Dental worker accused of taking $158,000 from company

KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) - A worker at a Kentwood dental office has been ordered to stand trial for embezzling more than $158,000 from her employers.

Kathy Lynn Elenbaas, 53, is waived her preliminary hearing this week on a charge of embezzlement of $100,000 or more - a felony that can put her in prison for up to 20 years.The charge also carries a fine of up to $50,000.

The Kent County Sheriff's Department began investigating in March when the owner of Dental Associates of West Michigan reported receipts from deposit slips showed $158,045 was missing.

The money was siphoned over a 30-month period from the business at 6208 Kalamazoo Avenue SE, court records show.

When detectives talked to Elenbaas, she admitted to taking approximately $1,000 a month, court records show. She also sent a typed letter to Drs. Steven Conlon and James Vincelj in which she admitted taking $75,000, even though losses were determined to be more than twice that amount.

Elenbaas, who lives on Fennesy Street SW near Standale, said she had been experiencing financial troubles "and doesn't make enough money to cover her bills,'' detectives wrote in a probable cause affidavit.

She was arrested by Holland police last month and booked into the Kent County Jail on Saturday. Elenbaas has since been released. A trial date in Kent County Circuit Court is pending.


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