PINELLAS PARK — Former office manager Teresa Morgan figured out a way to increase her earning power in tough times: She doubled her salary, according to Pinellas Park police.
The problem was, police said, she didn't do it legally. Morgan was arrested Monday on a charge of a scheme to defraud, accused of bilking the doctor's office where she once worked out of $280,000.
Morgan, 58, worked for Dr. Virginia Schekorra for nine years, police said. The dermatology practice at 6020 Park Blvd. recently reported bookkeeping irregularities to police.
"She was able, for lack of a better term, to manipulate their business system because she was in a position of trust," said Sgt. Brian Unmisig. "It just took them a while to figure it out."
Morgan contacted the clinic's payroll vendor and doubled her salary to $80,000 without authorization, police said. Morgan is accused of taking more than $157,000 this way.
She also used the clinic's checking account to pay personal bills, police said, which cost $39,000 more. And she held on to cash patients paid for services, instead of depositing it, police said.
Morgan was arrested at the clinic at 9 a.m. Monday. She has denied the allegations and no longer works there, police said. Morgan, of 6669 80th Ave. N, was released from the county jail later that evening on $50,000 bail.