Michelle Bays

Michelle Bays

ENID, Okla. — A former St. Mary’s Physicians Associates manager has been arrested on 31 counts of embezzlement and obtaining money by false pretense.

According to an affidavit filed in the arrest of Michelle Bays, 49, of Enid, she is accused of taking approximately $150,000 in cash and merchandise from St. Mary’s Hospital and affiliates and approximately $60,000 from Springs Internal Medicine, Dr. Dennis McIntyre and Dr. Daniel Washburn over a two-year period.

“We’re cooperating with the authorities that are handling the matter, but can’t comment further at this time,” St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center Marketing Director Lori Boyd said. “She’s no longer an employee of St. Mary’s or its related entities.”

Bays turned herself in on the charges, according to Enid Police Department Capt. Jack Morris.

On March 25, an Enid Police Department officer spoke with an individual from Independence Physician Management who provided documentation leading to the charges, according to the affidavit.

In her role as manager of St. Mary’s Physicians Associates, Bays was responsible for making deposits and for handling the daily operations of seven St. Mary’s clinics and 13 doctors, according to the affidavit.

Independence Physician Management, the corporate office, learned of the alleged wrongdoing after Bays made a November 2013 police report related to a theft of approximately $5,400 in cash and checks from the Kingfisher clinic, the affidavit states.

Bays allegedly had the checks and cash and did not deposit them in the bank, according to the affidavit. St. Mary’s corporate office reportedly discovered money was missing from accounts receivable and performed an internal audit.

The audit reportedly showed there “were numerous money transfers, money deposits, fraudulent purchases, fraudulent reimbursements to Michelle Bays personally, petty cash unaccounted for, missing receipts and unapproved purchases made by Michelle,” according to the affidavit.

Documents show in May 2013, Bays provided a Check Request Form with screen shots from the Sears website of items for purchase and prices, the affidavit states.

A check was issued for $4,514.76 to Sears Commercial One. The actual purchased items did not match the items requested, according to the affidavit.

“Some of the items were purchased and placed into service at St. Mary’s facilities and other items were found to be used in Michelle’s personal household, or items were listed on Ebay to be sold,” the affidavit states.

Purchased items, including a Dyson vacuum, a NordicTrack and a refrigerator, were found to not be in the inventory at St. Mary’s facilities, according to the affidavit.

Among other documented incidents, a detective found between April 2013 and September 2013, Bays purchased approximately $26,292 in items from Soapweeds and Cactus in Enid.

“St. Mary’s staff had observed some of these items listed on Michelle’s Ebay account to be sold,” the affidavit states.

When the detective interviewed Bays on April 2, Bays brought a number of purchased items from her residence, according to the affidavit.

Bays worked privately for McIntyre and Washburn — while also working for St. Mary’s Physicians Associates — where she had access to credit cards, checkbooks, accounts and a Staples credit card, according to the affidavit.

She allegedly would make purchases at Staples with a Staples credit card, then would submit the purchase receipts to St. Mary’s for personal reimbursement, according to the affidavit.

Bays would then pay off the Staples account from McIntyre and Washburn’s Springs Internal Medicine checking account, records show.

“From August 2011 to April 2013, Michelle submitted receipts from Staples to St. Mary’s for personal reimbursement totaling approximately $14,000,” the affidavit states.

It was also discovered that some items purchased from Staples with the Springs Internal Medicine account were distributed to St. Mary’s facilities, according to the affidavit.

“Michelle was submitting false claims and reports as to where the items were being placed to cover up the scam,” the affidavit states.

It was found that in 2011 there were approximately $20,000 in charges to McIntyre and Washburn’s Citi Business card, records show.

“The account was paid for with funds from Springs Internal Medicine account,” the affidavit states.

The detective found the charges were for personal items, including clothing, meals, trips, rental cars and motel stays for Bays and her family, according to the affidavit.

When interviewed, Bays “admitted to making the charges without the knowledge of the doctors,” according to the affidavit.

Records show Bays had work performed on her personal vehicle in 2011 that was paid for out of the Springs Internal Medicine account and signed by McIntyre.

In June 2013, St. Mary’s purchased Springs Internal Medicine and the practice and doctors remained in the same location, with St. Mary’s employees handing daily transactions, records show.

“After the purchase, all accounts receivable from past patients’ bills due to Dr. McIntyre and Dr. Washburn were to be collected and placed into St. Mary’s accounts. The paperwork after the purchase was not completed and monies were being paid to Springs Internal Medicine on past accounts,” according to the affidavit.

Two checks for more than $4,000 each were found to have been issued to Bays with memos stating “reimbursement” and “flu vaccines and other medications,” while a third check for $1,170 was issued to Bays with the memo “EPTPS,” records show.

According to the affidavit, all three checks were deposited into Bays’ personal bank account. When the detective spoke with McIntyre and Washburn, he learned the checks were signed under false pretense.

Both said that “during the course of business, Michelle would bring checks to them to sign and inform them it was business expenses,” according to the affidavit.

The doctors “would not question Michelle, since she was running the daily operations,” according to the affidavit.

It was found that the reimbursement money for one check was money from the accounts receivable that was never placed into the St. Mary’s accounts by Bays, the affidavit states.

A vaccine company said the vaccines were purchased with money from St. Mary’s or Springs Internal Medicine accounts, but Bays reportedly told the detective she paid for the flu vaccines and medications with her personal credit card and was reimbursed with the check, according to the affidavit.

In looking at deposits for the Kingfisher Clinic for April and May 2013, it was found the clinic received $7,178 in cash payments. According to the affidavit, Bays had deposited approximately $1,837 of the cash payments and “the remaining $5,341 was never deposited.”

During several interviews, Bays told the detective “she had completed transactions that were wrong, she knew they were wrong and did not have an excuse for her actions,” the affidavit states.

According to the affidavit, even after her termination from St. Mary’s, Bays allegedly continued to defraud McIntyre and Washburn.

“Michelle still had property that belonged to St. Mary’s Hospital, Dr. McIntyre and Dr. Washburn ... in her possession as late as April 30, 2014, even though she had been terminated by St. Mary’s in November of 2013,” according to the affidavit. “There are numerous charges, embezzled monies, false statements, hidden property in the hundreds and hundreds of pages of documents provided to (the detective).”

Bond was set for $15,000 when Bays appeared in court Monday, according to court records.

She is next due in court on Dec. 17.

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Involved in news reporting for about 15 years, I've been with the Enid News & Eagle since 2014, when my family moved to Enid to be on the family farm.

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