A bookkeeper for a Gainesville oral surgeon accused of embezzling more than $150,000 from him over two years and laundering it through a school PTA was arrested by the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office Friday.
Heather Candace Hushelpeck, 43, of 3027 NW Fourth Terrace, was charged with grand theft of $100,000 or more, embezzlement and fraud, according to the arrest report.
Hushelpeck was a contracted bookkeeper for Dr. Marvin Slott when she was fired on Dec. 1 for failing to explain credit card transactions, the report states. She was asked to return to reinstall accounting software that she had deleted while updating it when she was still employed.
While talking with an employee, Hushelpeck reportedly started crying and said she had stolen money by writing checks and forging Slott’s signature, by using credit card refunds and chargebacks and by taking money that patients paid.
Slott’s attorney began investigating and discovered multiple discrepancies. ASO launched its investigation following on the attorney’s effort, said Lt. Brett Rhodenizer
Contributions in the name of Slott’s corporate account would be made to the Howard Bishop Middle School PTA, of which Hushelpeck was the sole treasurer, Rhodenizer said.
“That’s how she would funnel additional funds back to herself,” Rhodenizer said. “It looks like this has been an ongoing series of thefts and embezzlement for at least two years. The investigation, both criminal and civil, will continue.”
Hushelpeck, 43, is believed to have laundered the stolen money through a school PTA
Under questioning by ASO, Hushelpeck reportedly said she was discussing a potential settlement with Slott’s attorney to avoid involving law enforcement that included making a payment from the Bishop PTA account to Slott, the report states.
The arrest report also alleges Hushelpeck claimed contributions to the Bishop PTA and the Star Center Theatre to under-report her income on IRS forms. She is listed as the Star Center treasurer on its website.
ASO believes the total amount Hushelpeck reportedly embezzled is $156,126.