Orland woman pleads guilty to embezzlement at eye care practice

BANGOR — A former financial administrator for Coastal Eye Care pleaded guilty Sept. 15 to embezzlement in connection with health care, according to U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II.

Carolyn J. Saunders, 57, of Orland embezzled money by stealing cash from the practice’s bank deposits, according to a press release issued by Delahanty’s office. The thefts occurred from November of 2011 until April 2015.

Saunders was employed as a financial administrator for both Coastal Eye Care, PA and Coastal Eye Surgery Center, LLC.

According to a copy of the complaint, Saunders’ duties included reconciling the cash, check and credit card payments made by patients with a transaction summary generated by the office’s Practice Management System.

“She would then prepare a deposit slip and make the deposit at the practices’ bank,” the complaint stated.

“Saunders knowingly and willfully embezzled money from Coastal Eye Care and Coastal Eye Surgery Center by stealing a portion of the cash receipts before making the deposits,” according to the complaint.

“Some of the cash she would spend directly and some she would deposit into her own accounts.”

“She repeated this process scores of times over more than four years, often taking hundreds of dollars at a time for her own personal gain,” according to the complaint.

Saunders faces up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release, according to the press release. Saunders will be sentenced after the U.S. Probation Office conducts a pre-sentence investigation report.

A pre-sentence report provides sentencing judges with information about offenders to help determine an appropriate sentence. The report includes information such as any prior criminal history, education, work history and family history.

No word on when Saunders will be sentenced.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General and the Ellsworth Police Department conducted the investigation.

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