Fort Myers woman makes plea deal in theft case, must repay $283K, faces 2 years in prison

Mandy Urban
Mandy Urban

A Fort Myers woman accused of taking more than $283,000 from an employer, some of which she used to pay off court-mandated restitution in a previous employer fraud case, is headed to prison.

Mandy Deann Urban, 45, pleaded no contest Monday to charges of scheming to defraud, and accepted 24 months in state prison. Her formal sentencing will be June 6.

As part of her plea deal Urban will have to pay restitution of $283,718 to the doctor's office where she worked at the time.

She was arrested on a fugitive warrant by the Charlotte Police Department in North Carolina in early 2021 and extradited to the Lee County Jail where she was arrested and booked on the charges.

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An arrest warrant for Urban said the alleged fraud came to light after irregularities in bookkeeping at Quigley Eye Specialists (operating as Eye Health of Fort Myers) and St. John's Surgery Center were noticed. She had access to accounts at both sites.

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While employed at the office as a bookkeeper Urban's warrant said she fraudulently wrote herself 108 business checks totaling $267,763.08, depositing them in four personal accounts at four financial institutions.

Urban worked at the office from Aug. 1, 2013, through Nov. 9, 2017, when she was fired. Her firing came after practice officials found she had been convicted of grand theft for stealing more than $100,000 from a previous employer, a marketing company, and the fraud was discovered shortly thereafter.

A forensic audit confirmed the bogus checks and an investigation by the Lee County Sheriff's Office found that Urban made total check deposits of $116,975.15, $50,813.21, $41,950.03, $19,573.82, $11,760.72, $10,451.73, and $9,167.67 at the four institutions. She also cashed checks worth $7,070.75 at one of them.

In the 2011 fraud case, Urban was convicted of stealing $135,830.17 via fraudulent credit transactions from the marketing company where she worked. The company was reimbursed $50,000 of the loss and Urban was court-ordered to repay $85,000 as part of a plea agreement.

Under that agreement Urban was also found guilty of the fraud, sentenced to 36 months probation and allowed to seek early termination if she made full restitution.

She began probation May 20, 2015, the Sheriff's Office warrant said, and began depositing the fraudulently signed checks from the medical practice from November 2014 through November 2017. The warrant said Urban likely used funds from the deposited checks to make restitution in the first case.

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This article originally appeared on Fort Myers News-Press: Woman who took doctor office funds enters no contest, must repay $283K