Alaska Couple Charged with Defrauding Anchorage Medical Practice of at Least $550,000
Anchorage, Alaska – Acting U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder announced today that an Alaska couple has been charged for allegedly defrauding an Anchorage medical practice of at least $550,000.
Jill Diane Applebury, aka: “Jill Wetzsteon,” 52, d/b/a Applebury Accounting Services, and her husband Darin Wade Applebury, 52, both of Anchorage, have been named in a 39-count indictment charging them with bank fraud, wire fraud, fraudulent transactions with an access device, and aggravated identity theft.
From the mid-1990’s until March 2013, Jill Applebury was the independent contractor bookkeeper for an Anchorage medical practice, which was owned and operated by an Anchorage physician. The indictment alleges that from at least 2004 until March 22, 2013, Jill Applebury and Darin Applebury defrauded the Anchorage medical practice in several ways.
For example, as to Jill Applebury, one such scheme involved the medical practice’s profit-sharing plan. Employees of the medical practice were eligible to participate in its profit-sharing plan, which was overseen by a third-party administrator. Independent contractors did not qualify for the plan. According to the indictment, Jill Applebury falsely represented to the third-party administrator that she had become a full-time employee of the medical practice in 2009, making her eligible to participate in the profit-sharing plan beginning in 2010. In all, Jill Applebury fraudulently caused the physician to unknowingly allocate $62,722.90 to her in unauthorized profit-sharing plan contributions for the years 2010 and 2011.
The indictment further alleges that, between 2004 and March 22, 2013, Jill and Darin Applebury also defrauded the physician’s medical practice by using the medical practice’s business bank account and business credit card to pay for items for their own personal and/or business benefit. The unauthorized charges to the medical practice’s business credit card included cell phone service for the Appleburys and members of their family, internet service for their residence, business licenses for businesses owned by Jill and Darin Applebury, automobile insurance for their personal vehicles, and other personal items.
In addition, in October 2012, Darin Applebury is alleged to have fraudulently used the medical practice’s business credit card to effect four transactions, totaling nearly $3,000, of medical products for his business, Rapid Recovery Medical Service. Darin Applebury effected these fraudulent credit card transactions using the physician’s name and address unbeknownst to and without the permission of the Anchorage physician. Jill Applebury assisted her husband in carrying out this unlawful conduct.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Anchorage Police Department (APD).
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.