South Florida women accused of trying to pull off broken tooth scam at eatery, Chris Gothner and Calvin Hughes, February 1, 2024

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – A trio of South Florida women were caught in a toothy scam attempt at a West Palm Beach eatery, using fake dental bills and aliases, but authorities foiled the plot through some undercover detective work, police said.

According to an arrest report, in September, a group of women were eating at the Avocado Cafe, located at 125 Datura St., when one of the women, “Elaine Sanders,” claimed she bit down on a rock in her salad and injured her tooth.

She would file a claim and submit a nearly $9,000 dental invoice from a dental clinic in Coral Springs, police said.

But police said “Elaine” was actually Ann Sherry Miller, 45, of Aventura. Her tablemate, “Stacey Wells,” was Sheila Angelina Miller, 36, of Hollywood.

It turned out the dental invoice was fake, police said. The owner of Coral Dental Care, located at 1881 N. University Blvd., told police he had no patient named “Elaine Sanders” and the medical records looked nothing like the ones he used, arrest reports state.

Police went undercover on Sept. 27, pretending to be the restaurant owner.

“(They brought) these suspects back to the restaurant where they were allegedly going to receive $6,000 in exchange or as payment for the supposed dental treatment,” West Palm Beach police spokesperson Mike Jachles told ABC affiliate WPBF. “The lead detective on this case assumed the role of the restaurant owner, greeted the women and met with them at the restaurant.”

Tagging along, police said, was Ann Miller’s mother-in-law, Mary Steimberg, 51, of Hollywood, who they said was also part of the scheme.

“This is not these women’s first attempt at a ploy like this,” Jachles told WPBF. “So, we’re looking for anybody else that might be a victim to this, to come forward notify the West Palm Beach police or your local police agency if it’s not from our city.”

Police said they looked for damage on Ann Miller’s tooth but couldn’t find any.

Sheila Miller was charged with grand theft and fraudulent use of personal identification information. Ann Miller is facing charges of fabrication of documents and grand theft, while Steimberg has been charged with larceny, grand theft and fraud.

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