Virginia Office Manager Convicted for Victimizing Orthodontist

Karen Tenney

Karen Denise Tenney of Virginia Beach pled guilty to embezzling from a local orthodontist. Ms. Tenney was arrested on February 19, 2020 and charged with a Class U Felony. She pled guilty on February 3, 2021 and was given a five-year suspended sentence with a further five years of probation. She was also ordered to repay $25,000 to the victim, and forfeit her firearms permit.

Prosperident Supervising Examiner Wendy Askins conducted the investigation that resulted in the conviction of Ms. Tenney.

Look out for This Person!


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Alexandra Counts-Thompson’s lengthy rap sheet has over 30 convictions, including several for embezzlement. Most convictions are from North Carolina and Virginia.

She is known to work in dental practices.

She uses several variants of her name including:

  • Alexandra Counts Thompson
  • Alexandra Nikole Counts
  • Alexandra N Counts
  • Alexandra Nicole Counts
  • Alexandra Nikol Thompson

We would urge extreme caution in dealing with this person.

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Prosperident’s Investigation Results in Office Manager’s 12 Year Sentence for Embezzling $400K From VA Dental Practice

Deanna Gray
Prosperident’s Wendy Askins has put more than her share of embezzlers behind bars.  Wendy’s excellent work resulted in another embezzler going away.  While we are glad that her victim got to see justice served, the financial damage created by Ms. Gray was considerable.  Read on …

Update June 2019:
Deanna Gray has been sentenced to 12 years in prison and ordered to repay her victim $421,000.  Making full repayment may result in her sentence being reduced to five years.

Original story:

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.

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.

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Please be Careful When Hiring a Consultant!

blank Update October 29, 2018: It appears that this business is using a new name — East Coast Medical and Dental Staffing LLC.  Same website, same phone number.
Original Article: We are fortunate to work with some excellent consultants.  However, because consulting to dentists is an unregulated profession, there is nothing stopping people with very checkered pasts holding themselves out as consultants. The woman shown in the picture above, who has used many different names in the past owns a couple of businesses providing services to dentists. However, there is information about her that should make any dentist question the wisdom of hiring her. The name she is using for business purposes is Kari Swanson.  Some other names that she may have used in the past are Kari Lyn Swanson, L Schukman, Kari Lyn Schuckman, Kari Lynn Swanson, and Kari Schuckman Gomez. The two companies that she owns are:
  1.  Dental Temp Solutions, located in Virginia, which has a website that looks like this:
blank 2.  The second business is called KLE Dental Jobs.  Its logo looks like this: blank It seems that Kari has been in some trouble over the years.  Here are some of the criminal charges that we have identified: It is questionable whether Kari will be able to carry on her businesses for much longer, because in May 2018 she received a fifty one month federal prison sentence (to be served starting on January 1, 2019) for embezzling from a Virginia dentist.  She was also ordered to repay a six-figure amount at the lofty rate of $150.00 per month. Her sentencing document is here: [pdf-embedder url=”” title=”Kari Gomez Sentencing May 2018″] However, as alarming as it is that someone with this particular baggage is selling her services to unsuspecting dentists, this conviction was not the only brush with the law for Kari.  A search of Virginia state records revealed a number of other convictions including a least a few that were fraud-related.  Based on the number of names that Ms. Schuckman / Swanson / Gomez has used over the years, it is entirely possible that there is more, but here is what we found: blank We asked Kari for her comments but did not receive a response. Kari is not the only consultant who causes us concern.  Please see this post –
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One of our “Alumnae” sentenced

Elizabeth Armstrong

Elizabeth Armstrong of Fredericksburg VA will NOT be home for Christmas this year.  She received a prison sentence of six years (of which five years will be suspended) and was taken directly from the courthouse to prison.

Scott Clifford, who was Prosperident’s lead investigator on the case, expressed satisfaction with this outcome.  “While no dentist who was embezzled is ever happy about it, at least they can derive some satisfaction from knowing that the perpetrator got punished,”he said recently.

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VA woman charged in prescription scam



HAMPTON – A part-time receptionist for a dental office was arrested Friday morning on charges she forged prescriptions for drugs for her own use, said Rebecca Feaster, spokeswoman for the Virginia State Police.

Rebecca A. Hundley, 22, of the 300 block of Woodside Drive in Hampton, turned herself in at the General District Court Building about 10 a.m. She was charged with five counts of obtaining drugs by forging prescriptions.

Hundley is accused of forging three prescriptions for Percodan, a pain killer, and Valium, an anti-depressant. The other two charges involve passing forged prescriptions, Feaster said.

Hundley is an assistant manager at a clothing store but worked part-time as receptionist for a dentist’s office, Feaster said.

The State Police Pharmaceutical Unit began investigating Hundley several months ago after the pharmacy filed a complaint, Feaster said.

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Virginia woman, convicted of embezzlement, has conviction overturned on appeal



                    COURT OF APPEALS OF VIRGINIA
Present: Chief Judge Moon, Judges Willis and Elder 
Argued by Teleconference
                                           MEMORANDUM OPINION * BY
v.   Record No. 2804-96-2               JUDGE JERE M. H. WILLIS, JR.
                                             OCTOBER 14, 1997
                   Richard H. C. Taylor, Judge
          J. Overton Harris (Campbell, Campbell,
          Herbert & Harris, on brief), for appellant.
          Daniel J. Munroe, Assistant Attorney General
          (Richard Cullen, Attorney General, on brief),
          for appellee.
     Wanda Kaye Turner contends (1) that the trial court
erroneously denied her motion to strike the evidence, and (2)
that the Commonwealth failed to prove venue.    Because venue was
not proven, we reverse the conviction and dismiss the indictment.
     We view the evidence in the light most favorable to the
Commonwealth, granting to it all reasonable inferences fairly
deducible therefrom.   See Traverso v. Commonwealth,

6 Va. App. 172

, 176,
, 721 (1988).
     Dr. Byrd operates his dental office in Hanover County.      From
approximately July 5 until November 21, 1995, Turner was his
primary employee.   Although she performed clerical duties for
him, she was not authorized to use the business checkbook which
was located in an unlocked filing cabinet.
     In December 1995, upon examining his business bank
statements, Dr. Byrd discovered various checks out of sequence
and several checks missing.   He determined that three of the
missing checks had been written for $625.29 each, payable to
Turner.   Dr. Byrd recognized the handwriting as Turner's.   One
check was dated Wednesday, November 8, 1995.    Dr. Byrd testified
that he is not in his office on Wednesdays and that Turner was
the only person in his office that day.
     The bank statements revealed that Dr. Byrd's Central
Fidelity Bank business checking account was short the three
forged checks, each in the amount of $625.29.   Central Fidelity
Bank reimbursed him that amount.
     On March 19, 1996, a grand jury indicted Turner for grand
larceny of "property and/or U.S. currency" belonging to Dr. Byrd.
However, the indictment was amended and specifies that:
         Wanda Kaye Turner on or about June 1st
         through December 1st, in the year one
         thousand nine hundred and ninety-five, in the
         said County, and within the Jurisdiction of
         the said Circuit Court of the County of
         Hanover did unlawfully and feloniously take,
         steal and carry away U.S. currency from
         Central Fidelity Bank by cashing forged
         payroll checks having a value of $200 or more
         belonging to Eliott Bird [sic], D.D.S., with
         the intent to deprive the owner thereof
         permanently against the peace and dignity of
         the Commonwealth of Virginia.
     Turner contends that no evidence proved that the offense was
committed within the trial court's jurisdiction.   The
Commonwealth argues that the checks used to effect the alleged
larceny of Central Fidelity Bank were removed from Dr. Byrd's
office in Hanover County which is within the jurisdiction of the
trial court.   The Commonwealth cites Randall v. Commonwealth,

183 Va. 182


31 S.E.2d 571

 (1944), for the proposition that:
          "The failure clearly to prove venue is
          usually due to inadvertence, flowing
          naturally from the familiarity of the court,
          counsel, witnesses and jurors with the
          locality of the crime; and appellate courts
          will generally and properly lay hold of and
          accept as sufficient any evidence in the
          case, direct or otherwise, from which the
          fact may be reasonably inferred."
Id. at 187, 31 S.E.2d at 573 (citation omitted).
     Code § 19.2-244 provides, in pertinent part, that:    "Except
as otherwise provided by law, the prosecution of a criminal case
shall be had in the county or city in which the offense was
committed."    While "[t]he Commonwealth may prove venue by either
direct or circumstantial evidence[,] . . . the evidence must be
sufficient to present a '"strong presumption" that the offense
was committed within the jurisdiction of the Court.'"     Davis v.

14 Va. App. 709

, 711,
, 287 (1992)
(citation omitted).
     Turner was not indicted for stealing blank checks from Dr.
Byrd or for forgery.   Rather, she was charged with larceny of
U.S. currency from Central Fidelity Bank.   The record is devoid
of any reference to the location of Central Fidelity Bank -- the
alleged situs of the crime.   While sufficient evidence
establishes that Turner removed the blank checks in Hanover
County, we cannot infer upon that finding alone that a
subsequent, separate and distinct offense of larceny of money
from Central Fidelity Bank likewise occurred in Hanover County.
Lacking such proof, the Commonwealth failed to prove that the
larceny occurred within the trial court's jurisdiction.
     The conviction is reversed, and the indictment is dismissed.
                                        Reversed and dismissed.

VA embezzler sentenced to 31 years; all but two years suspended

Margaret Lawson Martin
Margaret Lawson Martin
WIRTZ — A Wirtz woman has been sentenced in Franklin County Circuit Court to 31 years in prison for embezzlement and fraudulently obtaining prescription drugs while employed by a Martinsville dentist. All but two years of the sentence was suspended, according to court records. In addition to the prison sentence, Margaret Lawson Martin was placed on supervised probation for three years and ordered to be of good behavior for 30 years. She was also ordered to pay $30,000 in restitution in addition to the $30,000 she has already paid back. Lawson pleaded nolo contendere (no contest) to the charges. A no contest plea serves as an alternative to pleading guilty or not guilty and has the same effect as a guilty plea. The embezzlement and prescription drug fraud occurred while Martin was employed by Dr. John Walrod, according to Franklin County Commonwealth’s Attorney Cliff Hapgood. Court records show that a grand jury indicted Martin on six counts of embezzlement. Each embezzlement charge was in excess of $200. The grand jury also returned 19 indictments against Martin for obtaining prescription drugs by fraud. The embezzlements occurred in April 2004. The prescription drug frauds occurred between May 2005 and August 2005, according to court records.

VA dental worker gets four years for theft


WILLIAMSBURG — The former office manager for a Williamsburg dental practice was sentenced to four years in prison Monday for embezzling more than $225,000 from her employers.

The crime occurred from Dec. 1997 through Sept. 2002, effectively doubling Georgia L. Brazier’s salary during those years, said Williamsburg-James City County Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike McGinty.

It hurt all the employees at Bennett Butler & Associates on Bacon Avenue because their profit-sharing benefits and bonuses were affected, McGinty said.

The theft was discovered after Brazier left her job — and the office’s income went up right away, McGinty said.

With the help of her family, Brazier, 56, paid $70,000 in restitution Monday, McGinty said. He said the judge ordered her to pay another $160,000 in restitution.

“Mrs. Brazier methodically betrayed our trust, as well as her co–workers and used it for her own personal gain and enjoyment,” said Cory Butler, one of the dentists the defendant worked for. “Her actions were deceitful, selfish, malicious and manipulative.” The sentence should send a message to others who consider embezzling money, Butler said.

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4th embezzlement spree gets New Kent, VA woman six years

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A New Kent County woman will serve six years in prison for embezzling more than $215,000 from a Henrico medical practice. Mary Beth Redford is not unaccustomed to facing punishment for stealing money — this is her fourth embezzlement conviction since 1988 — but the sentence levied against her Wednesday in Henrico Circuit Court was the most severe she has received.

 “When investigators looked at the books (of the medical practice) it was obvious what had happened,” said Assistant Henrico Commonwealth’s Attorney Owen Conway.

Redford, 44, the mother of two children, left the courtroom in handcuffs. Her previous  convictions in Fairfax, Henrico and New Kent counties resulted in active jail time of 10 months.

Conway said that executives at Advanced Orthopaedics on Shrader Road did not check Redford’s background when they hired her in 2004.

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