Former Office Manager Sentenced on Fraud Charges
SAN ANTONIO – A former office manager of a prominent local dermatology practice was sentenced today to 46 months in prison for defrauding a medical practice of nearly $350,000 from patient billings and employee profit sharing accounts.
According to court documents, Patricia Ann Doucet, 74, of Karnes City, defrauded her former employer, the Dermatology & Laser Center of San Antonio. Per 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.
From July 2012 to February 2020, 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 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.
In addition to the prison sentence, Doucet was ordered to pay $345,254.44 in restitution.
On August 5, 2021, Doucet pleaded guilty to 10 counts of wire fraud.
Doucet has remained in federal custody since April 23, 2021.
“I agree with Judge Ezra’s comments in court today that Doucet exploited the trust of the victim in this case by perpetrating an exceedingly complex fraud against the victim and his medical practice over the course of nearly eight years,” said U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff. “We hope the Court’s sentence provides some measure of justice to the victim and sends a message to other fraudsters that their schemes and deception will not be tolerated in our community.”
The FBI investigated the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew W. Kinskey and Joseph E. Blackwell prosecuted the case.