Wednesday, November 24, 2004

1-year prison term
for stealing $554K from
doctor’s office

A former medical office manager who stole more than $500,000 from her employer was sentenced Monday to one year in jail and five years probation.

Sandra Nagamine, 43, of Wahiawa, pleaded guilty in August to first-degree theft, forgery, computer fraud and money laundering under an agreement in which 20 forgery counts were dropped.

Nagamine ran eye surgeon Dr. Gary Edwards' Lusitana Street office for 20 years, collecting payments and paying the doctor's bills.

Over seven years, she took about $300,000 in checks and $200,000 in cash, which she used to take friends and family on trips to Vegas, stay at expensive hotels, go on shopping trips and pay off her credit cards, according to Deputy Prosecutor Randall Lee.

Sam King Jr., Nagamine's attorney, said Circuit Judge Virginia Crandall's sentence was "very fair."

Crandall also ordered Nagamine to repay the $554,000 she had stolen.

Edwards was in the process of closing his business because he was losing money and didn't know why. Only after a friend began looking at the doctor's accounting sheets did discrepancies become apparent, Lee said.



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