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Employee charged with stealing $30k from midwife center at Anne Arundel Medical Center

A Queen Anne’s County woman working with a prenatal care practice has been charged with stealing more than $30,000 from Anne Arundel Medical Center , court records show.

Margaret McAleer, 66, of Crumpton has been charged with operating a theft scheme of between $25,000 and $100,000 and other charges, according to online court records.

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She did not have an attorney listed in court records and could not be reached for comment.

In charging documents, Anne Arundel County police detectives said McAleer collected cash from 31 women who were patients at Bay Area Midwifery over 18 months. She then changed the records to hide the payment and kept the money, police said.

Bay Area Midwifery is “a freestanding birth center” on the main campus of Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, according to the hospital website. It’s a part of the Anne Arundel Medical Group, a subsidiary of the Anne Arundel Health System.

Police said the center provides prenatal care to many uninsured patients who pay for their care in cash.

Loren Farquhar, spokeswoman for Anne Arundel Health System, confirmed that McAleer was an employee of the health network but declined to comment further, citing the investigation.

Detectives wrote in charging documents that patients regularly paid $1,000 cash to McAleer before receiving services. A newly instituted procedure from the midwifery cracked the alleged scheme.

Beginning in April last year, Bay Area Midwifery began calling patients a few days before their scheduled appointments to make sure they were aware of any payments due at the time of the appointment, detectives wrote. “It was during one of those calls they realized something was wrong.”

When the midwifery called, one mom-to-be explained she’d already paid $1,000 in cash and said she had the receipt to prove it, police wrote.

But the receipt had been generated in a Microsoft Word document, not the midwifery’s account operating system, which would have created a record that she’d paid, investigators found.

After an investigation, police said it appeared McAleer had edited the woman’s claim, according to charging documents. “So, instead of showing the patients paid," records showed the payment was $0 — leading the center to believe these patients hadn’t paid when they had.

Police said McAleer employed the same maneuver with 31 patients. With each patient’s fee at $1,000, they allege she stole $31,000.

Anne Arundel Medical Center, detectives determined, paid the midwifery back for the perceived lack of payments — those that were allegedly pocketed by McAleer.

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Employees at the midwifery who are authorized to edit financials each have personal usernames, police said. A review determined that “mmcaleer” edited all the “fraudulent transactions” on the 31 accounts, according to the charging documents.

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