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Ex-manager convicted of stealing $500,000 from Williamsburg medical practice

A former employee of Cullom Eye and Laser Center in Williamsburg was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday on fraud charges for allegedly embezzling more than $500,000 from her employer. (Courtesy Google Maps)
A former employee of Cullom Eye and Laser Center in Williamsburg was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday on fraud charges for allegedly embezzling more than $500,000 from her employer. (Courtesy Google Maps)

The former manager of an eye-care center in Williamsburg has been convicted on several federal charges after taking more than $500,000 from her employer.

Sherea Darnell, 34, of Southfield, Michigan, was convicted by a federal jury Tuesday of wire fraud, bank fraud and filing false federal income tax returns, the U.S. Department of Justice said.

Darnell worked as the practice manager of Cullom Eye and Laser Center in Williamsburg from March 2012 to September 2016. 

While there, Darnell used three of Dr. Robert Cullom’s credit cards for personal transactions totaling about $514,000. She also used his Wells Fargo Advisors account, which was established to pay for medical equipment, to pay the balances of her own credit cards.

Under the eye-care practice, both Darnell and Cullom were employees of Riverside Healthcare.

Darnell used Cullom’s credit cards to pay for her son’s preschool tuition, which she deducted from her 2016 tax return. She also took more than $90,000 in cash advances and used them to hire a maid service and purchase high-end clothing, airline tickets for herself and her family, and luxury vehicles.

Darnell did not report any of the funds on her tax returns.

After resigning from her manager position at the eye-care practice, Darnell continued to use Cullom’s credit cards for moving and other expenses.

Darnell is scheduled to be sentenced at 11 a.m. Oct. 24 in the U.S. Eastern District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. She faces up to 30 years in prison.

Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

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