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Woman who embezzled nearly $27,000 from a Durango dentistry ordered to reimburse employer

Former office manager receives five years probation
The clock tower at the La Plata County Courthouse on East Second Avenue in Durango. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file)

A Farmington woman and former office manager at Durango Kids Pediatric Dentistry who pleaded guilty to theft was ordered to pay $34,665.60 in restitution Friday in 6th Judicial District Court in Durango.

Angelina Mulholland was charged with theft in March 2023 for fraudulently using a company card belonging to the dentistry, where she worked as an office manager.

She embezzled $26,775 over the term of her employment from November 2021 through Feb. 15, 2023, according to an arrest affidavit filed in March last year.

On Friday, she was ordered to pay back the embezzled money as well as pay for audit fees and other fees related to the investigation, totaling $8,884.

Sixth Judicial District Judge Nathaniel Baca said Mulholland has “a long road” ahead to pay back what she stole from the dentistry plus damages.

Mulholland made only a brief comment during the hearing. She said she just wants to make “everything right and move forward.”

Her defense attorney said what started as a crime of opportunity turned into a situation where she found herself “in over her head.”

The arrest affidavit documents a variety of transactions Mulholland made with the dentist office’s funds, including a $976.86 purchase at Discount Tire in September 2022, a $626.42 AT&T bill payment and 121 total recorded charges between May 2022 and February 2023.

Angela Pinkerton, owner of Durango Kids Pediatric Dentistry, contacted law enforcement on Feb. 9, 2023, to report Mulholland for fraudulently using a company credit/debit card to pay for personal items and services including “tires, veterinarian bills, clothing and gas,” the affidavit says.

The dentistry office initially identified about $2,845 in fraudulent expenses. Mulholland admitted to making the purchases and signed a “deduction authorization document” agreeing to reimburse the office for the stolen funds.

But on Feb. 23, 2023, Pinkerton emailed the Durango Police Department to file another criminal report after realizing Mulholland had stolen thousands more and “used both company credit cards for personal use, and embezzled cash deposits from the company.”

Her defense attorney said Mulholland cashed out her 401(k) retirement plan, is working on getting a loan and has secured employment in efforts to pay back the money she stole.

In accordance with the plea agreement, Mulholland was expected to pay $10,000 of her restitution on Friday. But she had only $2,500. The prosecutor agreed to move forward with the plea agreement even though she didn’t produce the initial down payment.

In addition to paying restitution, Mulholland will be on probation for five years.

cburney@durangoherald.com



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