Employee charged with stealing $600,000 from Arlington Heights dentist
A woman who worked as a receptionist and bookkeeper for an Arlington Heights dentist was charged with aggravated identity theft, financial fraud and theft for, authorities allege, stealing more than $600,000 from her employer over about six years beginning in 2009.
Charged along with Caren Irsuto, 56, was her husband Scott Irsuto, 58, who faces theft and financial fraud charges.
In setting Caren Irsuto's bond at $600,000, Cook County Judge Marc Martin seemingly referenced the money authorities say she stole. Martin ordered Scott Irsuto held on $28,000 cash bail, the loss authorities attributed to him. Each must post the entire amount to be released from custody.
Caren Irsuto's actions "had a devastating impact on the dental practice," said Assistant Cook County State's Attorney Karen Crothers, who described the dentist as a solo practitioner who noticed the theft in early 2016 after "an increase in business without a corresponding increase in revenue."
He brought in a consultant and relieved Caren Irsuto of her duties, Crothers said.
On a subsequent Sunday when the office was closed, the dentist and his wife drove by the office and saw Caren and Scott Irsuto in the parking lot, Crothers said. When the dentist called Irsuto to ask why, she denied being there, Crothers said. The dentist never saw her again.
Meanwhile, an internal review showed "inconsistencies between accounts received and insurance reports," Crothers said. The dentist eventually discovered Caren Irsuto failed to deposit 1,464 checks totaling $625,526.23, she said.
The checks, made out to the dental practice, came from 98 different insurers and dozens of patients, Crothers said. Each bore the endorsement of the dentist, who told authorities he did not sign any of the checks.
The defendants cashed the checks at currency exchanges, a gas station and a local bar or deposited them in a bank account, Crothers said, adding "it is believed the money ws used for a variety of things."
Scott Irsuto next appears in court on March 27. Caren Irsuto appears in court on March 29.