Kelly Rivera charged with stealing thousands from Fort Pierce dental patients, police reports say

FORT PIERCE — An investigation into a dentist's former billings clerk has ended with her arrest on charges of fraud and theft of thousands of dollars of patient's cash payments, according to police reports.

In April, Dr. Norman Knowles fired Port St. Lucie resident Kelly Rivera, 31, citing questionable behavior by the woman who handled customer accounts at his office in the 1500 block of South 25th Street, Fort Pierce. Afterward, the doctor's office contacted patients about outstanding payments and some, according to the reports, said they had paid in cash at the time they were at the office from 2010 to 2012.

According to Knowles, Rivera "was the person in the office that was responsible for customer accounts" and an investigation into six accounts "clearly showed a pattern of theft," the report said. To entice a customer to pay in cash, Rivera allegedly doubled the office's discount for cash payments.

Later, she allegedly altered the account records to show they still owed money.

On Tuesday Rivera, of the 800 block of Southeast Carnival Avenue, was arrested on criminal charges of grand theft and organized fraud.

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