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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


BETH PHILLIPS


Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

www.usdoj.gov../index.html


JUNE 29, 2010 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


HOUSTON WOMAN SENTENCED FOR EMBEZZLING

FROM HER FATHER’S BUSINESS


            SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Houston, Mo., woman was sentenced in federal court today for a mail fraud scheme in which she embezzled from her father’s business bank accounts.


            Shirley Ann Scheets, 50, of Houston, Mo., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard E. Dorr to 18 months in prison followed by 3 years of supervised release. The court also ordered Scheets to pay $124,795.95 in restitution.


            Scheets, who pleaded guilty to the fraud scheme on Feb. 4, 2010, 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.


            This case was 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.

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