.
NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP – A Warminster woman is under arrest, charged with embezzling more than $355,790 from the Newtown Veterinary Hospital.
Trisha Lynn McLaughlin, 36, of East Street Road in Warminster, turned herself into police on Thursday after Detective Charles Palko Jr. filed charges that she misappropriated funds from her employer.
McLaughlin is facing first degree felony charges for dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities, second degree felony forgery for unauthorized act in writing and third degree felonies of theft by unlawful taking or disposition and receiving stolen property.
McLaughlin was processed at Northampton Township Police headquarters and was arraigned via video by Judge Donald Nasshorn. She was released ROR on $250,000 bail.
Detective Palko began his investigation in Feb. 2012 when the owner of the Newtown Veterinary Hospital (N.V.H.) came to police headquarters to report that McLaughlin, in her capacity as the practice manager at N.V.H., had embezzled funds in the range of $80,000.
McLaughlin was hired in March 2001 as a senior veterinary technician and in March 2006 became the practice manager at N.V.H.
In her capacity as practice manager, McLaughlin was responsible for meeting financial objectives and for accounts payable, payroll and budget. Her position provided access, use and control of N.V.H. accounts, including bank and credit card accounts and control of N.V.H. accounting ledger and/or software. She was fired in Dec. 2011 because misappropriation of funds was discovered that started at $3,000, but quickly grew, police said.
In his initial report to law enforcement authorities, police said the owner/victim told police that checks would be written out to McLaughlin from the business and she would cash them. She also would over pay herself in the pay-roll, police said.
The company charge card also was used to make personal purchases such as fuel oil for her home, police said. In addition, police said McLaughlin purchased gift certificates that were to be used as gifts for other employees but failed to give them to the appropriate employees.
In Dec. 2011 the owner of N.V.H was notified by his bank of a discrepancy involving McLaughlin personally withdrawing $4,700 from his Money Market account without his authorization.
While conducting a year-long investigation, Detective Palko discovered that many of the financial records had been destroyed by McLaughlin before her employment was terminated.
Police said the owner of N.V.H. advised Det. Palko that he had received numerous correspondences from McLaughlin, via e-mail, regarding her termination. Specifically, McLaughlin denied stealing from N.V.H., but considered herself as borrowing money with intention to pay it back and pleaded with the owner not to go to the authorities or deny her unemployment benefits.
During the course of communication via e-mail, police said the owner inquired about the PayPal account established for N.V.H. for which he did not have the log-in information to access the account. Det. Palko was able to obtain the PayPal records.
A review of the transaction log history by Det. Palko, from Feb. 20, 2008 to Dec. 27, 2011, revealed $16,098.09 in unauthorized transactions. The PayPal transaction log history confirmed that the items were shipped to McLaughlin at her home address in Warminster, police said.
Detective Palko’s review of N.V.H. accounts also revealed discrepancies and misappropriation of funds associated with N.V.H. bank accounts, credit card accounts and payroll. Palko also determined that McLaughlin failed to maintain accurate accounting records, retain past account statements and altered Quick Book entries relating to unauthorized transactions.
Police said unauthorized transactions included the purchase of clothes, shoes, home heating fuel, hair salon and membership fees to the Newtown Athletic Club.
Monthly bank statements, police said, also revealed payments being made for additional accounts with Verizon and PECO, not affiliated with N.V.H., as well as car payments for the vehicle McLaughlin was driving.
McLaughlin also maintained N.V.H. business accounts with BJ’s Wholesale Club, Sam’s Club, and Costco and was the principal purchaser of paper products and cleaning supplies relating to the day-to-day operations of N.V.H.
Det. Palko obtained purchase history reports from the wholesale clubs, itemizing the products purchased by McLaughlin using the wholesale club ID number. The bulk of the items purchased, police said, consisted of household products, perishable groceries, electronics, baby supplies, clothing and gift cards in $100 and $200 amounts.
Based on the itemized purchase history reports, Det. Palko determined that McLaughlin made $50,601.58 in unauthorized purchases from wholesale clubs, for goods and services that did not benefit the Newtown Veterinary Hospital.
Police said additional illegal activities committed by McLaughlin include inflating the pay rates for herself, her husband and other select employees, not withholding payroll deductions for medical and dental benefits for herself and her husband along with numerous other deductions that were not withheld from the paychecks were discovered. A review of accounts also uncovered that McLaughlin’s mismanagement of the business daycare center caused a loss of revenue discrepancies that totaled $85,194.77, police said.
As Detective Palko continued his extensive investigation he exposed numerous other fraudulent financial activities that led back to McLaughlin and the $355,790.00 listed as the total loss suffered by N.V.H.
HARRISBURG — Saying incarceration remains his aim, a judge Wednesday refused to reconsider a 15- to 30-month prison term he slapped on a Hershey-based oral surgeon who pleaded guilty to theft and drug prescription violation charges.
Senior Judge John L. Braxton did allow Dr. Donald Dinello Jr. to remain free on $50,000 bail pending a possible appeal to the state Superior Court, however.
Braxton returned to a Dauphin County courtroom to hear — and ultimately reject — a petition that defense attorney Royce Morris filed to modify the sentence imposed on Dinello in July.
Under a deal with the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, Dinello, 46, pleaded guilty to charges that he stole from his partner in Hershey Oral Surgery Associates and improperly wrote prescriptions for the painkiller Oxycodon for an employee and her husband. He pleaded to a charge of refusing to keep required records of drugs he prescribed in connection with the prescription fraud allegation.
Dinello’s pleas also resulted in a 2-year suspension of his state dental license.
The tension was palpable as Morris made his sentence modification request during Wednesday’s hearing. Among other arguments, he contended that Dinello “has maintained a remorseful attitude” about his crimes.
Senior Deputy Attorney General Patrick Leonard urged Braxton not to budge from the original sentence. He noted that the charges against Dinello carry a maximum possible penalty of 8 1/2 years in prison.
The message sent in the case is important, Leonard said, because “there are others in the dental community … who I’m sure have a keen eye on what happens here with Dr. Dinello.”
Braxton said he still considers his initial sentence “fair and appropriate.” Dinello deserves nothing that would hint at special treatment and must spend time behind bars for betraying the trust the community placed in him as a healer, the judge said.
“He’s a convicted felon, and he has to pay the consequences,” Braxton said.
A city woman was arrested Thursday on felony charges for allegedly stealing over $90,000 from a Loyalsock Township dentist while she worked for him as his office manager, according to state police.
Kim Yvette Menne, 42, of 716 Tucker St. is accused of taking $85,285 in cash from the office of Dr. Charles M. Burzynski at 1701 Four Mile Drive during a 33-month period between early 2005 and last October, police said.
During that time, Menne also allegedly forged two office checks with Burzynski’s stamped signature; one she wrote to herself for $1,403 and another she wrote to Williamsport Boys Basketball (of the Williamsport Area High School Main Booster Club) for $4,445, police said.
At the time, Menne did all the bookkeeping for the practice as Burzynski’s office manager, Trooper Angela Bieber wrote in an affidavit.
The investigation began in early October after Burzynski’s wife, Kathleen Lewis, who helps run the practice, questioned Menne about two missing deposits, Bieber said.
“Menne brought the missing deposits to the office on Oct. 5, claiming she found one in her purse and another in her car. These events prompted Burzynski and his wife to have the office bookkeeping examined more thoroughly,” Bieber said.
It was determined that numerous office deposit slips filled out by Menne did not match with the actual deposits that she made to the bank, Bieber said.
“The slips showed amounts that included both cash and checks that were to be deposited to the bank, but the actual amount deposited to the bank was only the checks. The cash amounts were unaccounted for,” Bieber said.
Menne was arraigned before District Judge Kenneth T. Schriner Jr. on charges of forgery, theft, receiving stolen property and theft by failure to make required disposition. She was released on $50,000 bail.
A long-time, former office manager for a dental office in Hamlin has been charged for allegedly keeping insurance money totaling over $13,000.
State Police, Honesdale barracks charged Sharon Swartz, age 58, of Jefferson Township for Theft, Theft by Deception, Theft by Failure to Make Required Disposition of Funds, Forgery and receiving Stolen Property. In all, she is facing 32 felonies.
According to police, Swartz was the office manager at the Scrimali/ Rathchford/ Hanyon Dental offices in Hamlin for 14 years. Since 2006, she allegedly was cashing insurance checks from, the dental office and keeping the money for herself. This involved cashing 28 insurance checks totaling in excess of $13,000.
Swartz was arraigned in front of District Judge Bonnie Carney and released on $30,000 unsecured bail. The accused as a preliminary hearing scheduled for Feb. 8.
The report by State Police was issued Friday evening, Feb. 3rd.
An employee of the Hellertown Dental Group is facing felony charges after falsifying a prescription to fraudulently gain medication, police say.
Hellertown police on Sept. 21 began investigating Elizabeth Weber, 25, of the 3400 block of Ringer Road, in Whitehall Township. The dental office, where Weber is employed, is located at 1213 Main St. in Hellertown.
Police did not specify which prescription drugs Weber had obtained.
Weber is facing charges of felony forgery, felony fraudulent acquisition of a controlled substance and misdemeanor impersonation of a holder of a professional license.
Weber was arrested and arraigned on the charges before District Judge David Tidd. The judge set bail at $10,000 unsecured.
Hatboro police Chief James Gardner announced the arrest of three individuals in the connection with the theft of more than $40,000 from a dental practice in the 100 block of North York Road, Hatboro.
Arrested were Jill Beaghley, 38, of Philadelphia, Cavon Broaddus, 27, of Philadelphia, and Donald Lynch, 46, of Willow Grove.
Hatboro police were notified on July 12 by the dentist that he had discovered checks payable to his practice had been forged with his signature and cashed by a male suspect at a check cashing business on Jacksonville Road in Warminster Township. Based on video recordings obtained from the check cashing business, police were able to identify the individual cashing the check as Lynch, police said.
Further investigation determined that Beaghley, who was employed as an office manager by the dental practice, engaged in a conspiracy with Broaddus and Lynch to steal and forge checks with the dentist’s signature, police said. Beaghley would turn the checks over to Lynch and her associate, Broaddus, and upon receiving the checks, Lynch cashed them at the Warminster location utilizing the dentist’s identification, police said.
According to police, the three engaged in this conspiracy from April into July of this year. Police have identified more than 140 checks that were forged and cashed as well as several fraudulent insurance claims submitted by Beaghley, police said.
As a result of the investigation, the individuals were all charged with the following offenses: dealing in the proceeds of unlawful activities, theft by unlawful taking, theft by deception, receiving stolen property, theft by failing to make required disposition of funds received, forgery (142 counts), access device fraud, insurance fraud, identity theft, unlawful use of computers (119 counts) as well as the conspiracy to commit each of the above crimes.
Beaghley was arrested Aug. 21 in Lycoming County, and upon being returned to Montgomery County she was arraigned before District Judge Harry Nesbit of Horsham, police said. Bail was set at $250,000 and was remanded to the Montgomery County Prison in lieu of bail.
Broaddus was arrested Aug. 21at his Philadelphia residence, police said. He was returned to Montgomery County and arraigned before District Judge Paul Leo who set bail at $250,000. He was remanded to the Montgomery County Prison in lieu of bail.
Lynch was arrested Aug. 22 and arraigned before District Judge Leo, police said. Bail was set at $250,000 and Lynch was released from custody.
A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for all three Aug. 30 before District Judge Paul Leo of Hatboro.
A New Holland woman was arrested Monday after she admitted to stealing over $3,000 from a dental office where she was employed, police said.
Angela Hurst, 38, of New Holland, is facing charges including theft by unlawful taking and theft of services.
Police said Dr. Robert W. Berstecher contacted authorities in November after discovering missing funds from his dental practice located along the 100 block of E. Main Street in New Holland.
An investigation revealed that Hurst stole $3,743 over a three-month period beginning in July 2013 . According to police reports, Hurst would improperly log receipts and steal cash paid by dental patients. She also admitted to altering the books to obtain $1,608 in dental work for family members. Police say Hurst would make the accounts look as though they were paid, when in fact they never were.
Hurst has since been arraigned and released on $25,000 bail.