34-month sentence for embezzler

KEARNY – 

A receptionist who embezzled nearly half-a-million dollars from a medical office in Kearny and used fraudulent credit cards to obtain more than $200,000 in goods and services was sentenced last week to 34 months in prison, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Gwendolyn Muller, 53, formerly of Kearny, had pleaded guilty in Newark federal court in October to one count each of embezzlement, credit card fraud and tax evasion. At the time, authorities said she faced up to 25 years — 10 each on the fraud and embezzlement counts, five for tax evasion.

The 34-month term was handed down March 24 by U.S. District Judge William J. Martini, who also ordered Muller to pay restitution of $556,000.

She will face three years of supervised release following incarceration.

While employed at the medical practice from 2007 through 2011, authorities reported, Muller used her position to take, cash and conceal more than $446,000 in checks paid by insurance companies for services to patients.

Court documents noted that, as the receptionist, she handled the mail and had unsupervised access to the office computer system, which she used to conceal the embezzlement.

During the same period, Muller also fraudulently obtained 10 credit cards in the name of a principal of the practice and used these to charge approximately $218,000 in personal goods and services.

Fishman’s office said Muller also admitted to filing a false tax return to evade taxes on the illegally obtained income.

Authorities did not disclose Muller’s post-Kearny place of residence.

Fishman’s office also told The Observer that, since it was not part of the public record, they could not reveal the name of the medical office where she had worked.

– Karen Zautyk 

The Observer Staff