Hiltz & Associates Blog
Fraud, Embezzlement and Risk in the Dental Office
Defense lawyer Andrew Quinn discusses the dropping of embezzlement charges against Cheryl Higgins, a former office manager at Advanced Periodontics and Implant Dentistry of Westchester in White Plains. Jon Bandler/The Journal News Wochit
Charges dropped after prosecutors interviewed suspect, defense lawyer offered emails
Charges were dropped Wednesday against a Mohegan Lake woman accused last year of stealing more than $500,000 from her longtime employer.
Cheryl Higgins, 52, was arrested in August 2016 and charged with second-degree grand larceny. Authorities claimed she had used an unauthorized credit card from her employer’s business, Advanced Periodontics and Implant Dentistry of Westchester, to pay for personal expenses for nearly seven years.
But Higgins and her lawyer, Andrew Quinn, were able to convince prosecutors that she had been authorized to use the credit card and that most of the purchases — including for sporting equipment and food — had been for her boss, David Sandak.
Defense lawyer Andrew Quinn discussing the dismissal of an embezzlement charge against his client, Cheryl Higgins, on Wednesday. (Photo: Jonathan Bandler/The Journal News)
The criminal case had been brought based on Sandak’s complaint. It was never presented to a grand jury.
Higgins declined to comment after leaving White Plains City Court, where the District Attorney’s Office asked Judge Eric Press to dismiss the charge. Quinn said that after giving prosecutors emails and business records, he agreed to let them interview Higgins. It was clear after that four-hour interview that criminal charges could not be sustained, Quinn said.
“We provided a tremendous amount of evidence of business records that called into question the credibility of the allegations,” Quinn said.
Robert Wolf, a spokesman for the Westchester District Attorney’s Office, confirmed that the charge was dismissed but said he could not comment further because the case is now sealed.
Higgins and her husband had been forced to sell their home in recent months in case the criminal case went forward and she had to pay back what she had spent.
“Its been very difficult for her,” Quinn said. “She lost her job and hasn’t been able to get a new one …. because she was accused of stealing from an employer.”