Easton Woman and Son Charged With Embezzlement
PROVIDENCE — A South Easton woman and her son are being charged with a federal criminal complaint after authorities say the pair committed fraud and embezzled money from a Pawtucket dermatologist's office.
The U.S. Department of Justice says 66-year-old Tianna Keller, a former office manager, allegedly used her position to steal nearly $500,000 for herself, her son, and a friend.
Court documents accuse Keller of taking around $490,000 from the practice by giving herself over $185,000 in unauthorized salary increases, adding family and a friend to the payroll, and taking nearly $108,000 in cash payments from patients.
She also allegedly issued dozens of checks to herself and others, forged the medical practice owner's signature, and used company funds and credit cards to pay her rent, her daughter's tuition, and other personal expenses.
Although the DOJ doesn't name the practice, a LinkedIn profile in Keller's name lists her workplace as School Street Dermatology in Pawtucket.
Keller's son, 30-year-old Brandyn Coffman of New Braunfels, Texas is also implicated in the allegations.
Prosecutors say Keller authorized nearly $40,000 in medical insurance coverage for Coffman and his family even after he left his job as a data clerk at the medical practice.
Blue Cross Blue Shield apparently paid over $14,000 in claims for Coffman and his family members, according to the DOJ.
When investigators questioned him, Coffman allegedly lied to authorities, saying he didn't know about the coverage and "didn't even think to use the plan," the DOJ noted.
Keller also allegedly received nearly $12,000 in fraudulent temporary disability insurance payments after she began working elsewhere following her termination from the practice.
She is charged with health care fraud and conspiracy to commit health care fraud as well as wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.
Coffman is charged with health care fraud and conspiracy to commit health care fraud, and making false statements to agents.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Rhode Island State Police Financial Crimes Unit.