A doctor accused of embezzling more than $500,000 from her former employer appears in court for her arraignment at the San Joaquin County Superior Courthouse.
Dr. Elvira Milano MD, 60, is a well respected pathologist that has worked in San Joaquin County for more than a decade.
“We haven’t had any problems with her before. She has been busy raising her children and working all the time,” Deputy District Attorney, Stephen Taylor said.
However, a 13-month-investigation revealed Dr. Milano embezzled at least $503,000 from her former employer, Delta Pathology in Stockton. She was arrested Thursday at where she currently works, Lodi Memorial Hospital.
“These cases are usually driven by a lot of documentation and there are also other documents I am going to receive from Mr. Taylor, so after that, we are going to be in a better position to determine what direction to go from there,” Albert Ellis, Attorney representing Dr. Milano, said.
According to forensic accounting documents obtained by FOX40, Dr. Milano was employed at Delta Pathology from 2005 to 2013. In 2007, she was promoted to chief financial officer. Her salary then increased from $96/hr to $108/hr, for an annual salary of $226,000. She gained incremental raises until 2011. That year, however, was when her salary suddenly jumped to $739,000, when it was supposed to be no more than $306,000.
Documents state the owner of the company did not closely check the accounts until 2010 because he trusted Dr. Milano with his company’s finances.
She has since been charged with grand theft and money laundering, with an aggravated white collar crime enhancement.
“Get insurance if you are running any kind of business in this county. Whether it’s a butcher, baker, candlestick maker, dentist, chiropractor, all of that. Get embezzlement insurance, that’s the number one thing,” Taylor warned. “Second, to maintain all the accounting controls, don’t let your bookkeeper balance the bank statements. Someone needs to make sure and look at the bank statements so that the book keeper isn’t writing checks to herself.”
Taylor said this kind of crime is on the rise in the county.
“I noticed a big spike in embezzlement after the crash of 2009,” Taylor said. “As people are cutting back and auditing their business, they discover embezzlement that [has] been going on for years.”
Dr. Milano’s attorney told FOX40, the doctor hopes to pay the $503,000 bail, and return home by tonight.
Her next court appearance is August 22nd at 10 a.m.