Articles Posted in Embezzlement

On Wednesday November 4 it was announced by U.S. Attorney Patrick A. Miles, Jr. that 40-year-old Yashica Toshian Tucker of Grand Rapids had been sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison after filing a false tax return with the IRS (U.S. Government). Special Agent in Charge Jarod J. Koopman of the IRS – Criminal Investigation joined in the announcement.

Close up of a hand signing a check.  Please note that the signature is fictitious.

Close up of a hand signing a check. Please note that the signature is fictitious.

Tucker pleaded guilty in August to one of 10 counts against her involving the filing of fraudulent tax returns on behalf of others. This activity occurred beginning in January of 2011 and continued until February of 2013, according to news reports. The total of the false tax returns filed with the IRS was $71,606 according to an indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids. Tucker was charged in April of this year.

Recently, 42-year-old Stephanie Sumner, an ex-Oak Park deputy city clerk, was ordered to stand trial on charges of embezzlement after she and her husband, Michael Sumner, stole more than $433,000 while she was employed by the city. According to a news report at The Oakland Press, all of the money has been spent.

Copyright David Hardman

Copyright David Hardman

Oakland County Sheriff’s Sgt. Christopher Cole said that investigators were not able to recover any of the money, and that it did not appear it was spent on anything illegal. Cole said the Sumners did not make any large purchases, that the money was used as it came in on ordinary, everyday items.

Recently, Mary Leona Gillison, a 50-year-old Arcadia resident, was arrested for allegedly having embezzled more than $50,000 from the Traverse City Area Public School district. Gillison had been employed as an administrative assistant for the district, according to a news article at MI Headlines. shutterstock_37643449

Gillison was arrested on December 18 after the school district performed a forensic audit, working in unison with Sheriff’s detectives. Detectives had obtained a warrant to arrest Gillison on charges of embezzling following the audit, which took several months to complete. An auditing firm for the school district reviewed procedures involving cash handling and purchase card use after Gillison resigned her position at West Middle School unexpectedly in March of this year.

Officials believe that Gillison used a district purchasing card to make “questionable” purchases, one of which was a personal item bought using the card by Gillison in December of last year. It appears that she resigned her position as administrative assistant once she suspected authorities were “on” to her scheme, although until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, she is innocent.

On October 6, it was announced by U.S. Attorney Patrick Miles that Mohamad Abduljaber, husband of Dr. Shannon Wiggins of Okemos, was sentenced to three and a half years in prison after being convicted in a healthcare fraud scheme in which Abduljaber and his wife received healthcare kickback payments. Abduljaber also signed a false tax return, according to the press release. medical-doctor-1314903-m

In sentencing Abduljaber to prison, U.S. District Judge Robert Holmes Bell also ordered him to forfeit $550,000 and to pay more than $285,000 in restitution to the IRS and Medicaid.

Between January of 2004 and April of 2011, Abduljaber and Dr. Shannon Wiggins, his wife, conspired to receive kickbacks for referring patients for electrodiagnostic testing. According to the press release, Abduljaber worked at Dr. Wiggins’ medical practice in the position of office manager. He admittedly signed a fraudulent tax return in which he claimed income for the billing of medical marijuana certifications, however the amount of cash income disclosed on the return was inaccurate.

money-handOn June 25, 29-year-old Alicia Marie Simatos is expected to be sentenced after pleading no contest to charges that she stole approximately $55,000 from her employer, Holistic Care Approach in Plainfield Township.  Simatos could face up to 10 years in prison in connection with allegations that she embezzled money from the health facility.

According to news reports at Mlive.com, Simatos pocketed cash as she logged customers’ cash payments as if the customers were redeeming gift certificates.  Holistic Care Approach provides an array of services to clients which include Reiki, skin tightening, acupuncture, and massage therapy.  Kent County Sheriff’s Department investigators claim that the activity took place beginning in January of 2010 and continuing through January of this year.  According to police, Simatos confessed.

While it was estimated that the defendant embezzled about $55,000 which would have left her facing a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, part of her plea agreement includes making restitution.  The agreement allowed Simatos to plead no contest to embezzlement of between $20,000 and $50,000, which reduces the penalties and maximum prison time to 10 years. Continue reading

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