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On Monday, Chief U.S. District Judge Timothy M Burgess sentenced the Anchorage accounting business owner, Jill Diane Applebury, aka: “Jill Wetzsteon,” who pleaded guilty in November, to four years in federal prison and five years of supervised release, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Applebury, of Applebury Accounting Services, pleaded guilty in a November plea deal after being indicted on 39 counts in September 2017 in connection to defrauding the medical practice of at least $640,000.
As an independent contractor, Applebury preformed bookkeeping for an Anchorage physician from the mid-90s until march of 2013. One scheme to defraud took place from 2001 through 2009 where Applebury used funds from the medical service to pay her Federal Income Tax Withholding without the service’s knowledge for a total of $84,813.75.
In 2009, Applebury convinced the third-party administrator overseeing the service’s profit-sharing plan that she had become a full-time employee of the medical service and thus was eligible to take part in that service’s plan in 2009. This resulted in Applebury having $62,722.90 allocated to her unauthorized plan contributions in 2010 and 2011. The physician “suffered an additional loss of $25,574.18, and was subject to an excise tax penalty in the amount of $1,931.80” prosecutors reported.
For eight years, starting in 2004, Applebury used the service’s bank account to pay for charges on her family’s personal credit cards in the amount of $18,229.97 for her, her husband and daughter’s dining and travel.
Additionally, Applebury used the physician’s business credit card to pay for her and her family’s cell and Internet service, her and her husband’s business licenses, auto insurance for her family, and fund-raising gift cards for her nephew’s soccer team. This went on for nine years from 2004 and cost the physician over $35,000.
In 2012, Applebury used the physician’s business credit card to pay for medical supplies for her husband, Darin. Without the physician’s knowledge, Applebury bought $3,000 worth of supplies for Rapid Recovery Medical Service.
Judge Burgess pointed out the scope of Applebury’s crimes against the physician and called it “breathtaking” the way she treated the physician’s business finances “like her own personal piggy bank,” U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder said in the release.
Judge Burgess found that Applebury was a financial risk and ordered her to notify any future employees of her felony convictions. In addition, Applebury was ordered to not have any contact with any financial records of any businesses in the future.
It was the FBI and the Anchorage Police Department’s investigation that led to the conviction of Applebury.