Vancouver woman pleads not guilty in embezzlement case

Resident allegedly took $41,000 from nonprofit

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

Published:

 

A 36-year-old Vancouver woman pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Clark County Superior Court to allegations she embezzled more than $41,000 from a Vancouver nonprofit that offers dental services for low-income patients.

Charlotte Allen-Dinsdale, a former receptionist at the New Day Community Dental Clinic, was charged with first-degree theft.

Her trial is tentatively scheduled for May 6.

Allen-Dinsdale was responsible for scheduling appointments, collecting payments and insurance billing at the clinic at 2101 S.E. Tech Center Drive, according to court records.

Dinsdale was involved in helping to organize the nonprofit, which opened its doors in 2011 to serve low-income patients in Southwest Washington, according to the clinic's board president, Sharif Burdzik.

Another receptionist discovered discrepancies between the clinic's income and deposits and found evidence that Allen-Dinsdale had been deleting appointments and payments from the computer, according to court records.

Audit investigation

The records state that independent accountant Tiffany Couch conducted an audit investigation, discovering that the clinic lost more than $41,000 between March 2011 and Feb. 1, 2012. About $35,497 was attributed to missing cash payments and another $6,154 stemmed from write-offs of 16 visits by members of Allen-Dinsdale's family, the court records state.

When Couch asked her about the financial records, Allen-Dinsdale said she knew money was missing and claimed that she put her money into the clinic to make up for the losses, the documents state. She admitted to deleting patient information so nobody knew the money was missing but denied any wrongdoing, the court records state.

The clinic notified the Vancouver Police Department on Sept. 4, and a five-month investigation ended when Allen-Dinsdale was arrested on Feb. 8.

Paris Achen: 360-735-4551; http://twitter.com/Col_Courts;http://facebook.com/ColTrends;paris.achen@columbian.com.