SPOKANE, Wash. - In a huge case of embezzlement from a north Spokane dental office, a former employee confessed to pocketing $250,000 over the course of her nearly 11 year employment.
Dentists Bryan and Mary Correll tell KHQ exclusively that it's been devastating for their business and family.
"She's admitted to $250,000 and it's still ongoing," Dr. Bryan Correll said. "We're still tallying it up, it's huge."
They say their office manager, Julie Lake, began working at Correll Dental on North Colton in Spokane in the fall of 2001. But over the course of her employment the Correll's began wondering why there wasn't more money in the practice and had their suspicions.
The Correll's say one red flag came on a slow half day, when Lake wasn't working. Despite the few number of patients, Dr. Mary Correll collected cash payments herself. But on the fully staffed days with many more patients there would be no cash to deposit.
"You start looking at it and realizing, the days I'm getting cash, Julie's not here," Dr. Mary Correll told KHQ.
The Correll's say Lake not only pocketed the cash, she also ran her own credit card as a refund to credit her own account. They hired a forensic accountant, and when they confronted Lake, they say she confessed.
"She just started gushing, and crying, and admitting to it," Dr. Mary Correll said.
Her husband added:
"We found a day where she stole $3 dollars, another day she stole $6, on up to days where she stole in the neighborhood of $8,000 in a day. So it's huge."
In court documents from the civil case against her, Lake admitted to embezzling $250,000 dollars, and signed a confession of judgment.
The Correll's say the missing money drained their retirement, their kids' college savings and the possibility of raises for their other employees. Lake pledged to pay it back, but the Correll's say, that's not likely.
"Will she ever be able to pay us back? No. No. Never," Dr. Mary Correll added. "We won't see it."
Right now there is only a civil case between the two parties; however, the Correll's say an investigation is ongoing and that criminal charges are pending.
KHQ contacted Julie Lake as well but she had no comment.