OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106
FEBRUARY 4, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
HOUSTON WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY TO EMBEZZLING
FROM HER FATHER’S BUSINESS
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Houston, Mo., woman pleaded guilty in federal court today to a mail fraud scheme in which she embezzled as much as $200,000 from her father’s business bank accounts.
Shirley Ann Scheets, 49, of Houston, Mo., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard E. Dorr this morning to the charge contained in an April 1, 2009, federal indictment.
Scheets was employed as the office manager and dental assistant for her father, Dr. Glen Schuster, at his dental practice in Houston. As the office manager, Scheets handled Schuster’s finances, including the accounts payable and receivable for both the dental practice and his horse farm, also located in Houston.
Scheets admitted that, posing as Dr. Schuster, she mailed four certificates of deposit belonging to Schuster to Guaranty Bank in Springfield, Mo., with letters instructing the bank to negotiate or “cash out” the CDs. Scheets drafted the letters to appear as if they had been written by Dr. Schuster; she typed one of the letters on Dr. Schuster’s professional letterhead, and forged Dr. Schuster’s name on the signature line of both letters, all without Dr. Schuster’s knowledge or permission. The bank was instructed to deduct taxes and penalties as a result of negotiating the CDs prematurely, then send the proceeds to Schuster’s dental office.
The bank mailed four separate checks, totaling $31,119, to Schuster’s dental office. Scheets intercepted the checks, forged Schuster’s signature on the back of each check, and deposited them into the one of Schuster’s business bank accounts.
Scheets admitted that she then withdrew funds from the accounts to which she was not entitled.
The government believes Scheets stole more than $200,000 from Schuster’s business accounts; the exact amount of funds is disputed and will be decided by the court at Scheets’ sentencing hearing.
Under federal statutes, Scheets is subject to a sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000 and an order of restitution. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robyn L. McKee. It was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General.
This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at