A former office manager for a St. Stephen dentist was sentenced Wednesday to six years in prison for funneling tens of thousands of dollars from the practice.
Linda Branton Gregg, 54, of Armadillo Court near St. Stephen pleaded guilty in a Moncks Corner courtroom to a charge of breach of trust of more than $10,000.
Ninth Circuit Judge Roger Young gave her the maximum 10-year prison sentence, which was suspended in lieu of six years in prison and three years of probation.
Gregg had been arrested in December 2011 on suspicion that she stole more than $80,000 from St. Stephen Family Dentistry on South Main Street, where she had worked for about 25 years.
Capt. Rick Ollic of the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office, which investigated the case along with the St. Stephen Police Department, said Thursday that "it was a good outcome based on the circumstances."
The loss of the funds was said to have devastated the dental practice financially and its owner, Dr. Tristan Cordray, emotionally, his attorney said.
Though she faced only one charge, Gregg also stole money from Dr. Herbert Orvin, who had owned the practice before his death, according to the Sheriff's Office.
A native of Ravenel, Cordray purchased the business in 2008, shortly after he graduated from dental school and decided to practice in a rural area, according a Post and Courier profile of him that was published before the allegations surfaced.
The practice sued Gregg and her fiance, Douglas Allen Kaufman. In December, Circuit Judge Markley Dennis awarded $569,371.47 in damages to the dentist.
One of Cordray's attorneys in the lawsuit, Oana Johnson of Charleston, said the theft had been a "big loss."
"Part of the problem was that they all trusted her," Johnson said. "That's as painful as losing money sometimes."
Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or twitter.com/offlede.