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Denton County district attorney's office files felony theft charge in Good Samaritan embezzlement case

A felony theft charge has been filed in connection with an embezzlement investigation at Good Samaritan Society-Denton Village, according to Denton police. 

A suspect, who has been identified only as a former Good Sam employee, was indicted Thursday after he or she was accused of stealing around $400,000 from the 27-acre senior care campus, Denton police spokesman Shane Kizer said. The Denton County District Attorney's Office, which filed the charges at large, declined to release the person's name before an arrest is made. 

Denton police said the person faces a charge of theft of more than $300,000 from a nonprofit, which is a first-degree felony. If convicted, the charge carries a maximum punishment of life in prison. 

Good Samaritan is a long-term care center that offers independent housing, assisted living facilities and skilled nursing services. The Denton Village campus, in the 2500 block of Hinkle Drive, includes an 88-bed nursing home for residents who need skilled care. It also includes about 60 twin homes and 170 apartments for independent seniors.

Kizer said the alleged embezzlement took place from April 26, 2013, to March 1. He said the suspect used primarily checks and credit cards to pay for personal expenses, including rent, car payments and tickets to at least one football game. The suspect, Kizer said, also used the money to make tuition payments at a university in Arkansas. 

The person paid the university close to $20,000 from September 2013 to December 2015, Kizer said. He said the detective was able to prove through account records the person embezzled at least $345,303 in four years. 

The former employee was placed on administrative leave March 10 after a preliminary internal audit revealed he or she embezzled at least $90,000. 

Denton police were first on March 16, when an attorney representing Good Samaritan filed a theft report. At the time, the internal auditor had not completed the review, so Denton police decided to hold the investigation until the final results were released. 

After the detective received the final audit results in mid-September, police issued numerous subpoenas and search warrants for multiple account records and transaction receipts, according to Kizer. 

Denton police interviewed the suspect Sept. 29, Kizer said. The former employee was with an attorney and acknowledged misappropriating "some of the money in question," according to a Denton police report.  However, the suspect couldn't agree on the exact amount with investigators, the report said. 

Denton police turned the case over to the district attorney's office Nov. 16. 

JULIAN GILL can be reached at 940-566-6882.