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Former Decatur vet clinic office manager charged with stealing $365,000 from business
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Former Decatur vet clinic office manager charged with stealing $365,000 from business


DECATUR — A former office manager at a Decatur veterinary clinic is facing a preliminary charge of stealing more than $365,000 over a span of 12 years.

Angela M. Schmitt, 34, had been employed at the Decatur Animal Clinic run by Dr. Alec Messamore. A sworn affidavit from Decatur Police said a clinic assistant had raised the alarm Dec. 3 after finding a cash drawer was short at the end of the day, prompting Messamore to launch his own investigation into what was going on.

Writing in the affidavit, Detective Benjamin Massey said Messamore arranged for a detailed probe of the business accounts and uncovered a sustained pattern of thefts. The doctor discovered the thefts had ranged from $18,000 to $34,000 a year since Schmitt, hired in 2002, started stealing in 2007 and was uncovered in 2019, the affidavit said. Messamore took his suspicions to the police in December and, after an extensive investigation, Schmitt was arrested Tuesday.

Messamore is quoted as telling Massey that Schmitt had full control “for all the financial aspects of the office.” The affidavit said she jealously guarded billing transactions, and it was through doctoring billing statements that she was able to steal patient cash payments and then cover up the thefts.

“Dr. Messamore advised that Angela refused to train anyone else how to do this (billing statements) and would not let anyone else send out statements to clients,” Messey said.

The affidavit quotes numerous examples of how Schmitt would steal part or all of the incoming cash payments on a particular day. In one example, recovered receipts show the incoming daily cash total was $1,589.59, but altered to reflect a total of $829.59, with Schmitt pocketing the $760 difference.

The grand total of all the alleged thefts between 2007 and 2019 stands at $365,727.24.

Schmitt was booked on a charge of theft over $100,000, a Class X felony; all preliminary charges are subject to review by the state attorney’s office. Macon County Jail records show Schmitt remained in custody Wednesday night with bail set at $250,000, which means she must post $25,000 to bond out.

Contacted by phone, Dr. Messamore declined to comment Wednesday afternoon. 

Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid


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