Former Office Manager for San Antonio Dermatology Practice Indicted on Federal Fraud and Identity Theft Charges
SAN ANTONIO – A former office manager of a prominent local dermatology practice waived pre-trial detention today and agreed to remain in federal custody pending trial. She is charged with defrauding the medical practice of nearly $350,000 from patient billings and employee profit sharing accounts.
A federal grand jury indictment charges 74-year-old Patricia Ann Doucet with 10 counts of wire fraud, one count of bank fraud, one count of access device fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft.
The indictment alleges that from July 2012 to February 2020, Doucet defrauded her former employer, the Dermatology & Laser Center of San Antonio. According to the indictment, the medical practice’s owner and operator organized and conducted a non-profit educational symposium on regenerative medicine in San Antonio in 2012. A bank account was established to collect contributions for the symposium event. That account was to be closed at the conclusion of the symposium. But Doucet, in her capacity as office manager, kept the account open without permission.
The indictment alleges that in July 2012, Doucet began to embezzle checks and cash paid to the dermatology practice by depositing them into the symposium account. She altered a signature stamp utilized by the practice for its business account or fraudulently endorsed checks by forging the owner’s signature. Doucet also stole money from the practice’s profit-sharing account that was designed to automatically issue checks to cover taxes for the employee’s profit share. Rather than directing those checks to the IRS, Doucet instead deposited those checks into the symposium account. Doucet then used the symposium account as her slush fund for international and domestic travel, property payments, meal purchases and other personal expenses on credit cards she fraudulently opened in the owner’s name.
The bank fraud charge upon conviction calls for up to 30 years in federal prison. The wire fraud charges upon conviction call for up to 20 years in federal prison per count. The aggravated identity theft charges upon conviction call for a mandatory two years in federal prison, consecutive to any other sentence imposed.
U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff and FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Field Office, made today’s announcement.
FBI agents arrested Doucet in Shreveport, Louisiana on April 23, 2021. Doucet remains in federal custody. No trial date has been scheduled.
The FBI conducted this investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew W. Kinskey, Joseph E. Blackwell and Tony Franco are prosecuting this case.
It is important to note that an indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.