Former Augusta University provost pleads guilty to theft

A former vice provost at Georgia Health Sciences University and Georgia Regents University pleaded guilty Friday to a single count of theft by taking.

In a plea agreement, a second count of theft was dismissed against Roman M. Cibirka, 56, a dentist who worked his way up from teaching at the dental school to university administration from 1996 until he resigned after the theft from the university was discovered in 2015.

In Richmond County Superior Court, Judge Sheryl B. Jolly accepted the negotiated sentence and imposed a five-year probation sentence under the First Offender Act. Conditions of probation include paying a $25,000 fine and performing 240 hours of community service by providing dental services for indigent patients.

Associate Attorney General Blair McGowan told the judge Friday afternoon that a tip led to an internal investigation. It was discovered that Cibirka ordered dental work be provided to an individual and the $15,322 in services be paid by the university on June 14, 2013. McGowan said the state wasn’t seeking restitution because the individual who received the services is making restitution.

Defense attorney Richard Grossman told the judge that Cibirka has provided free dental care for indigent patients since he began practicing.

 According to the Georgia Department of Community Health, Cibirka is currently licensed to practice dentistry and lives in Alpharetta, Ga. He has been licensed since 1998.

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NYU dental school workers busted in identity-theft operation

Trying to get information on a credit card scam at NYU’s Dental School was like pulling teeth.

A marijuana bust led police to uncover a massive identity theft operation that officials at the prestigious university tried to hush up, law enforcement sources told The Post.

Joel Scott and James Giscombe Jr., who work with patients treated at the school, were busted last summer for allegedly lifting credit card information from more than 350 victims using a mini card skimmer.

They allegedly opened credit card accounts with it and went on shopping sprees totaling about $100,000.

Scott, 24 and Giscombe, 31, were allegedly seen on video surveillance using the stolen cards to purchase Long Island Railroad and Metro North tickets, which authorities said they sold to their buddies for half price, sources said.

They are also accused of selling some of the stolen information to other scammers across the country.

Despite receiving several complaints from victims, the school did not notify other patients to be on the alert until the NYPD made the arrests, the sources said.

The fraud was finally brought to light when a Queens gang unit officer collared Scott for buying pot in St. Albans on May 18, 2013. During the bust, the cop noticed a skimmer and 19 credit cards in his BMW, according to court documents.

The officer downloaded the skimmer and found the patients’ information, officials said.

NYU officials claim they weren’t aware of the scam until police contacted them the day after Scott’s arrest.

Scott and Giscombe were terminated on June 5 and July 1, respectively, after an internal investigation by the university.

“The college has instituted new procedures to prevent this type of misuse of information from recurring,” said NYU spokesman Philip Lentz.

During the investigation, cops executed a search warrant in the home of Patricia Graham, chief of staff for the schools executive vice president, who Scott lived with.

Giscombe’s apartment was also searched by investigators who reported finding a knife, a gun and ammo.

Scott and Giscombe face up to a year in jail for each forged instrument count. Giscombe also faces up to 15 years in prison on the weapons charges.

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Former University of Louisville official charged with stealing $2.8 million

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.

The former executive director of University of Louisville’s Department of Family & Geriatric Medicine was indicted Wednesday, accused of stealing $2.8 million in patient payments and other funds and failing to report $2.4 million in income.

A federal grand jury in Louisville also charged Perry Chadwick Vaughn, 36, with money laundering for allegedly trying to disguise the thefts by using the money to buy or lease nine luxury vehicles and pay for real estate, luxury vacations and a $9,000 necklace.

Vaughn, who lives in Sellersburg, Ind., was arraigned on the seven-count indictment charging him with theft and bribery in programs that receive federal funds, money laundering, mail fraud, and filing false federal income tax returns.

He had been accused of some of the offenses in a civil complaint filed last September.

The Courier-Journal reported that Vaughn wore expensive clothes, flew his family to the Caribbean and drove a fleet of luxury cars, including two Mercedes-Benzes, a Range Rover, a Corvette and an Infiniti, but that it wasn’t until October 2012 that a co-worker emailed U of L auditors questioning how Vaughn could be living so luxuriously on a $105,000 annual salary as administrator of the family medicine department and manager of affiliated private practice groups.

U.S. Attorney David J. Hale said Vaughn, in a scheme that lasted nearly six years, allegedly diverted checks and patient payments, then withdrew $2,809,489 for his personal use.

Vaughn pleaded not guilty and a trial date has been set for June 3. If convicted, he faces up to 55 years in prison and a maximum fine of $1.25 million. Magistrate Judge Dave Whalin released Vaughn on a $25,000 unsecured bond. His lawyer, Rob Eggert, could not be reached for comment.

As the department’s top administrator, Vaughn was responsible for all business and accounting functions, including payroll, budgeting, tax reporting, accounts receivable, accounts payable and bank reconciliations.

The grand jury charged that Vaughn diverted money from the department to the practice groups, then withdrew it for himself. He also is alleged to have made a number of misrepresentations to U of L Audit Services by transferring funds between bank accounts to conceal his theft and by providing false bank statements to the private practice groups.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan Calhoun and was investigated by the U of L Police Department, the U.S. Secret Service, the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

The university, where Vaughn initially began work as an accountant, said in September that it had fired Vaughn.

The newspaper reported then that he was one of at least six university employees accused during the previous five years of stealing the school’s money or grant funds under its control.

Gary Mans, a spokesman for the health sciences campus, said the school “has solid internal controls in place to guard against the misuse of university funds,” but that it’s “up to employees and their supervisors to follow those policies and procedures.”

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