Employee at LCCC dental clinic accused of stealing cash

By Ed Lewis - [email protected]

NANTICOKE — A receptionist for the dental clinic at Luzerne County Community College was charged Wednesday with stealing cash deposits from July 2016 to September 2017.

Melissa Sue Taney, 43, of Seventh Avenue, Berwick, surrendered on charges of theft and tampering with public records after a review showed a discrepancy of $7,789 that should had been deposited, according to court records.

Taney was a receptionist/secretary at the college’s dental clinic and accepted payments from patients for dental service.

According to a criminal complaint:

Rachel Coffee, director of the dental clinic, notified the director of college security, William Barrett, in October that there was a discrepancy between payments from patients and what was submitted to the college for deposit in a bank.

Coffee noticed the discrepancy when Taney was off from work Oct. 5.

On this day, Coffee opened a safe to make change for patients and noticed there was no cash. When she questioned Taney about the missing cash, Taney claimed she had a secret hiding spot where she puts the money.

Coffee instructed Taney to stop putting money in a hiding place and to keep the money in the safe.

Not comfortable with Taney’s explanation, Coffee reviewed patient logs and deposits and found numerous discrepancies.

Coffee said deposit sheets were tampered and altered by Taney, reflecting patient payments and what Taney actually submitted to the college.

In addition, Coffee reviewed grant sheet applications for programs and services provided to patients. They were also altered.

Taney was arraigned by District Judge Donald Whittaker in Nanticoke on three counts of theft, two counts of tampering with public records and a single count of receiving stolen property. She was released on $75,000 unsecured bail.


By Ed Lewis

[email protected]