A federal grand jury indicted a Houston woman on charges she embezzled money from her father’s business and defrauded him, the U.S. attorney’s announced this morning.
Shirley A. Scheets, 49, is charged in a two-count indictment returned under seal on Wednesday. The indictment was unsealed, Scheets was arrested and made her initial court appearance yesterday in U.S. District Court.
According to the indictment, Scheets was employed as the office manager and dental assistant for her father, Dr. Glen Schuster, at his dental practice in Houston. As office manager, she handled his finances, including the accounts payable and receivable for both the dental practice and his horse farm east of Houston.
According to the indictment, Scheets mailed four certificates of deposit belonging to Schuster to Guaranty Bank in Springfield with letters instructing the bank to negotiate or “cash out” the CDs. 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.
Scheets allegedly drafted the letters to appear as if they had been written by Schuster himself. One of the letters was typed on Schuster’s professional letterhead, the indictment says, and she forged Schuster’s signature on both of the letters, all without his knowledge or permission.
The bank mailed four separate checks, totaling $31,119 to Schuster’s dental office. Scheets allegedly intercepted the checks, forged Schuster’s signature on the bank of each check and deposited them into Schuster’s business bank accounts.
Over the next two years, Scheets allegedly withdraw funds from the accounts to which she was not entitled, according to the indictment. It alleges Scheets wrote checks made payable to herself, forging Schuster’s signature without his knowledge or permission. The indictment alleges that Scheets wrote checks to third parties on Schuster’s business accounts to pay for the personal expenses of her and her family. She allegedly forged Schuster’s name on these checks as well, all without Schuster’s knowledge or permission.
According to the indictment, Scheets stole more than $100,000 from Schuster’s business account.
Schuster has since retired, and the business property on U.S. 63 is for sale.
The federal indictment charges Scheets with two counts of mail fraud related to mailing the letters and CDs to the bank, which occurred Aug. 23 and Nov. 17, 2006.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robyn L. McKee. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General, investigated.