She used a doctor's credit cards.
A federal jury in Virginia convicted a former eyecare practice manager on charges of wire fraud, bank fraud and filing false federal income tax returns.
Sherea Darnell, 34, was the practice manager for the Cullom Eye and Laser Center in Williamsburg from 2012 to 2016, according to a press release from the the U.S. Department of Justice. Darnell and Dr. Robert Cullom were actually employees of Riverside Healthcare.
Darnell used three of Cullom’s credit cards to conduct personal transactions for her own benefit totaling $514,000, according to the release.
Authorities said she:
- Obtained access to Dr. Cullom’s Wells Fargo Advisors accounts, which she used to pay the balances of the credit cards without his authority, including an account that had been established to pay for medical equipment.
- Used Cullom’s credit cards to pay for her son’s pre-school tuition, which she deducted on her 2016 tax return.
- Took over $90,000 in cash advances, transferred funds into her personal bank accounts, hired a maid service, purchased high-end clothing and airline tickets for herself and her family and made a deposits and payments on luxury vehicles.
- Failed to report any of the funds obtained via the credit cards on her tax returns for the years 2013-2015.
Following her resignation in August 2016, Darnell continued to use Cullom’s credit cards to pay her moving expenses, obtain additional cash advances and make other purchases until Cullom discovered the fraud and shut down the accounts, according to the release.
Darnell faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison when sentenced on Oct. 24, although actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.
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