Hiltz & Associates Blog
Fraud, Embezzlement and Risk in the Dental Office
At a rate of $300 per month, it would take about 47 years to pay the $170,000.
2015 – GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) — A Kentwood dental employee convicted of embezzlement was sentenced Tuesday to five years’ probation and ordered to pay back $170,000 pilfered from Dental Associates of West Michigan over a 2½ year period.
Kathy Lynn Elenbaas, 54, pleaded guilty last fall to embezzlement of more than $100,000, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Sentencing guidelines called for a prison term of between between 12 and 28 months, but Kent County Circuit Court Judge Paul Sullivan opted to delay sentencing to give Elenbaas time to pay off her debt.
Elenbaas will spend the first year of probation on electronic tether. She also has hanging over her head a 12-month jail sentence. Sullivan is holding off on that until she completes probation. It’s a hammer to ensure Elenbaas completes her term of probation without problems.
Elenbaas last October made a tearful apology to her bosses and vowed to repay what was taken from Drs. Steven Conlon and James Vincelj, who hired Elenbaas seven years earlier.
Sullivan said in most of the embezzlement cases he’s handled, the defendant has no prior criminal record – which is the case with Elenbaas.
The Kent County Sheriff’s Department began investigating in March, 2014 when the owners of Dental Associates of West Michigan reported receipts from deposit slips showed $158,045 was missing.
The money was siphoned over a 30-month period from the business at 6208 Kalamazoo Avenue SE, court records show.
When detectives talked to Elenbaas, she admitted to taking approximately $1,000 a month, court records show. She also sent a typed letter to Conlon and Vincelj in which she admitted taking $75,000, even though losses were determined to be more than twice that amount.
Elenbaas, who lives on Fennesy Street SW near Standale, said she had been experiencing financial troubles “and doesn’t make enough money to cover her bills,” detectives wrote in a probable cause affidavit.
Check out the huge list of her court ordered conditions!