MACON, Ga. – April 2018 – A woman who formerly worked in two Macon medical offices was sentenced to 30 years on Monday — five of them in prison.

Melissa Dyan Zediker, 46, pleaded guilty to 49 counts of theft by taking and one count of forgery.

In addition to her sentence, she also must pay $711,881 in restitution fees.

If the case had gone to trial, prosecutors would have presented evidence showing:

Prior to her arrest, Zediker was a fiduciary employee of OrthoGeorgia and later Urology Specialists of Georgia.

– On March 16, 2015, Bibb County deputies were dispatched to OrthoGeorgia. Forsyth Street Orthopaedics had just merged with OrthoGeorgia and inconsistencies were found in an employee’s pay records. It was discovered that Zediker had altered the name and social security number for the employee – her mother – to match the first initial of her brother’s name and his social security number. More than $99,000 in payments to the employee were direct deposited into Zediker’s account. Zediker’s brother never worked for Forsyth Street Orthopaedics or OrthoGeorgia.

– Zediker and her husband owned and operated Georgia Data Partners, a company that stored and maintained medical records. They contracted with Forsyth Street Orthopaedics to store the office’s records.

– It was discovered that there were numerous charges paid to Georgia Data Partners that were not supported by invoices submitted to the medical office and that were inconsistent with tax information claimed by the Zedikers’ company. Fraudulent payments made to Georgia Data Partners totaled $312,492.

– An additional $304,270 in personal charges for airplane reservations, hotel rooms, and payments for college classes were charged to Forsyth Street Orthopaedics credit cards. Zediker also wrote $37,935 in checks for non-work-related purposes.

– While employed as an office manager at Urology Specialists of Georgia, Zediker forged the signature of a doctor at the practice while applying for a $44,244 lease for an ultrasound machine. The medical office had no use for the machine and didn’t approve the lease.

– Zediker additionally created fake invoices for Georgia Data Partners purporting that the company had been hired to perform collections work for Urology Specialists. Under the fake agreement, Urology Specialists would pay Georgia Data Partners for money it collected for the medical office. There is no evidence Georgia Data Partners performed collections work or brought in money for the medical office, but checks were written to Georgia Data Partners for the invoices.

– Unauthorized personal credit card purchases were made using Urology Specialists accounts, including a trip to Florida that was disguised as a conference.

– Zediker additionally arranged to have the cost of her family’s health care insurance coverage reimbursed without authorization of the practice partners.

Speaking after the hearing, Macon Judicial Circuit District Attorney David Cooke said, “Theft and fraud like Mrs. Zediker committed not only hurts doctors’ offices, but patients as well as they’re left paying higher and higher medical costs. Anyone who steals a fortune and hopes for others to pay the bill should expect to go to prison.”