Gregory school secretary gets suspended prison term for insurance forgeryGREGORY — A Gregory school secretary was sentenced last month after using school equipment to submit forged insurance documents.
By: Anna Jauhola, The Daily Republic
GREGORY — A Gregory school secretary was sentenced last month after using school equipment to submit forged insurance documents.
Bernadette Soesbe, 40, received a five-year suspended prison sentence for the felony conviction. As of this week, she was still employed by the Gregory School District.
On July 28, 2009, Soesbe forged 12 insurance documents to submit to the American Family Life Assurance Company, more commonly known as AFLAC. Soesbe altered “certain Braun Chiropractic Daily Progress Notes by changing the name of the patient from Cody Whiting to Shelby Soesbe,” according to court documents.
“She was trying to get money for herself,” said prosecuting attorney Don Srstka in an interview with The Daily Republic. “She took 12 medical records and forged them to make it look like they were for her son.”
The high school custodian, Lorna Whiting, asked Soesbe for help filling out the AFLAC forms. The same day Soesbe submitted the fraudulent documents using a school fax machine. Soesbe also submitted the legitimate documents for Whiting, Srstka said. Whiting was not involved in any wrongdoing.
Srstka added that not only did Soesbe white-out and change a name on the forms, she also changed dates, checked extra boxes and changed activities that supposedly caused injuries.
The amount all 12 documents would have netted Soesbe was $400, Srstka said. Soesbe never received that money, however, as AFLAC quickly determined the documents were fraudulent, he said.
As part of her sentence, Judge John Brown ordered Soesbe to pay a $5,000 fine, $3,000 in restitution and $104 in court costs. The $3,000 is the cost of prosecution, Srstka said.
Brown also ordered Soesbe to apologize to AFLAC, Lorna Whiting, Dr. Benjamin Stukel and the Gregory School District. Soesbe will be on supervised probation for three years.
Soesbe declined to comment when reached by The Daily Republic. Superintendent Sara Klein said she was unwilling to comment on personnel matters. School board president Sandy Stukel did not return phone calls from The Daily Republic.