Two Florida woman, a mother and daughter, set up fake cosmetic surgery clinics and stole close to $200,000 from a bank that paid them for medical services they never provided, investigators said.
Jean Barbara Leclercq, 69, of New Smyrna Beach, previously convicted and imprisoned for wire fraud, was arrested and charged with grand theft over $100,000; organized scheme to defraud of more than $50,000; fraud-money laundering transactions of $100,000 or more; and racketeering violation. She is out of jail on $100,000 bail.
Leclercq and her daughter, Lisa Searson, 49, of Geneva, have been named in a charging affidavit presented to prosecutors by a State Attorney’s Office investigator who wrote that the women set up five fake businesses offering cosmetic surgery and charged Synchrony Bank for medical services that were never rendered.
In the case investigated by the State Attorney’s Office, Leclercq and Searson set up five fake businesses between Dec. 17, 2018, and January 2020. Searson used fictitious information and even had her dead grandmother as the person signing documents when she registered the businesses with the State of Florida, a charging document states.
The women also used the identification of doctors and told unsuspecting customers that the medical doctors would provide the service when the medical professionals did not know of any such clinics, the investigator said.
The last business set up by the mother-daughter duo was named New Seasons of Florida, Inc., and through a program known as Care Credit from Synchrony Bank, billed the financial institution $189,629.75 for services that were never given, the charging document states.
In addition to setting up these fake clinics, Leclercq and her daughter opened bank accounts in the name of the illegal businesses to collect the money paid to them by Synchrony Bank. They then moved the money to other bank accounts they held by “co-mingling the funds” in a “layering and integration” process to support their lifestyle and personal enrichment, the investigator noted in the charging document.
In all, the mother-daughter pair received 34 deposits from Synchrony Bank. The bank reported the theft after victims complained that they did not get services from New Seasons of Florida, Inc, or had their services canceled, the report states.
In one instance, Searson used the Peer to Peer app to pay her disabled daughter $5,019 dollars from the money fraudulently obtained, investigators said.