Susan Luzzaro 2:30 p.m., Sept. 19
Thieves “intended to pay it all back”
California dentist and wife admitted stealing from patients
Dr. Edward J. Bodek was interviewed at the time of his arrest, according to a probation report. “He admitted that he and his wife conducted the fraudulent/unauthorized credit card transactions on patient credit cards, but they intended to pay it all back,” the report stated.
“His wife was more instrumental in conducting the scheme (he said,) as she was the one who originally approached him on conducting the unauthorized credit card transactions. His wife told him that they could conduct this scheme and eventually pay the money back,” according to the probation officer. “They…looked at this as a short term loan.”
Former dentist Edward Bodek, 60, and his wife Mary Rose Bodek, 56, were taken into custody in March 2013; each was charged with 45 felonies; twenty-two victims were named in a forty-page criminal complaint.
When investigators confronted the dentist with a calculation of $260,000 stolen in the year 2012 alone, “Dr. Bodek began to cry and said he had no idea it was near that amount,” according to the probation report.
However, “Dr. Bodek told friends that his wife was suffering from cancer and needed expensive treatment” and he obtained cash from some victims this way, investigators were told. A man named Wesley Devol described exactly that scenario when he spoke to a judge, on the day of sentencing for both fraudsters.
A probation officer interviewed Mary Bodek on July 31, 2013. “She did state that she never intended to steal and that they tried to correct the mistake and pay back the money owed to the victims,” according to a probation report. Mrs. Bodek told the interviewer: “Our patients are like family” and that she made a “bad decision” and she could not “begin to tell how sorry we are for violating their trust.” Mary Bodek declared that she had been blessed in jail and had become a “mother figure” to other inmates.
Both Bodeks admitted felony theft from their patients in a plea deal and got credit for time served. Edward Bodek was released August 21, and Mary Bodek is scheduled to be released from custody today, August 29, 2013, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s website.
Dr. Bodek had a dental practice at 317 North El Camino Real in Encinitas, California, for more than twenty years. His wife Mary Rose worked the front desk and was office manager and financial controller; there were no other employees. The couple had an apartment in nearby Carlsbad.
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