Veterinary employees across the nation head to court to face theft allegations


Accusations range from embezzlement to third-degree burglary.

Atiya Pope, a former employee of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) in Montgomery County, Maryland, allegedly stole approximately $31,000 to pay for personal expenses that included a trip to Aruba.

Police say Pope used HSUS's credit card between February 2013 and January 2015 to pay for the vacation, restaurants, hotels, gas stations, rental cars, shopping and veterinary care, according to The Washington Post.

“A former employee committed a criminal act against the organization,” Heather Sullivan, senior director of media relations for HSUS, tells dvm360 in a statement. “We take this very seriously and are urging full prosecution. We have strict standards of conduct and strong internal controls to prevent any similar crime, and insurance coverage to protect donor dollars from acts of theft.”

Pope is charged with theft and embezzlement, and she appeared in court July 16.

Sherry Lynn Anderson, a former office assistant in accounts receivable for Minnesota Veterinary Associates, faces eight felony counts of theft by swindle for allegedly stealing approximately $1.3 million from the practice.

The complaint asserts that for six years Anderson kept cash payments instead of depositing them and manipulated the payroll system to increase her pay, according to the St. Cloud Times. The complaint also alleges that Anderson often went on vacation, had new cars and talked about her children's college funds.

Taylor Vigliotti - Photo courtesy of Nassau County PoliceAnderson appeared in court July 6. A representative with Minnesota Veterinary Associates declined to comment on the case.

Taylor Vigliotti, a former employee with South Bellmore Veterinary Group in New York, was fired and allegedly returned June 6 to steal money from a safe and desk drawer.

Police say Vigliotti used keys she took from work, according to Patch. The owner checked the security camera the next day and called police. A representative with South Bellmore Veterinary Group declined comment.

Vigliotti is charged with third-degree burglary, and she appeared in court July 8.

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