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Accused Dentist Says Witness Is Fired Employee

Dr. Hamada Makarita says he fired an FBI informant for insurance fraud, embezzlement.

An Oakton dentist accused of  says one of the case's witnesses is his practice's former office manager whom he fired after she embezzled from the practice two years ago, according to court documents.

Dr. Hamada Makarita terminated Karen Derder's employment at his dentistry practice in Oakton on April 15, 2010, after discovering she had engaged in insurance fraud and embezzled more than $50,000 from his 401(k) over five years, according to an affidavit from the defense's private investigator filed April 19. 

According to the documents, Makarita filed a report with the FBI after finding discrepancies in an audit he conducted of his business in April 2010. He also contacted the Fairfax County Police Department about the issue in May 2010.

No federal charges have been brought against Derder.

The office manager had previously worked for Makarita and was fired for insurance fraud in 1993. Derder, who went by the name of Karen Crowe at the time, was also convicted of forgery and uttering in the Culpeper County Circuit Court in 1991. Makarita and Derder reconciled and she was rehired in 1997.

The private detective's affidavit was filed in support of the defense's argument that Makarita is not a flight risk and therefore should retain travel privileges. On Thursday, earlier this month to .

Makarita, 50, was during which he took explicit photos of women to whom he had provided the drugs, according to federal prosecutors.

Last week, prosecutors filed a motion to detain and revoke travel privileges, accusing Makarita of engaging in witness tampering, in part through his interaction with Derder.

According to the FBI, Derder received a call April 12 from Makarita, which she did not answer. No voicemail was left. Makarita's defense explains the phone call as an accident, claiming his phone may have called Derder while it was in his pocket.

The FBI complaint also accused Makarita of intimidating a current employee for cooperating with the FBI investigation; of speaking with patients about prescriptions he wrote to them, including refills patients did not remember receiving; and of contacting at least one former girlfriend. The complaint also accuses Makarita of threatening to blackmail one former girlfriend, prior to his arrest, with explicit sexual videos taken on his cell phone. Makarita denies all accusations. 

When Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Mazen M. Basrawi informed Makarita's attorney, James Tate, of the alleged tampering April 6, Tate said Makarita had been answering questions from patients about the case but would refrain from discussing the case moving forward.

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