Norfolk woman guilty of money laundering
The former office manager of a Suffolk physician’s office pleaded guilty on Monday in U.S. Circuit Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on one count of money laundering.
Evelyn Gregory, 49, worked at Specialists for Women beginning in 1997, according to court documents. Her scheme started in 2009 and lasted until April 2016.
According to the court documents, Gregory had access to multiple office credit cards and used them for personal expenses without the practice’s knowledge. She later started a debt collection company and used it to collect debts owed to the practice, but she used the collected money for personal expenses and wiped the debts off the practice’s books.
In all, the scheme cost the practice about $300,000, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The indictment listed a few of the personal expenses and luxury vacations Gregory paid for using the medical practice’s money.
According to the indictment, Gregory made an unauthorized payment of more than $700 to Berry Hill Resort in 2013 for a three-day stay, a spa visit and meals.
Later that same year, she made an unauthorized payment of nearly $1,400 for a six-day cruise to the Bahamas, according to the indictment.
In 2014, she made an unauthorized payment of $290 to Geico for auto insurance, the indictment stated.
In 2015, she made an unauthorized payment of $590 to Great Wolf Lodge for an advance deposit on a three-day stay, the indictment stated.
Also in 2015, according to the indictment, she made an unauthorized payment of more than $3,500 for trailer repairs to TAC Trailer & RV Sales Center.
Eventually, Gregory stopped paying office expenses, so the practice accumulated debts the owners didn’t know about.
Gregory created AMC Collections and Debt Recovery in May 2015 and used that avenue for nearly a year to gain even more money.
Through her position as office manager at Specialists for Women, Gregory identified patients who owed money to the practice and pursued them for payment through the collections agency.
Gregory collected in excess of $40,000 in past-due balances, the indictment stated. But rather than remit those payments to the practice, Gregory used them for her personal gain and wiped the debt off the practice’s books.
Also according to the indictment, Gregory made a false statement in an individual bankruptcy filing in 2017 stating that she had not owned a business in the prior eight years. She did, in fact, own the debt collection business during that time frame.
That bankruptcy filing, in which Gregory and her husband listed about 34 creditors — including for medical treatment — was later dismissed.
In all, Gregory was indicted on 12 counts. However, thanks to a plea agreement, Gregory pleaded guilty only to a single count of concealment of money laundering. The maximum penalty is 20 years in prison, a fine of $500,000 and three years of supervised release.
Gregory will be sentenced on Sept. 12.