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Dr. Edward J. Bodek, 60, and his wife Mary Rose, 56, admitted this week that they have been stealing from their patients. They ran a dental practice at 317 North El Camino Real in Encinitas, California, for more than twenty years.

Mary Rose Bodek worked the front desk at their practice, she was office manager and financial controller; there were no other employees. The couple had an apartment in nearby Carlsbad.

Dr. Bodek was arrested on March 12, 2013. His wife Mary Rose was arrested two days later when she disembarked a plane at Lindbergh Field, having just arrived from the East Coast. Investigators said they found more than 100 credit cards and store gift cards in her luggage. Mary Rose reportedly told authorities that she had rented seventeen storage units in Maryland, where the couple owned a home.

The doctor and misses have been held in lieu of $1.5 million bail for more than three months. They were charged with 45 felonies each, including conspiracy and theft from elders. There are 22 named victims in a forty-page criminal complaint signed by prosecutor Anna Winn.

All of the alleged victims are elderly, some over 90 years of age. Many were long-time patients of Dr. Edward Bodek “and initially accepted his explanation that the charges were a mistake,” according to prosecutor Winn.

Patients had been complaining to law enforcement for at least a year that unauthorized charges were appearing on their credit cards, usually after their regular dental appointment with Dr. Bodek, the prosecutor stated in court documents. And the surprise charges were often repeated within days; the amounts were substantial, from $2,000 to $10,000 each. Whenever a victim contacted the dental office, the prosecutor alleged, they were told “there must have been a computer error;” but the promised correction never happened.

More than $260,000 in disputed charges were alleged, each Bodek admitted taking more than $65,000 in their plea deals last week, on June 25, 2013.

Investigators searched their California apartment and dental offices. “These locations appeared to be occupied by hoarders with boxes and shopping bags stacked on top of each other,” officials reported. “Only a small pathway was clear through the apartment home.” And “only one exam room in the dental office was operable – boxes and shopping bags crowded the office area and other rooms of the dental office.”

Thirty different storage units rented by the Bodeks were inspected. They were full of women’s clothing and expensive handbags and fur coats; many items from Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus, with price tags still attached, were found according to prosecutor Winn.

The ill-gotten goods will be sold trying to restore victims, the prosecutor said. “We are working with a private liquidator to maximize the amount brought in,” Anna Winn said. “All profits will be dispersed to victims in equal shares.”

The Bodeks admitted guilt last week, each pleading guilty to 3 felonies: elder financial abuse and two counts of stealing another’s credit card information to commit fraud. In the deal, 42 other felonies were dismissed.

“The guilty plea is a relief for victims who were betrayed by Doctor Bodek and his wife,” prosecutor Winn said in a statement.

Sentencing is set for July 24, 2013, before Honorable Judge David Berry in San Diego’s North County Courthouse. It is a “stipulated sentence,” meaning agreed upon in advance. “They are each going to get probation and 365 days in jail,” the prosecutor said. Many of the dental-patient-victims are expected to come hear sentencing.

“His license has been suspended,” prosecutor Anna Winn stated. “The dental board will make decisions regarding his licensure.”

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Comments

SurfPuppy619 June 29, 2013 @ 8:46 a.m.

I wonder if there is dementia or some other mental disorder? The amount involved is easily a prison term crime, not felony probation +365.

1

eastlaker June 29, 2013 @ 8:53 a.m.

Excess greed--and the inability to realize that repeated fraudulent charges would eventually lead to being caught. Some sort of delusional behavior, but still punishable by law, I would think.

One might be able to draw comparisons between the dentist and his office manager wife and the Sweetwater Union High School District Superintendent and the majority board of trustees--because they, too, continue down the same path, apparently thinking that having gotten away with it so far, they will get away with it forever.

Is that dementia?

1

FatCatSegat June 29, 2013 @ 11:38 a.m.

How'd that happen? Insane dentist and co-dependent wife to the Sweetwater Superintendent. I know, I know I've read your prior comments on the subject and I agree. However, wasn't this dentist making enough money as it was? The deal they usually make takes a few factors into consideration. Their age is definitely one, their ability to make restitution, and of course the money it would take to put on a trial is always a big one. However, the judge could completely vacate the deal and do what he wants. Its been done many times much to the chagrin of private attorneys. The report mentioned that victims would be at the sentencing proceedings. Outrage, pain, and anger could move the judge to do it. Hope he does. Dentists for some reason are often convicted of sexual assaults while patients are out cold. It was just a matter of time someone would resort to this weird form of theivery. Man, I can't get my wife to do anything with me. How'd this nut convince his wife to follow along? Hell, it might've been all her idea to begin with. Getting caught is all part of the disease too, I imagine. Either they never considered the consequences, or they were so arrogant they thought they were smarter than the authorities. It's just scary that an occupation of trust where a person is most vulnerable has been forever tainted by people like this. Like 'dem jagoffs at Sweetwater, right Eastlaker? Oops, I did it too.

2

eastlaker June 29, 2013 @ 3:40 p.m.

It happens. Pays to check your credit card bills. Pays to check what you are charged for special assessments and real estate taxes. Pays to encourage honesty and point out dishonesty as it occurs, so that everyone understands that it matters.

Just pointing out the obvious, to catch the attention of the devious and the oblivious!

0

Visduh June 29, 2013 @ 7:22 p.m.

Ripping off elderly patients for thousands or tens of thousands at a whack is hard to imagine. If they noticed that some of the old folks were befuddled, they might have put through a charge for a few hundred bucks. Then if the oldster questioned it, they could have quickly have reversed the charge. That isn't what happened here. They were hitting them big time and then failing to correct the charges. Did she (since this involved hoarding a bunch of consumer goods, not financial assets) really think something so massive would go unchallenged? Sometimes we see these cases that just have no ready or simple or clear explanation. This is one of those, I'd guess.

The state dental licensing agency should revoke his status as a dentist for life. But will they regard a massive financial rip-off as a major professional malpractice? On par with messing up root canals? Or will they let him get back to practicing dentistry? If that occurs, he might do it again.

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SurfPuppy619 June 29, 2013 @ 8:42 p.m.

The state dental licensing agency should revoke his status as a dentist for life. But will they regard a massive financial rip-off as a major professional malpractice? They did. http://www2.dca.ca.gov/pls/wllpub/WLLQRYNA$LCEV2.QueryView?P_LICENSE_NUMBER=33008&P_LTE_ID=706

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Eva Knott July 24, 2013 @ 9:41 p.m.

Edward J. Bodek, 60, and his wife Mary Rose, 56, were in San Diego's North County Superior Courthouse this afternoon, July 24, 2013. They were scheduled to be sentenced, but sentencing was delayed another three weeks, until August 15. The elderly victims of their financial fraud are expected to speak at that time.

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