Hiltz & Associates Blog
Fraud, Embezzlement and Risk in the Dental Office
June 2015 – District Judge Reginald Badeaux imposed the sentence after Shantel Judah, 35, of Slidell, pleaded guilty on May 27, according to District Attorney Warren Montgomery’s office. Over the course of three years, Judah had stolen $135,000 from Dr. Albert Tydings of Covington. Tydings is an OB-GYN specialist practicing at Lakeview Medical Center.
Badeaux gave Judah five years to repay $123,000 of the money and ordered $12,000 seized from her retirement fund to make up the difference, prosecutors said.
If Judah fails to make restitution, however, Badeaux gave her sentences ranging from six months to 10 years in prison on each of the nine charges pending against her, plus five years of supervised probation. Badeaux relied in part on the court’s risk assessment that concluded Judah was unlikely to reoffend, according to the district attorney’s office.
Judah admitted she ran a widespread embezzling scheme on Dr. Tydings between 2011 and 2013. In January 2014, however, Dr. Tydings first noticed “discrepancies in bookkeeping, business credit card accounts and bank accounts that Judah had managed exclusively,” prosecutors noted in a press release.
The incongruities came to light when personal tax preparation uncovered unpaid bills, delinquent business credit card accounts and unauthorized expenses, Dr. Tydings informed the police on Jan. 23, 2014. What’s more, there were no records of cash deposits for the business in 2011, 2012, and 2013.
When confronted, Judah denied wrongdoing but she quit the next day. An investigation by the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office discovered thousands of dollars in unauthorized credit card purchases and checks Judah had written and cashed on the clinic’s account. Judah also used the money she pilfered to pay some of her own personal credit card bills and never deposited money into the accounts, prosecutors said.
Another way Judah bilked the practice was by surreptitiously boosting her salary by at least $441 per pay period, while using clinic accounts to cover health insurance for herself and her family, her phone bill and car allowance. None of that spending had ever been authorized, prosecutors said.
Authorities arrested Judah in February 2014 and she was charged with two counts of unauthorized use of an access device card, theft over $1,500, theft of business records, three counts of possession of a controlled dangerous substance by fraud, possession of testosterone and insurance fraud.
Assistant District Attorney Harold Bartholomew handled the case for the parish.