NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A former employee of a Williamsburg medical practice was indicted on fraud charges Wednesday for allegedly embezzling more than $500,000 from her employer.
Sherea Darnell, 33, of Southfield, Michigan, has been charged with wire fraud, bank fraud, use of an unauthorized access device and filing false tax returns. Court documents say she was employed as the administrator at Cullom Eye and Laser Center in Williamsburg from March 2012 to September 2016.
According to the indictment, Darnell was responsible for the administrative functions of the office and was provided with two business credit cards to be used for business purposes. The credit cards were paid automatically each month by Cullom’s business bank accounts.
When Darnell resigned in September 2016 and moved back to Michigan, Cullom began reviewing the practice’s bank accounts and saw that large payments had been made to the office’s credit cards. Analysis of the business credit card statements revealed numerous personal charges on the cards. These charges included paying for her son’s private school tuition, maid services for her home, entertainment, dining, high end clothing, jewelry and airline travel for Darnell and her family members.
More than $90,000 in cash advances were also made on the cards.
If convicted, Darnell faces a maximum penalty of 30 years on each count of bank fraud, 20 years on each count of wire fraud and three years on each count of filing false tax returns.