SANDY SPRINGS, Ga -- A Lawrenceville family is charged with embezzling more than two million dollars from a dental practice in Sandy Springs. Police said the mother was an employee of the practice, and she paid her husband and daughter a salary even though they didn't work there.
Rosemary Dsouza was the business manager at Dental TLC on Hilderbrand Drive in Sandy Springs. She worked for the thriving practice for 18 years. She was recently fired after being arrested along with her husband and daughter.
Dr. Roger Abbott, who runs the dental practice, said Dental TLC is known for its close knit staff. "We have 35 people here," he said. "We call ourselves "The Tribe" and it's just that we discovered we had a traitor in our midst."
He called Sandy Springs Police when he noticed the practice was not making the money he thought it was supposed to. "It would be time to give raises or buy equipment and I'm having to take loans or put off raises for some of our most important people," Dr. Abbott said.
Sandy Springs Captain Steve Rose said Dr. Abbott became suspicious after a conversation he had with Dsouza. "There was mention of two houses that she owned in Florida," Capt. Rose said. "And I think at that point he said I think that seems a little unreal based on what her salary was."
An investigation uncovered shocking evidence of fraud. Police said Dsouza paid herself more than $800 thousand from payroll. They also found that she paid her husband Joseph Dsouza more than $600-thousand and her daughter Karen Dsouza, who was in college, more than $83-thousand. Neither her husband nor her daughter was employed by the dental practice.
Capt. Rose said Dsouza is also accused of using company credit cards bringing the total amount of alleged fraud to over $2 million. Dr. Abbott said he put his full trust in Dsouza to handle the company's money and that was a mistake. "She was like an aunty to my kids," he said. "I've had hundreds of pictures of me at her family events and she at mine."
Dr. Abbott said he has learned a hard lesson not to be people-dependent and leave yourself open for opportunity. "It's my responsibility to put the systems in place so I don't tempt anyone again," he said.
Rosemary Dsouza is charged with theft by taking and financial transaction card fraud. Her husband Joseph and daughter Karen are charged with theft by taking.