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OGDEN — An officer manager for a Weber County dental office appeared in court this week to answer charges accusing her of writing checks to employees and patients who don’t exist.
Nikki Lee Martinez, 40, of Roy, is charged in 2nd District Court with theft by deception, a second-degree felony; 25 counts of forgery, plus unlawful use of a transaction card and obstructing justice, all third-degree felonies.
in October, police were called to South Ogden Dental Associates after the recently hired office manger discovered her predecessor, Martinez, forged several checks, according to charging documents. The new officer manager “found several checks that had been written to people who had never been employed or had treatment at their facility.”
She also found a notebook that contained several signatures that appeared to be Martinez practicing signatures of previous patients, the charges state.
Twenty-nine checks totaling $13,700 went issued to a woman who was never a patient or employee of the dental office, according to investigators. An additional 39 checks totaling more than $63,000 were issued directly to Martinez, but contained forged signatures of her boss, the charging documents say.
Investigators also believe Martinez was using the company’s American Express card to pay her cellphone bill and make her car payment as well as make purchases at Pizza Hut, Domino’s Pizza, Walmart, Uber, Netflix, and more.
In August, Martinez was involved in a traffic accident. As police were taking inventory of her vehicle, they found several blank checks belonging to South Ogden Dental Associates, according to the charges.
Martinez made her initial appearance in court on Monday and is scheduled to return on Feb. 3.