SPRINGFIELD, Mo.- According to a press release, a Springfield, Mo., business owner pleaded guilty in federal court today to a $555,000 wire fraud scheme and to failing to pay taxes on any of the embezzled income.

Rebecca Pargeon, 58, owned and operated three different medical payment collection businesses – Pargeon Medical Services, LLC, Kids First Pediatric Billing, LLC, and Surgical Billing Solutions, LLC. Pargeon was hired by medical practitioners throughout the country to collect monies owed by their patients and insurance companies as payment for medical services provided. Upon collecting monies owed to a medical practitioner, Pargeon was contractually obligated to deposit the checks she received into the practitioner’s bank account. At the end of each month, the practitioners would pay her a percentage of the monies her businesses collected on their behalf.

By pleading guilty, Pargeon admitted that she embezzled $555,558 from her clients from Jan. 11, 2012, to April 26, 2016. Pargeon took payments she collected, which were made payable to the medical practitioners, and fraudulently deposited them into her business and personal bank accounts without the approval or authority of the medical practitioner. Pargeon did not have the authority to sign their names, endorse any of the checks, or deposit them into her business or personal bank accounts. Pargeon admitted that she fraudulently endorsed and deposited over 740 checks made payable to her medical practitioner clients.

Pargeon also admitted that she failed to report the embezzled income on her federal tax returns for 2012 through 2015. This resulted in a total tax loss to the government of $170,749, without penalty or interest. Pargeon, who prepared the tax returns herself utilizing the Turbo Tax computer tax program, specifically pleaded guilty to failing to report $232,929 in income received from the fraud scheme and earned from her businesses in 2012.

Under the terms of today’s plea agreement, Pargeon must forfeit to the government $726,307, which represents the proceeds of the wire fraud scheme as well as $232,929 in income Pargeon received in 2012 for the fraud scheme and earned from her businesses, but which she failed to report on her 2013 tax return.