Employees’ dental scam leads to charges, practice closure

Envelope Cash

A mother and daughter have been accused of conniving patients into paying cash for dental services at the Indiana practice where they were employed and then pocketed the money, shuttering the dental office, according to multiple news reports.

Meagan Baker and her daughter, Kayla Baker, who worked at Brian Shields DDS in Demotte, IN, were charged on February 2 with theft of at least $50,000, corrupt business influence, fraud, and obstruction of justice. Meagan Baker also was charged with forgery.

The dental practice was closed in July 2023 when the dentist noticed some accounting discrepancies. Shields requested a police investigation in November 2023. Shields’ practice is permanently closed.

After interviewing more than 40 patients, police learned that either the mother or the daughter reportedly persuaded them to use cash to pay for their dental services in exchange for discounted prices. However, Shields told police that charging less for care that was paid for with cash was not a regular protocol at the practice, according to reports.

The investigation revealed that the cash that patients thought was being used to pay for their services was not deposited into the practice’s bank account. Instead, several thousands of dollars purportedly had been deposited into bank accounts belonging to Kayla Baker, according to stories. Additionally, police discovered that that records related to cash payments were deleted in the dental practice computer system.