SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – (9/11/17) Tom Larson, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Springfield, Mo., business owner has been sentenced in federal court for a wire fraud scheme in which she embezzled more than $800,000 from her clients, and for failing to pay more than $170,000 in taxes on any of the embezzled income.
Rebecca Pargeon, 58, of Springfield, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017, to four years in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Pargeon to pay $948,273 in restitution to her victims.
On April 10, 2017, Pargeon pleaded guilty to wire fraud and to filing a false tax return.
Pargeon owned and operated three different medical payment collection businesses – Pargeon Medical Services, LLC, Kids First Pediatric Billing, LLC, and Surgical Billing Solutions, LLC. Pargeon was hired by medical practitioners throughout the country to collect monies owed by their patients and insurance companies as payment for medical services provided. Upon collecting monies owed to a medical practitioner, Pargeon was contractually obligated to deposit the checks she received into the practitioner’s bank account. At the end of each month, the practitioners would pay her a percentage of the monies her businesses collected on their behalf.
Pargeon embezzled $813,780 from her clients from Jan. 11, 2012, to April 26, 2016. Pargeon took payments she collected, which were made payable to the medical practitioners, and fraudulently deposited them into her business and personal bank accounts without the approval or authority of the medical practitioner. Pargeon did not have the authority to sign their names, endorse any of the checks, or deposit them into her business or personal bank accounts. Pargeon admitted that she fraudulently endorsed and deposited over 740 checks made payable to her medical practitioner clients.
Pargeon also admitted that she failed to report the embezzled income on her federal tax returns for 2012 through 2015. This resulted in a total tax loss to the government of $170,493, without penalty or interest. Pargeon, who prepared the tax returns herself utilizing the Turbo Tax computer tax program, specifically pleaded guilty to failing to report $232,929 in income received from the fraud scheme and earned from her businesses in 2012.