An Anchorage woman has been sentenced to four years in prison after embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from an Anchorage medical practice.

Although Jill Diane Applebury, 54, stole at least $640,000 according to U.S. Attorney for Alaska Bryan Schroder's office, the total amount of restitution she will pay will be determined within the next 30 days. Applebury and her husband were originally charged in the case in September 2017.

In November 2018 Applebury, also known as Jill Wetzsteon and doing business as Applebury Accounting Services, pleaded guilty to four counts of bank fraud, one count of wire fraud and one count of fraudulent transactions with an access device.

Prosecutors said Chief U.S. District Judge Tim Burgess, who sentenced Applebury on Monday, called the scope of her crimes “breathtaking” in that she had treated the victim firm's finances “like her own personal piggy bank.”

Applebury was an independent contractor who did bookkeeping services for the victim practice, which was owned by a local physician but not named by Schoder's office, from the mid-1990s until March 2013.

Court documents state that Applebury defrauded the practice from 2001 to 2013 in several ways.

First, Applebury used money from the business to pay her federal income tax withholding from 2001 to 2009, in the amount of $84,813.75.

Applebury also fraudulently drew funds from the practice’s profit-sharing plan in 2010 by representing herself as a full-time employee rather than an independent contractor. In all, the practice contributed $62,722.90 of unauthorized profit-sharing payments to Applebury. As a result of that overpayment, the business suffered an additional loss of $25,574.18 and had to pay an excise tax penalty of $1,931.80.

Another scheme devised by Applebury happened between July 2004 and December 2012 when she used money from the practice's bank account to pay $18,229.97 in personal credit card bills for herself, her husband and her daughter. During the same time period, Applebury also used $35,393.20 of the practice's funds to pay for personal and business expenses including cellphone and Internet service, car insurance and business licenses for her family.

In October 2012, Applebury spent almost $3,000 on the medical practice’s credit card in order to pay for products for her husband’s business, Rapid Recovery Medical Service, Inc.

In addition to serving time in prison and on supervised release, Applebury was ordered to no longer have any contact with financial records of any business and to notify all future employers of her felony convictions.

After her prison time, Applebury will also spend five years on supervised release.

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