The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, July 27, 2021 1:00 am

2 get prison for swindling dental firm

Michigan men to pay over $3.1 million in years-long scheme

JIM CHAPMAN | The Journal Gazette

Two Michigan men were ordered in federal court to pay a local dental firm more than $3.1 million after admitting they defrauded the company.

Brian Nordan, 44, was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Fort Wayne to 31/2 years in prison, followed by two years of supervised release. Nordan was also ordered to pay more than $2.9 million in restitution to the dental firm.

Dustin Coleman, 43, was sentenced to six months in prison, followed by a year of supervised release. He was ordered to pay the firm $149,756 in restitution.

Both men, from Cassopolis, Michigan, pleaded guilty to wire fraud.

In 2006, the dental practice, not named in court documents, hired Nordan as chief marketing officer and general manager. He identified himself to The Journal Gazette during 2006 and 2009 interviews as general manager of Afdent's local office.

Nordan eventually took on the day-to-day management of the dental practice, which had more than 100 employees, and was paid an annual salary of $250,000, court records said.

In the spring of 2018, the owner of the dental practice learned Nordan had been fraudulently misappropriating funds from the practice for years through multiple schemes. Accountants discovered Nordan used company money through company credit cards and reimbursement checks to pay for unauthorized personal expenses, court records said.

Nordan used company funds to pay his personal credit cards, paid wages and benefits to his husband and sister when they were not working for the company and made unauthorized investments with his employer's money into a toothpaste company of which he was part owner. That company sold toothpaste back to the dental practice at greatly marked-up rates, court records said.

Accounts determined the total loss from Nordan's fraudulent schemes, self-dealing and unauthorized enrichment of family members to be $3,038,857.

Coleman was Nordan's domestic partner and eventual spouse who was hired by Nordan in 2012 to work on marketing for the business. Although Coleman did some work for the business, the dentist-owner of the practice did not know of or approve of Coleman's employment.

From 2016 to 2018, Coleman received $149,756 in wages and benefits to which he was not entitled as a result of a ghost employment scheme, court records said.

The case was investigated by the FBI's Indiana Financial Crimes Task Force with the assistance of the Organized Crime and Corruption Unit of the Indiana State Police.

The case was prosecuted by Acting U.S. Attorney Tina L. Nommay and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sarah E. Nokes and Luke N. Reilander.

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