Hiltz & Associates Blog
Fraud, Embezzlement and Risk in the Dental Office
Sep 11, 2018 – NORRISTOWN – A Bucks County woman faces several years of court supervision and a hefty restitution bill after she admitted to embezzling more than $100,000 from her employer, a Montgomery County dental office.
Michelle Zonay, 40, of the 500 block of Barrington Court, Sellersville, was sentenced in Montgomery County Court to 60 months in the county’s intermediate punishment program, the first six months of which must be served under house arrest, after she pleaded guilty to a felony charge of theft by unlawful taking in connection with incidents that occurred while she worked for Celebrity Smiles along Bethlehem Pike in Springfield.
While under house arrest Zonay can leave her home only for court-approved purposes such as work and medical appointments.
Zonay will serve the remainder of the 60-month sentence under intensive probation.
Common Pleas Court Judge Todd D. Eisenberg also ordered Zonay to pay $103,849 in restitution in connection with the theft.
An investigation began in November 2017 when the owner of the dental practice reported to Springfield Township police that he discovered an employee, identified as Zonay, had been stealing from the business, according to the criminal complaint.
The investigation determined Zonay “while taking credit card payments from patients, would apply a refund from the practice to her personal debit card during the transaction,” according to the criminal complaint filed by Springfield Township Detective Robert Baiada.
Detectives alleged the dental practice owner reviewed records and determined that those types of refund transactions had been occurring since September 2016. During that time frame there were 118 refund transactions, according to the arrest affidavit.
A review of Zonay’s bank records at that time determined her account had more than $75,000 which was proceeds of the unlawful activity, detectives alleged.
Other charges of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity, receiving stolen property and misapplication of entrusted funds were dismissed against Zonay in exchange for her guilty plea to the theft charge.
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