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FORT PIERCE (Nov 2018) — Two women accused in a roughly $170,000 embezzlement case at Ocean Chiropractic and Health Center each were arrested on an organized fraud charge, according to records released Wednesday.
A co-owner of Ocean Chiropractic and Health Center on Virginia Avenue told police that Moreira Da Silva, of the 400 block of Northwest Archer Avenue in Port St. Lucie, was an office manager who began working in 2004 and was fired in July.
The co-owner said Moreira Da Silva’s daughter, Thumma, of the 9300 block of Breakers Row in Fort Pierce, began working there in 2012. Ocean Chiropractic and Health Center also has offices in Vero Beach and Port St. Lucie.
The case began in July when the co-owner reported the incident, saying Moreira Da Silva had full access to the payroll and business funds.
The co-owner told police that Moreira Da Silva had indicated she would “’ruin’ the business” if the other co-owner attempted “to get rid of her,” court records state.
Investigators determined Moreira Da Silva would duplicate her paychecks or write checks to herself. In 2014, she got 70 weekly salary checks, despite there being 52 weeks in a year. They also found alleged fraudulent insurance-related payments.
The total amounts police say Moreira Da Silva embezzled annually ranged from about $9,500 to about $39,800. Added up, she embezzled about $150,000.
Investigators also found Moreira Da Silva paid her daughter for unauthorized mileage expenses. They also found the daughter was getting duplicate pay checks.
The total amount attributed to Thumma was nearly $20,500.
Moreira Da Silva was released from the St. Lucie County Jail Wednesday on $100,000 bail, while Thumma was released Tuesday on $70,000 bail, a jail official said.