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Admitted Southeast embezzler sentenced

In November of 2006, THE BEE reported that a former accounts receivable clerk, Janet Toler of Portland, had been indicted on seven counts of diverting patient payments from the business account for Reedwood Extended Care Center, at 3540 S.E. Francis Street in Portland, to an account unknown to the business for which Toler allegedly was the only signer, which led to embezzlement of close to a million dollars.

On August 27th of 2007, Toler signed a plea agreement admitting guilt to the resulting charges. However, it was not until January 4th of this year that Toler stood before a judge in U.S. District Court in downtown Portland and received her sentence for the crimes, among which were money laundering.

According to the indictment, and her subsequent plea agreement, Toler had worked at Reedwood Extended Care Center, which provides nursing care for the elderly, from March 1997 to November 2005. Her duties included receiving patient payments for facility services, preparing deposit slips, and depositing the funds into the facility's business checking account. In February of 2001, an alleged Oregon corporation called Reedwood, whose principal place of business was listed as Toler's home address, was established. Then a checking account was set up under the name of 'Janet Toler, dba: Reedwood,' for which the indictment says Toler was the only signer.

Between February 2001 and June 2005, checks written for patient care at Reedwood Extended Care Center were deposited into Toler's Reedwood account. The accounting records at Reedwood Extended Care Center were then manipulated so the missing funds would go unnoticed. $214,162.73 was embezzled in 2002; $226,244.19 in 2003; $156,801.61 in 2004, and an additional $117,166.30 through June 2005. As a result of the embezzlement, Reedwood Extended Care Center suffered significant financial problems.

The sentence handed down to Toler on January 4th stipulated that she receive 24 months imprisonment, 36 additional months of supervised release, and restitution of $927,885.71. Attorneys involved in the case could not say how much of the money stolen might still remain in the possession of Toler, and thus how likely restitution of the entire amount might be. For the purposes of establishing that a crime was committed, Toler in the plea agreement admitted to having stolen money by having written a $15,019 check in 2002 to a trailer company; presumably other checks were similarly written, reducing the sum available to repay the theft.

She was released, after sentencing, on her own recognizance, directed to report to prison on February 13th.