Obstructive sleep apnea affects around 20 million Americans and can lead to hypertension, heart attack, stroke, depression, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, morning headaches, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Is Sleep Apnea to Blame for $25 Million Theft?

A Manhattan travel agent claims that her sleep apnea is to blame for her decision to embezzle $25 million from various clients. She stole $17 million from American Express through fraudulent charges on defunct business travel accounts, then overbilled a defense contractor to the tune of $8 million more. Now, she says, she cannot understand what made her make the decisions she made, but partly attributes her decisions to her undiagnosed sleep apnea. As the woman's lawyer pointed out, this is not a defense. She pleaded guilty to the charges and is prepared to accept her six year sentence and will attempt to make full repayment of the stolen funds. But is it an explanation?

Sleep apnea sufferers show many diverse sleep apnea symptoms which can range from physical symptoms such as tiredness and an increased risk of serious health conditions such as heart attack, stroke, and obesity. In addition, patients experience many psychological side effects, which may include personality changes and cognitive defects. It's possible that this woman experienced a period of questionable judgment in which she thought that the reasons she was taking the money for, such as her business and her novel, would yield enough return to allow her to pay back the stolen money.

Although sleep apnea is not a good defense for any criminal proceedings, it can put you in a wrong state of mind and make you more susceptible to making poor decisions. To put yourself in your right mind, make sure you're getting the sleep you need. To learn more about sleep apnea treatment options, please contact a local sleep dentist today.

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posted by Dr. Candelaria at 3:01 PM