West Virginia Woman Pleads Guilty to Bank Fraud of $120k

Melissa Evans

According to the information provided by the United States Department of Justice, the events happened between the years of 2011 and 2018.

In her position, Evans was responsible for accepting payments, posting entries into the accounting system, prepared and conducted deposits on behalf of the office and was in charge of their accounts payable, the information said.

During that time frame, Evans knowingly forged the signature of her employer without authorization and misappropriated checks from several institutions including the Boards of Education from Wood, Jackson and Pleasants counties.

Her employer’s forged signature made it possible to deposit the checks into her personal account with Poca Valley Bank in Spencer, the information said.

Throughout her scheme, Evans fraudulently appropriated more than 300 checks and embezzled more than $120,000, Stuart said.

Evans also forged her boss’ signature on three checks drawn on patients’ personal bank accounts, the information said.

After the checks were deposited into her personal account, Evans used her debit card or wrote checks to access the funds, the information said.

Evans owes the $120,000 in restitution, the information said.

Sentencing is scheduled on Nov. 18. She faces up to 30 years in prison.

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Content retrieved from: https://www.newsandsentinel.com/news/local-news/2020/07/palestine-woman-pleads-guilty-to-bank-fraud/

West Virginia woman charged with embezzling > $100k

blank CUMBERLAND — A Ridgeley, W.Va., woman turned herself in to police for allegedly being involved in the embezzlement of more than $100,000 from a local dentist’s office. Kecia Lynn Southerly, 44, was charged with forgery, theft and related offenses following a four-month investigation by C3I.

 The case was brought to the attention of police after an internal audit by the doctor’s office determined a large sum of money missing. The investigation revealed that beginning in 2007 and continuing until late in 2009, Southerly allegedly forged the doctor’s name on numerous insurance reimbursement checks, and then cashed them for her own use.

After obtaining numerous bank statements and canceled checks to verify the allegations, investigators obtained a charging document for Southerly, who surrendered to the C3I Warrant/Fugitive Unit on Friday.
 Southerly was released on her own recognizance.

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Content retrieved from http://www.times-news.com/news/local_news/ridgeley-woman-charged-with-embezzling-funds/article_e7d5514c-bbe3-52b0-bec4-f2bb9d33a5d3.html

Southerly also has a lengthy arrest record in Maryland
Kecia Southerly
Age: 50
DOB: 1966-02-11
Location: Allegany County, MD
Records updated: 2017-01-14
County Court Details
Records shown on this page may not refer to the same individual, and may or may not pertain to the same charge.
Full Name: Kecia Southerly
Record Date: 26 January 2007
Location: Cumberland
Full Name: Kecia Southerly
Record Date: 26 January 2007
Location: Cumberland
Full Name: Kecia Southerly
Record Date: 26 January 2007
Location: Cumberland
Full Name: Kecia Southerly
Record Date: 01 October 2009
Location: Cumberland

So you book a speaker for your conference on children’s justice; then you find out she was an embezzler


Counselor Convicted for Embezzlement Speaker at Children’s Justice Conference

by Lawrence J. Smith, Special Contributor to RCNN CHARLESTON – A Parkersburg counselor previously convicted for embezzlement is among the speakers at a conference co-sponsored by the West Virginia State Police focused on curbing trauma in children who witness crime. Yesterday, the Handle with Care Conference began at the Charleston Civic Center.  The purpose of the conference, according to a brochure, is to provide attendees the resources to “focus on a trauma-informed response to child maltreatment and children’s exposure to violence.” The three-day event features “[s]essions,,, includ[ing] topics on the investigation, prosecution, and treatment of childhood treatment and family violence.”  Along with the State Police, it is co-sponsored by the West Virginia Center for Children’s Justice, a unit of WVSP, the state Department of Health and Human Resources and its Bureau for Health and Health Facilities, the state Department of Education and the West Virginia Disabilities Council. Speaking at one of the breakout sessions late Wednesday is Felicia Lynn Davis Bush, the founder and executive director of Harmony Mental Health Inc., a non-profit mental health and social services management agency, The topic of the session is “The Therapist is IN,“ According the brochure, Bush, 53, along with Megan Lyon, a former Kanawha County elementary school teacher who now runs her own wellness company, will instruct attendees about “clarify[ing] the roles of school counselor (social worker, psychologist) and the mental health practitioner as they work together to provide trauma-informed therapeutic services in a school based setting.” Prior to going into private practice, Bush’s biography on the brochure says she counseled, and educated people about domestic violence.  This included a stint at the Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office with its victim services center. Also, she is the vice-chairwoman of the West Virginians Against Violence Committee, an ad-hoc group that makes recommendations to the governor for programs funded by the Violence Against Women, and Victims of Crime acts. Before beginning her advocacy work, Bush was convicted in 2000 for embezzlement.  According to court records, while working as his office manager, Bush stole over $150,000 from Dr. Mark A. Delli-Gatti, a Parkersburg dentist. For her crime, she was ordered to serve an indeterminate 2-10 year sentence, and placed in the Pruntytown Correctional Center in Taylor County.  Over the objection of Dr. Delli-Getti, records show Bush was released on parole after serving the initial two years. When questioned about Bush’s inclusion in the conference as a convicted felon, Andrea Darr, WVCCJ’s director, was caught-off guard.  After saying that conference speakers are selected by WVCCJ’s planning committee from people “either we know personally or are referred to us, Darr deferred any further comment about Bush until she could inquire about her prior conviction. She did not return a follow-up phone call left with her Wednesday morning.
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Content retrieved from https://rivercitynewsnetwork.wordpress.com/2016/10/13/counselor-convicted-for-embezzlement-speaker-at-childrens-justice-conference-by-lawrence-j-smith-guest-contributor/#comments

Harpers Ferry, W.Va., woman charged with taking money from dental office


MARTINSBURG, W.VA. – A Harpers Ferry, W.Va., woman was charged over the weekend with taking around $22,000 from the dental office where she previously worked, records state.

Donna A. Brining, 56, of 2041 Carter Ave., was charged with embezzlement. She worked as the office manager at Dr. Randolph Evans’ dental practice until she resigned on April 23, 2003, according to West Virginia State Police Trooper J.D. Bird, who investigated the case.

Evans, whose dental office is on Sierra Drive in Martinsburg, hired an accounting firm to investigate the suspected embezzlement, records show.Employees of the accounting firm randomly selected a four-month period and found that, during that period, $7,630.97 was collected from patients. Of that, only $536.09 had been deposited into the dental office’s bank account, records allege.

One of Brining’s responsibilities was to deposit such payments, records state.

Investigators believe that around $22,000 was taken over a 12-month period.

Brining told investigators that she took out a personal loan for $22,000 “to repay Dr. Evans for what she had claimed were deposits she had accidentally thrown away,” Bird wrote in a criminal complaint filed in Berkeley County Magistrate Court.

Brining was arraigned on the felony charge Saturday and released after posting a $10,000 property bond.

Conviction on a charge of embezzlement carries a sentence of either one to 10 years in prison or up to one year in jail.

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Content retrieved from http://articles.herald-mail.com/2004-03-09/news/25023173_1_dental-office-dental-practice-embezzlement

West Virginia Receptionist Charged With Embezzlement


GLEN DALE — Glen Dale police are investigating claims that an employee of Dr. Charles Wylie embezzled money from his practice while working as a receptionist.

According to Lt. Ed Vogler, Cynthia Hartley, 37, of Moundsville was arrested last week after Wylie told the police he noticed “suspicious activity” on some of his patients’ accounts.

Vogler said Wylie first alerted officers to the situation on Nov. 15 after a computer specialist noticed numerous irregularities in patients’ payment accounts and that he discovered many bank deposits were coming up short. He said he then added a password requirement to the computers for anyone wishing to change account information, and the money shortages were reduced but not stopped.

Police interviewed several patients Vogler said complained of receiving bills from the practice after they had made the payments to Hartley.

One told officers Hartley took her into the back of the office to collect a $400 payment, but the records at the time reflect only $200 was received — $150 in cash and a $50 check. Vogler said the record was later changed to reflect a $250 check payment. The same patient told the police that on another occasion she paid a $600 bill to Hartley — a $500 check and $100 in cash — but, according to Vogler, only the check was recorded in the office computer. That patient also said Hartley advised her she could not have a certain dental procedure done until she paid $2,000; she then allegedly told the patient she could make payments toward the work and Hartley would keep that a secret from the doctor.

On another occasion, a patient claimed she gave $4,000 in cash and $2,802 in a credit card payment to another receptionist while Hartley witnessed the transaction. That patient said the other receptionist did give her a receipt for the full payment, and the cash was put in the cash box. Vogler said when the receptionist counted down the box later that day, she noticed $1,000 in cash missing and told Hartley about it. The receptionist claimed Hartley instructed her to change the $4,000 payment to $3,000 in the system, adding that she (Hartley) would “take care of it later.” The receptionist also said Hartley advised her to keep this between them.

Hartley has been charged with felony embezzlement and is free on $2,500 bond. If found guilty, Hartley could spend 10 years in prison.

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Content retrieved from http://www.theintelligencer.net/news/community/2007/12/receptionist-charged-with-embezzlement/



GLEN DALE — Additional charges have been brought against a receptionist of Dr. Charles Wiley who was accused in November of embezzling from her employer.

According to Moundsville Police, Cynthia Hartley, 37, has been charged with forgery and fraudulent use of a credit card in addition to charges of felony embezzlement.

The embezzlement charges were brought against Hartley in December after Wiley reported “suspicious activity” on some of his patients accounts. Officers later spoke with several patients who claim they made payments for dental work to Hartley, but thousands of dollars worth of those payments were never recorded in the patients payment accounts.

Now, another employee has come forward, alleging Hartley stole her credit card while on the job and used it to purchase a cellular phone.

Police said the employee reported the card was stolen between June and November of last year, around the same time the money turned up missing. The monthly statement the employee received from the credit card company reflected a $246 purchase from the Moundsville Wal-mart on Nov. 2, and police said they have obtained video surveillance of Hartley making that purchase.

Hartley was taken to the Northern Regional Jail and released on $5,000 bond for the forgery and fraud charges. If found guilty, she could spend 1-10 years in prison for the embezzlement charges, 1-10 years for the forgery charge, and 1-10 years for the fraud charge.



Plea negotiations are in the works for a former receptionist accused of embezzling more than $1,000 from a Glen Dale doctor’s office.

In Marshall County Circuit Court last week, Thomas White and David Zehnder, defense attorneys for Cynthia Hartley, 37, of Moundsville, informed Judge Mark Karl that they are in talks with the prosecution.

“We are in the branching stages of that,” White said.

Assistant Marshall County Prosecuting Attorney David Hummel concurred.

In July, Hartley was indicted on one count each of embezzlement, forgery and fraudulent use of a credit card following an investigation by the Glen Dale Police Department.

The embezzlement charges were brought against Hartley in December after Dr. Charles Wylie reported “suspicious activity” on some of his patients’ accounts. Officers later spoke with several patients who claim they made payments for dental work to Hartley, but thousands of dollars worth of those payments were never recorded in the patients’ payment accounts.

In January 2008, an employee reported Hartley allegedly stole a credit card while at work, then used it to purchase a cellular phone.

Judge Karl scheduled Hartley to re-appear at 1:15 p.m. Oct. 1 for further proceedings.

According to West Virginia Code, embezzlement, forgery and fraud charges each carry a sentence of one to 10 years in prison.

West Virginia dental receptionist accused of embezzling $250K


HAMLIN – Dental practices in Hamlin and Alum Creek claim embezzlement of at least $250,000 by a veteran employee, and allege that in three months prior to her Hawaiian vacation last year, there were no cash payments recorded.

Dentists William J. Artrip and Carol V. Buffington accuse former employee LaDonna Johnson, who worked as receptionist in the Hamlin office and received and attended to depositing receipts. She was terminated in June. Her responsibilities included scheduling appointments, receiving and crediting cash and other payments from patients, inputting payment information and credits into management software, making bank deposits and billing paperwork.

The complaint tells of Artrip performing a seven-tooth extraction on June 11, 2011, then witnessing the patient giving $700 cash to Defendant.

“Dr. Artrip took the cash and checks to be deposited home with him,” the complaint says.”Dr. Artrip reviewed the deposit slip (prepared by Johnson) and… to his surprise, the $700 in cash he saw Patient A deliver to the Defendant did not appear on the deposit ticket and there was no cash to be deposited.”

Johnson was not at work June 12, and Dr. Artrip was unable to account for the $700, the suit says. On June 14, Artrip met with Defendant, explained accounting discrepancies and terminated her.

Three weeks later, an envelope containing $700 was discovered in a cabinet beside Defendant’s computer, the suit says. When Johnson filed for unemployment compensation she was found to have committed misconduct during that process, according to the complaint.

Review of computer accounting records and patient charts, the complaint says, determined cash payments and other funds in large amounts were misappropriated. The plaintiff retained a forensic accountant to analyze computer accounting records and charts, with four specific schemes identified that converted and misappropriated more than $250,000, according to complaint.

“As a direct and proximate result of the Defendant’s embezzlement and conversion,” the complaint says, “the Plaintiff has suffered financial loss and harm in an amount not yet ascertained, but which upon information and belief is no less than $250,000.”

If embezzlement is found to have happened and an amount is fully determined, the plaintiffs want jury judgment for that amount against defendant, plus pre-and-post-judgment interest, punitive damages and litigation costs. Imposition of a constructive trust equitable lien is requested on any other items of value wrongly in Johnson’s possession, along with such other relief deemed just and proper.

Trial date to be determined for Lincoln Circuit Court, where Judge Jay M. Hoke presides. Attorney Thomas H. Ewing of Charleston is representing the plaintiffs.

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