Crime & Courts

Worker charged with defrauding medical center

HILTON HEAD ISLAND -- A Bluffton woman defrauded her former employer, a Hilton Head Island medical center, of more than $200,000, according to a Beaufort County Sheriff's Office report released Wednesday.

Authorities said Jane Wyatt-Scott, 29, of Capers Creek Drive, used money and a credit card from the Cross Island Medical Center to purchase items including patio furniture for herself and a companion over the course of a year and a half.

Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Cpl. Robin McIntosh said investigators believe Wyatt-Scott, who formerly worked as the medical center's office manager, is responsible for company losses of $230,000. That amount is nearly a third of the company's annual operating budget of $700,000, employees of the clinic said.

Wyatt-Scott was arrested Dec. 17 after a nearly yearlong investigation. She declined comment when reached at her home Wednesday afternoon.

David Dorsner, the owner and doctor at Cross Island, said Wyatt-Scott worked at the clinic for nearly a year and a half. He said he fired her in December 2007 when he became aware of the alleged scheme. Beaufort County Sheriff's deputies began investigating the case in January, reports show.

Dorsner said the medical center is currently working on payment plans for vendors who went unpaid in the wake of the alleged fraud. He also said it led to what he called a sizable hit to his retirement funds because he took money from those accounts to cover the losses. Patient care has not been affected, he said.

Wyatt-Scott is charged with three counts of financial transaction card fraud, six counts of breach of trust with fraudulent intent, two counts of identity fraud, financial transaction card theft, and forgery. She was released from the Beaufort County Detention Center Dec. 19 on a $92,185 bond. She is due in court Jan. 30 to face criminal charges.

Her companion, Charles Scott, is charged with possession of stolen goods after he and Wyatt-Scott allegedly purchased patio furniture from Lowe's in April 2007, a Sheriff's Office report said. Scott and Wyatt-Scott held a wedding ceremony at a hunting club, but are not legally married, the report said.

Along with her criminal charges, Wyatt-Scott is being sued by Dorsner for $226,000 for restitution of the missing funds and damages, court documents show. A motion hearing is expected today in that case.

Wyatt-Scott did not show up for a November hearing in that civil case. If she misses today's hearing, a Beaufort County judge could award Dorsner damages in the case.

Terry Finger, Dorsner's lawyer, declined to speak about the case, but said the alleged damages to the clinic and Dorsner were great.

"This has really put David and the clinic in quite a bind," Finger said. "... It's been difficult for them without a doubt."

It was unclear whether Wyatt-Scott was represented by an attorney.

-- The (Hilton Head) Island Packet