SARASOTA -- A local audiologist was charged with selling used hearing aids as if they were new ones and filing fraudulent loss and damage reports, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.
Dr. Stephen Goff, 62, was booked into Sarasota County jail Thursday, according to a release. The time of his arrest was not listed in a report.
According to a release, Goff left Northland Hearing Centers in May 2013. As the audiologist at the hearing aid clinic, the report said, Goff had discovered that there were no records of sale in many cases for the hearing aids patients were wearing.
From January to May 2013, Goff submitted false loss and damage claims for 10 patients at Hearing Centers of Southwest Florida in Venice, according to the sheriff's office. When a patient would purchase new hearing aids from Goff, Goff would use the warranty that came with them to file a loss/damage report. When the new hearing aids arrived, deputies said Goff sold them to another patient.
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The audiologist charged the patient the full amount for custom hearing aids, even though they had been fitted for the patient on the loss/damage report, and kept the profits from the sale.
The estimated loss to Goff's employer is $19,660, deputies said. In addition to the monetary loss, deputies said Goff deprived patients of having new, custom-fitted hearing aids.
Goff was charged with one count of scheme to defraud. He was released on $1,500 bond.