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Hudson bookkeeper accused of stealing $125,000 from Clearwater doctors

CLEARWATER — A bookkeeper is accused of stealing more than $125,000 from the doctors she worked for.

Laurene Jones, 37, of Hudson was arrested Tuesday on two charges of scheming to defraud. She remained in the Pinellas County jail Wednesday morning in lieu of $135,000 bail.

Here's what Clearwater police say happened:

From May 2006 through September 2009, while a bookkeeper and receptionist at two doctor's offices, Jones redirected insurance reimbursement checks to her personal banking account. Part of her job involved logging reimbursement checks received from various insurance companies.

Jones endorsed some of the checks by either forging the doctors' signatures or using a signature stamp. She then made the checks payable to herself and deposited them into her own accounts.

The investigation started with the theft of petty cash and questionable checks at Dr. Antony Sankoorikal's office at 2655 State Road 580. Detectives later determined Jones stole more than $118,000 from Sankoorikal's office and about $7,000 from Florida Sports Medicine, her previous employer.

A representative from Sankoorikal's office said the doctor declined to comment.

Hudson bookkeeper accused of stealing $125,000 from Clearwater doctors 07/28/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 3, 2010 5:32pm]

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