Medical office manager Karen Schmidt of Amberley Village has pleaded guilty to mail fraud and filing a false tax return in connection with a scheme to bilk her employer, Ohio Valley Orthopedics, a Cincinnati-area medical practice.
Schmidt faces 21 months in prison and three years of supervised release after she charged personal items on company credit cards, created false invoices she sent to the company and paid with company checks and pocketed cash from patient payments.
The tax charges stem from the $38,298 in ill-gotten income she failed to report on her 2005 federal tax return. Additionally, Schmidt must pay Ohio Valley Orthopedics $55,910 in restitution, pony up $10,723 to the IRS and pay a $5,000 fine.
Note: Often small businesses place too much accounting responsibility in one person’s hands. At least two people should review all invoices and checks to ensure payments are appropriate. Similarly, an annual audit by an outside accounting firm can detect in-house conspiracies.
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