Crime

Ex-administrator who stole $25,000 from Columbus clinic now charged in Gwinnett Co.

Micah Seth Carver
Micah Seth Carver

A former Columbus health clinic administrator who pleaded guilty to stealing $25,000 from the business now faces similar charges in Gwinnett County, Ga., authorities said Friday.

Micah Seth Carver, 38, pleaded guilty to one felony count of theft by taking for misappropriating the funds from OB/GYN Specialists of Columbus between June 4, 2012, and Nov. 17, 2014, when he was the clinic administrator.

Judge Maureen Gottfried sentenced Carver to 20 years’ probation and ordered him to pay $25,023.28 in restitution to the clinic’s insurer. That’s the same amount police Cpl. Jane Edenfield said was stolen in a Feb. 8, 2013, warrant for Carver’s arrest.

Gottfried also ordered Caver banished from the six-county Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit, with exceptions for child visitation, and she ordered him to stay away from the clinic at 1604 12th St. and from Dr. Ruthann Rees.

The judicial circuit encompasses the counties of Muscogee, Chattahoochee, Harris, Taylor, Talbot and Marion.

According to the warrant and previous reports on Carver’s arrest, he took the money from various business accounts, including “petty cash, unauthorized salary increases, unapproved paid time-off cash outs, and illegitimate payments for cleaning fees.”

“He handled all the money,” said Assistant District Attorney James Barrow, who prosecuted Carver. His position enabled Carver to betray Rees’ trust by shifting funds to himself. “He gave himself a raise,” with no authorization, Barrow said, and paid himself for time off and for cleaning up the office.

Dr. Rees said she hopes this felony conviction ensures Carver never again gets the chance to commit a similar offense. He had faced an earlier accusation she was unaware of when she hired him, she said.

“I’m glad this is something I can put behind me now,” she said. “The whole reason for pursuing this was so he did not go on and do this to another physician.”

As part of his plea deal, Carver was to repay $7,500 in restitution within seven days. Represented by Columbus attorney Stacey Jackson, Carver pleaded guilty Sept. 6.

After his plea, he was arrested in court on an outstanding warrant from Gwinnett County, Ga. Barrow said that involves a case in Lawrenceville.

Barrow filed notice Aug. 30, 2017, that if Carver went to trial, prosecutors would introduce evidence of a similar allegation: That while managing the office of Lawrenceville Pediatrics, Carver misappropriated $17,000 from the business. Lawrenceville police are pursuing that case now, Barrow said.

According to the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s website, Carver was booked into the jail there shortly after midnight Sept. 7 and released on $5,700 bond about 3:30 p.m. that same day. The jail listed Carver’s address as Cleveland, Tenn.

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