By News-Register staff • 

Two charged in dental practice fraud/theft case

Sherry McMullen
Sherry McMullen
Linda Hixson
Linda Hixson


Two former employees of a McMinnville dental practice have been arrested in connection with a fraud/theft investigation.

McMinnville police identified the suspects as Linda Louise Hixson, 56, of McMinnville, and Sherry Ann McMullen, 47, of Amity. They formerly worked for Dr. James B. Nelson, whose office is located at 821 N.E. Highway 99W, according to police. 

Hixson has been charged with four counts of first-degree theft, a Class C felony. She is out of custody and is scheduled for arraignment today before Yamhill County Circuit Court Judge Ronald Stone.

There are two cases pending against McMullen. In one, she is charged with three counts of first-degree theft and in the other one count of first-degree theft. She is out of custody, was previously arraigned in both cases and will return to court at 11:15 a.m. Monday, Sept. 14.

Capt. Dennis Marks gave this account of the investigation:

McMinnville police, with assistance from the Yamhill County Sherif'fs Office and Oregon State Police, served search warrants at at the two women's residences.

Records supplied by the dental office revealed evidence related to a long-term theft case of thousands of dollars associated with receiving unauthorized unemployment wages, receiving payment for hours the employees did not work, taking unauthorized vacation time, altering timesheets and fraudulently using business checks and credit cards.

Anyone with information about the case should contact Sgt. Cully Desmond or Detective Bill Christensen at the McMinnville police, 503-434-7307.







Sounds like a few of these charges are a little thin...."unauthorized vacation time"...are you kidding?
Sounds more like policy & oversight issues with the Dental office. "fraudulently using business checks/credit cards" did they enrich themselves or does the owner just not like what they bought? I would think the charge would be embezzelment if they took money for themselves....


They are each facing four counts of first-degree theft, which is a felony.
It's not theft if you buy the wrong brand of rubber bands. It's theft if you steal money from your employer and put it to your own personal use.
Paying yourself for hours you never worked or vacation time you never earned certainly sounds like stealing to me.


I know Linda Hixion, personally, and I find this IMPOSSIBLE to believe. She is a moral, very moral, woman, wife and an outstanding Mother. Perhaps we should ASSUME that these two are innocent.


Steve...If that's what happened I would agree....but I also understand that there can be a lot of give and take in the timekeeping process of small businesses. Did the office allow workers to mark time to avoid paying O/T on longer shifts? It's not an accepted practice but it happens quite frequently.Were the employees allowed to work from home?..Without situational details, there can be a lot of valid explanations for timekeeping discrepencies. I'll withhold judgement until the case is presented.....


I know Linda Hixon to be a woman of integrity and I am SURE there is a lot more to this story. She is too good of a woman to be involved in anything like this. She is a wonderful wife, friend, and an EXCEPTIONAL Mother. Those who know her know she is innocent of these charges. Hold your head up high Linda, we know what kind of person you are and are proud to call your our friend.


I sure hope they get to the bottom of this and hold the right people accountable for any wrong doing. The information as reported seems a little unbelievable. If in fact these ladies committed crimes they should be held accountable. BUT if in fact they did not and this is a matter of someone making false charges for nefarious reasons, I really hope those making the charges are held accountable to the highest degree possible (criminally and civilly).


"...[t]he information as reported seems a little unbelievable..."

What's unbelievable about the information, as reported? Is it the eight felonies between them? The thousands of dollars? The search warrants?

Seems pretty straightforward to me. The story is well-written and concise, almost to the point of minimalism. Do you think the newspaper embellished the charges? Or maybe the police just made them up entirely? Or is it that middle-aged, middle-class white women don't commit crimes?

Sorry, I take issue with ill-thought-out statements of indignance. The women may or may not be guilty but the story, as reported, is entirely believable.


The story is believable as written, but is only one side of the story.....We should keep in mind that these are "charges" and yet to be proven as facts....It's common to see felony charges reduced or eliminated based on the merits of the case.....

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