A Baton Rouge woman who embezzled nearly $600,000 from the outpatient surgical center where she worked for several years was sentenced to more than five years in federal prison Tuesday.
Donna M. Dodson, 53, also was ordered by Chief U.S. District Judge Brian Jackson to pay $589,680 to her victims and to forfeit an additional $589,680 — the proceeds of her fraudulent scheme.
Dodson, who pleaded guilty in September to five counts of wire fraud and was sentenced Tuesday to 63 months in prison, was office manager at Advanced Surgical Care in Baton Rouge from 2009 until mid-2013. The center is used by physicians throughout the Baton Rouge area.
Federal prosecutors said Dodson would create false and fraudulent entries in the company’s accounting records indicating the center owed money to various vendors. She prepared check requests for the false entries and fraudulently altered those requests — before the checks were printed — so her name would appear on each check as the “payee” instead of the name of the vendor that appeared in the center’s accounting records for the same check, court documents indicate.
Dodson would deposit the funds into one of her personal accounts at banks and federal credit unions, prosecutors said.
U.S. Attorney Walt Green said Dodson generated more than 100 checks.
“While fraud detection is often focused on external threats, the usual perpetrators of corporate fraud are insiders who abuse their positions of trust to steal from their employers and avoid detection,” he stated.
Green recognized the work of the U.S. Secret Service and the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office’s Financial Crimes Division on the case.