Kennewick, Washington Police Accuse 3 Of Dental Office Prescription Drug Scheme


Two employees of a Kennewick dental office are accused of pulling off a sophisticated scheme involving at least 167 forged prescriptions.

Nicole Bernice Polus and Chareise Louise Raugust, along with her fiance, Miljan Ignjatic, allegedly wrote, called in or picked up fraudulent prescriptions in the Tri-Cities during a four-year period, police said.

“There were so many names … including fictitious names,” Kennewick police Detective Rick Runge told the Herald. “It is just so large, we just went with the suspects’ names and family” to try to track the forgeries.

Polus and Ignjatic made their first appearances Thursday in Benton County Superior Court and pleaded innocent to several charges of obtaining a controlled substance through fraud.

Polus, 40, faces an April 9 trial on eight charges of fraudulently obtaining Lorcet and Vicodin. The charges include the aggravating factor that she used a position of trust to commit the crime. Polus was a dental hygienist in William Craig Stout’s dental office.

Ignjatic, 34, is charged with six counts of obtaining Lorcet, hydrocodone and diazepam through fraud. His trial is also set for April 9.

Raugust, who was Stout’s office manager, pleaded innocent to one count of obtaining a controlled substance — hydrocodone — through fraud, with the aggravating factor that she used a position of trust to commit the crime.

She also was in court Thursday. Her trial is April 9.

Kennewick police began investigating the case in September after getting an anonymous tip through Tri-Cities Crime Stoppers claiming that employees at Stout Family Dental were embezzling money, forging prescriptions and providing free dental care.

Runge was assigned to investigate the tip and contacted Stout, who “was shocked, to say the least.”

Through the investigation, Runge contacted four pharmacies and found 167 forged prescriptions that had allegedly been authorized by Stout and Navdeep Virk, who owned the dental practice before Stout bought it in October 2010.

Stout bought new software for prescriptions and one suspect was using the old system to write various prescriptions for herself, her husband and other people, Runge said.

He said the other suspect was “just forging prescriptions and calling them in.”

According to court documents, Polus called in several unauthorized prescriptions in the name of herself, her relatives, Raugust and Raugust’s relatives. Stout and Virk were contacted by police and both said they did not authorize the medications.

Raugust’s charge stems from two prescriptions that were called in for her son, Jaden Raugust-Gonzales, documents said.

Raugust-Gonzales told Runge that he asked his mother if she could get him prescriptions for a toothache. She asked Stout, but Stout said he would not approve the prescription unless he was able to see Raugust-Gonzales in the office first, documents said. Raugust-Gonzales never was examined.

Ignjatic is accused of picking up forged prescriptions that had been called in to pharmacies in his name.

Runge credited Tyler Varnum, with the state Board of Pharmacy, with helping him understand the prescription process as he investigated the case. Varnum came to the Tri-Cities twice to go to pharmacies with Runge, he said.

Runge said he traced the scheme back to 2007, but because many fictitious names were used, it was difficult to track them all down to try to connect them back to the suspects.

“Just trying to get a handle on it and tracking all the names” was the biggest challenges to the investigation, he said.

This is not the first time, however, that Polus allegedly called in fraudulent prescriptions. In 2008, she self-reported to the state Department of Health, her employer and police that she called in three unauthorized prescriptions for diazepam, according to Department of Health records.

Polus, who has had a state dental hygiene license since 1997, admitted the violations after the allegations surfaced during her divorce proceeding, records said.

Richland police investigated the prescription fraud allegations between June and December 2005, said Capt. Mike Cobb. It was reported by Polus on June 10, 2008.

The police report was forwarded to the Benton County Prosecutor’s Office, but no charges were filed. Benton County Prosecutor Andy Miller said the report indicated that Polus was very cooperative and remorseful, and the statute of limitations had passed.

Polus was, however, placed on a two-year probation by the state Department of Health after she cooperated with the investigation and expressed a “willingness to undergo a substance abuse assessment,” records show.

Polus was required to get a drug evaluation and complete a program, if recommended, retake the dental hygienist drug and law exam within six months, and pay a $1,000 reimbursement to the Dental Hygienist Program.

It is not known if Polus followed through with the requirements of her probation, but no other action has been taken against her by the health department, according to online records.

Her dental hygiene license was renewed Oct. 28, 2011.

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Two Washington Dental Employees Charged With Submitting False Insurance Claims

Robin Loewen
Robin Loewen
Two former employees at a Liberty Lake dental clinic are accused of making false insurance claims in excess of $17,000 using a company computer system. Kendel Sonsalla, 38, and Robin Loewen, 46, were charged this week with two counts of false insurance claims and one count of first-degree theft in Spokane County Superior Court. Both worked at Condon Dental in Liberty Lake. The insurance company Aflac paid Sonsalla $6,470 for 19 false claims and Loewen more than $10,800 for 32 false claims they filed using family members’ names between June 2010 and March 2014, according to court documents. They allegedly filed billings using the company computer system and printed out the documents, then deleted the electronic versions before they appeared on account ledgers. “It’s no different from going into a grocery and stealing off the shelf, or a jewelry store,” said Dr. Michael Condon, the owner of the clinic, whose brother is Spokane Mayor David Condon. “It’s no different to me.”
Condon said both women quit their jobs during the investigation, and no money was stolen directly from patients.
Sonsalla’s ex-husband tipped off Aflac to the false claims in April 2013, court documents say. The investigation was carried out by the state Office of the Insurance Commissioner. Both women face up to 364 days in prison and fines of up to $5,000
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Husband Of Washington Bookkeeper Accused Of Laundering

Lori Doughty
Lori Doughty

Prosecutors plan to file criminal charges against the husband of a former bookkeeper who allegedly embezzled $1.7 million from an Olympia dental clinic.

The husband, Michael P. Doughty, 45, of Lacey, was arrested Monday on suspicion of laundering some of the money his wife, Lori L. Doughty, allegedly stole from The Fisher Group, where she worked as a part-time bookkeeper.

Lori Doughty, 36, was fired in June and also arrested. She pleaded not guilty earlier this month in Thurston County Superior Court to charges of first-degree theft, money laundering, forgery and trafficking in stolen property.

“We started looking at him immediately. If my wife had been bringing in an extra million-and-a-half over the last five years under our family budget, I probably would have asked about it,” Olympia police Lt. Steve Oderman said.

Law enforcement officials think it is one of the largest embezzlement cases ever reported in Thurston County. While money was being stolen, the couple took extravagant trips, bought expensive items and donated a $4,000 scoreboard to a South Sound high school.

Detectives began to look at money flowing into Michael Doughty’s self-owned company, First Response Emergency Medical Training Corp., which reportedly provides first-aid training and equipment, authorities said.

Financial records show that almost all of the sales his company made since it incorporated were to his wife, who made the purchases with her credit cards. She then allegedly paid off her credit card balances with checks from the dentists’ company account, authorities said.

The money going into her husband’s business was transferred into his corporate account and then into their personal accounts, authorities said.

Initial police reports filed with prosecutors on Tuesday list one year, 2004, in which Michael Doughty did about $27,000 in business. About $21,000 of those sales were made to his wife.

“As far as we can tell, he has had virtually no income for his business for years, except for real or fictitious purchases paid for with money from the dentists’ office,” Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Joseph Wheeler said. “His main customer was her.”

Lori Doughty may have been stealing money from her employer as far back as 1998, Oderman said. Her husband’s company incorporated in 1999, according to the Secretary of State’s office.

Doughty started the company after being fired from the Bellevue Fire Department, where he was a paramedic. An Olympia police report says he was terminated for dishonesty, although the exact reasons were unclear. A department human resources official did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Lori Doughty’s defense attorney, John Sinclair, said Tuesday that Michael Doughty’s arrest came as a surprise to the family. Sinclair is not representing Michael Doughty, who has hired another attorney.

“The family is obviously pretty upset with everything happening, especially with both mother and father being charged at the present time,” he said.

Michael Doughty was arrested at the couple’s rental home at 5832 54th Way S.E., which also is listed as his office address. He was booked into the Thurston County Jail on suspicion of money laundering, first-degree possession of stolen property, and trafficking in stolen property. He was released after posting a bail bond.

His wife was released a week after her arrest when her parents put up their property as collateral for a $100,000 bail bond. A judge ordered her to avoid any jobs that would require her to handle money. She still is unemployed, her attorney said.

The amount of the thefts, originally estimated at $1 million, have turned out to be closer to $1.7 million, taken between 2000 and 2005. Those figures still could climb, said Wheeler, the prosecutor.

Wheeler said he expected to charge Michael Doughty today.

The couple are well-known in the community for school volunteer work and their involvement in youth sports. Michael Doughty was a youth baseball coach and past president of Lacey Babe Ruth Baseball. In court last month, Sinclair said Lori Doughty was very involved in the community and in the athletic activities of the couple’s two teenage sons.

Long before their arrests, the couple’s spending habits had drawn attention from acquaintances.

They took several expensive vacations to Hawaii and Arizona and to various sporting camps, which police verified through the couple’s travel agency, Oderman said.

Before Lori Doughty was arrested on July 18, the couple owned a boat, personal watercraft, expensive jewelry and a 7-Series BMW with a license plate that read: “Envy Us.” They handed over much of the property to the dental clinic after she was confronted.

The couple also made large donations to area sports teams and North Thurston Public Schools.

The school district received about $7,500 worth of sports equipment from the couple during the past few years, district spokesman Tim McGillivray said.

They donated the new baseball scoreboard that stands above Timberline High School’s baseball field. They also donated batting cages, football headsets and a riding lawn mower, McGillivray said.

Their children attend schools in the district.

Detectives still were trying to track where all the money was spent, said Oderman, the police lieutenant.

“It’s a lot of money. It’s averaging about $250,000 to $350,000 a year that they were taking out of that business,” Oderman said. “We haven’t had time to run down all the stuff they’ve donated or paid for people.”

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Money Embezzled From Washington Dentist’s Office


KENNEWICK, Wash. — One Kennewick dentist finds out someone working for him has been stealing from him for more than a year. Police say they’ve tried to total the losses but they’re still coming in. Many small businesses trust one person to keep track of their finances.

At Angus Square Dental, Dr. Samuel Harker put his trust in Christina Moore. And for more than a year, she allegedly stole from his dentist office.

Kennewick Police estimate the amount to be around $13,000 but say there could be much more. They say Moore would ask patients for cash payments and then not record them in the books. She has been arrested and is being charged with first-degree theft.

Police say if you paid cash at Dr. Harker’s office between May of 2005 and November of 2006, you should call his office with your information.

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Washington Woman Charged With Embezzling More Than $300k

patricia hart The former bookkeeper of Oleson General Dentistry found herself in court Jan. 25 facing charges of aggravated theft for allegedly stealing upwards of $300,000 from the business over the course of eight years. Patricia A. Hart, 67, could face up to 10 years in prison plus fines, restitution and assessments if she is found guilty of the crime. According to a probable cause affidavit, Hart not only worked for Hoodsport dentist Brian Oleson, but also was considered a close family friend for more than 33 years. The affidavit alleges that Hart used her position of trust to write checks to herself over the course of almost a decade and then deposit the checks into her personal accounts at Columbia State Bank and School Employees Credit Union in Hoodsport. “This was committed by a person who was in a position of trust and who abused their trust,” Mason County Prosecutor Michael Dorcy said in an interview with the Journal. Oleson told the police investigators that he became suspicious about the books last year after an independent broker who sells dentistry businesses told him to get an audit. After a private investigation, Oleson confronted Hart over the missing funds and she admitted to the embezzlement. According to the affidavit, Hart told Oleson that the money went to “help with college costs for the (her) son, weddings and things for the older son.” Hart became more emboldened and brash as the embezzlement drug on throughout the years. According to the document, Hart listed the checks as bill payments with her name listed as the beneficiary. She then would list the name of companies related to dentistry to cover her tracks. In 2007, there were 14 transactions, totaling $12,163.07. Each year, other than 2008, the number of transactions and the corresponding amount of money increased. In 2014, Hart made 72 transactions, totaling $67,970.30, according to the affidavit. Oleson told investigators that his business had been sinking for years and he did not know why and that he has not collected a paycheck in two years to keep the practice in business. He also was forced to use his savings and sell his family farm to personally stay afloat. During the time Oleson was losing money, Hart used the stolen funds to pay for her youngest son’s college education. In 2013, bank records show Hart transferring $15,010 to her son’s bank account. Over the next two years, she would transfer another $34,637.99 into his account. The son’s involvement in the case is unclear. As of Tuesday, he was not charged with any crimes in Mason County Superior Court. As well as being Oleson’s bookkeeper, Hart previously served as a Mason County Fire District Fire District 1 commissioner. The embezzlement is not first that totaled in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, Dorcy said, and is not as rare as you would think.
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Two Employees Accused Of Embezzling $800k From Washington Dentist


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Dentist claims duo stole $800,000

OLYMPIA — An Olympia dentist is suing a receptionist and a bookkeeper who used to work for him, alleging that they stole an estimated $800,000 from his practice. A separate criminal investigation involves $80,000 in possible embezzlement, but prosecutors say that number could grow much higher.

Prosecuting Attorney Joseph Wheeler confirmed Wednesday that there is a criminal investigation of alleged embezzlement from Dr. Donald Niemann’s dental practice. The two former employees are identified in Niemann’s lawsuit as Bobbi Current, 50, and Kelli Flynn, 44.

Case referred

The case has been referred to the prosecuting attorney’s office, but criminal charges have yet to be filed, Wheeler said.

Current worked as a receptionist at Niemann’s dental practice from 1994 to 2007, and Flynn worked as a bookkeeper there from 1996 to 2006, according to Niemann’s suit.

Current could not be reached for comment Wednesday night. Flynn said in a phone interview Wednesday that she used to work for Niemann but left to take another job. She said she wasn’t aware of any investigation. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Flynn said. “I guess I would have no comment whatsoever.”

Practice since 1975

Niemann has had a dental practice in Olympia since 1975. He said he thinks the embezzlement started around 2000. He said he learned of it through an audit.

Niemann said the alleged embezzlement is “deeply disappointing” and declined further comment.

According to the suit, Current and Flynn took money from Niemann’s practice and “made efforts to disguise and hide these actions from plaintiffs.”

This year, a local couple, Lori and Michael Doughty, pleaded guilty to multiple felonies after they were accused of embezzling about $1.9 million from Fisher Jones Family Dentistry in Olympia. Lori Doughty was sentenced to 10 years in prison, and Michael Doughty was sentenced to 17 months. Both were ordered to pay restitution.

People who work in offices where there are a large number of financial transactions, such as dental offices, might think they can embezzle without being caught, Wheeler said.

Niemann’s lawsuit seeks repayment of funds.

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Walla Walla Educator, Bookkeeper, 7th Day Adventist, Embezzles $823k, Sentenced To 18 Months In Prison

July 18 2014–WALLA WALLA — A former Walla Walla University finance professor and self-employed bookkeeper will spend time in federal prison on a charge of wire fraud in connection with the theft of more than $800,000 from a local dentist.

t of College Place was sentenced in U.S. District Court in the Tri-Cities this week to serve 18 months in prison.

Thompson taught finance at the Seventh-day Adventist university in College Place for 15 years and kept books for about 13 years for Walla Walla Dental Care owner Dr. Dan Laizure.

Thompson pleaded guilty in April and in May told the Union-Bulletin there were extenuating circumstances in the case, but did not give additional details.

The theft from Laizure was carried out by writing unauthorized checks from the dentist to himself, banks and other people in guise of insurance company refunds, according to court documents. Upon deposit, those checks electronically debited Walla Walla Dental care’s account.

In addition to his prison sentence, Thompson was ordered to pay $823,832 in restitution. Laizure is to be repaid $773,832, while $50,000 will go to Traveler’s Insurance for costs associated with Laizure’s investigation of the loss of money.

Thompson has handed over $34,000 from the sale of his home and a gold coin collection, according to court documents.

Court documents from his sentencing hearing Tuesday state Thompson will be on probation for three years following his release from prison. He will have to make all financial information available to his probation officer, including authorization to conduct credit checks and see federal income tax returns. Thompson also must disclose all financial assets and liabilities to the supervising officer, and he cannot sell or give away an asset without court approval.

As well, Thompson cannot incur any new debt, open lines of credit or enter into any financial contracts without permission from his probation officer, sentencing documents said.

Authorities may search him, his home, office or vehicle at any time during his probation, and he must complete a mental health evaluation and follow certain treatment recommendations.

Thompson has waived his right to appeal. The court recommended he serve his sentence at the federal prison in Sheridan, Ore.

Laizure said Thursday he refuses to be “bogged down” with the incident, and is looking forward.

“This is out of my hands,” the dentist said. “I have way too many things to think about for the future.”

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Vancouver, WA Woman Gets 3 Days For Theft From Nonprofit

chardinsdale_1353815092_140She embezzled $41,000 from clinic that offers dental services to low-income patients

By Paris Achen Published: October 17, 2013, 5:00 PM A Vancouver woman was sentenced Thursday to three days in jail, which she’s already served, for embezzling more than $41,000 from a local nonprofit that offers dental services to low-income patients. Charlotte Allen-Dinsdale, 37, a former receptionist at Vancouver’s New Day Community Dental Clinic, pleaded guilty to second-degree theft in exchange for the reduced charge. Superior Court Judge Barbara Johnson sentenced her to three days in jail based on a plea deal struck by Deputy Prosecutor Colin Hayes and Dinsdale’s attorney, John Terry. Dinsdale was responsible for scheduling appointments, collecting payments and insurance billing at the clinic at 2101 S.E. Tech Center Drive, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in court.
Another employee discovered discrepancies between the clinic’s income and deposits and found evidence that Dinsdale had been deleting appointments and payments from the computer, the affidavit says. Court records state that independent accountant Tiffany Couch conducted an audit investigation, discovering that the clinic lost more than $41,000 between March 2011 and Feb. 1, 2012. About $35,497 was attributed to missing cash payments and another $6,154 stemmed from write-offs of 16 visits by members of Dinsdale’s family. Dinsdale also will be required to pay restitution to the clinic. The amount is still being negotiated, Terry said.
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Julie Lake Admits To Embezzling $250,000 From Correll Dental In Spokane


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Julie Lake

Arrest record information
Arrest Date [1]:03/25/2015
Agency:Spokane County Sheriff’s Office
County:Spokane County
Record Date [2]:July 27, 2015, 9:43 a.m. UTC
Tracking number:724093
Person information
First NameJULIE
Last NameLAKE
Age at Arrest45
Year of Birth1970
Eye ColorBLU
Hair Color

Washington Woman Allegedly Embezzles Up To $95,000 From Employer


SNOHOMISH — A Snohomish woman is accused of embezzling up to $95,000 from the dentist office where she worked for five years.

Terri Kakalecik, 40, was the bookkeeper and office manager for a dental office on Maple Avenue. She resigned last year after her employer confronted her about some discrepancies involving payments from patients. The suspect reportedly told the dentist that she had cooked the books to hide her forging checks from patients and depositing them into her personal account, court papers said.

Prosecutors have charged Kakalecik with first-degree theft, a felony.

Kakalecik made her first appearance Monday in Snohomish County Superior Court. She pleaded not guilty to the charge. She remained out of custody, pending her trial scheduled for October.

The dentist reported the theft to police in summer 2011 after spending hundreds of hours checking patient and payment records. She found more than $25,000 missing.

A certified public accountant was hired to audit the books. Police also seized Kakalecik’s bank records. The investigation uncovered checks written to the dentist that had been altered and deposited in Kakalecik’s account, court papers said. Additionally, thousands of dollars in cash was embezzled.

The accountant determined that upwards of $95,000 was missing.

A detective spoke with Kakalecik earlier this year. She reportedly told the detective she took about $3,500, but then said she had “no idea” how much she had siphoned from her employer, court papers said. She allegedly admitted that she took checks from patients and insurance companies and deposited them in her personal bank account, police wrote in documents. She reportedly told the detective she used the money to pay for her child’s college education and living expenses.

The detective reported that Kakalecik said she planned to pay back the money when she could, but admitted that she didn’t know how much she had taken. She reportedly said she was keeping a “running total in her head with the intent of paying it all back.”

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