The Tennessean had an article about the arrest of Regina Jacobs.  The nursing home employee is charged with stealing more than $400,000 from the nursing home where she
worked for more than 10 years. I wonder how long it was going on?  How could she be so greedy?

Officers with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation arrested her after she was indicted by the Wilson County grand jury on three counts of theft over $60,000, two counts of theft over $10,000 and one count of theft over $1,000.

In December 2008, the nursing home, Quality Care Health Center, finally discovered that Jacobs, a business office manager, had been cashing checks intended to cover patient costs and keeping the money.  An internal investigation and audit at the nursing home revealed that about 70 patients’ accounts had been affected.

 

News4Jax had an article about a nursing home Administrator indicted for embezzlement, money laundering, credit card fraud and identity theft, accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from Riverview Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.  Mary Burroughs stole the money over a one-year period from the center, a nonprofit organization that received millions of dollars in federal funding.

"The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to investigating and prosecuting financial fraud and regaining what victims of these crimes have lost," U.S. attorney Edward Tarver said in a news release.

According to the indictment, between May 1, 2009, and April 30, Burroughs used her position as administrator to cause Riverview to issue multiple checks from its Wachovia money market account to cash, which she then used to purchase cashier’s checks made payable to Burrough’s Heating & Air and others.  Burroughs embezzled more than $235,000 from the Riverview money market account.  In addition, the indictment says that Burroughs used a Riverview credit card in the name of an employee she had terminated to make thousands of dollars of unauthorized and personal charges.

The indictment also says that Burroughs, without permission or authority, had others rip out copper piping and other metal objects from a Riverview building to be sold as scrap metal.

The indictment charges Burroughs with five counts of stealing from a program receiving federal funds and one count of credit card fraud.  Finally, the indictment charges Burroughs with one count of aggravated identity theft, which requires a two-year consecutive prison sentence to any other sentence imposed.

The Buffalo News had an article about nursing home employees embezzling money that should have gone to the resident’s care.   Mary Blenker is the second employee of the Absolut nursing and rehabilitation complex in Orchard Park to plead guilty to corporate embezzlement.

Blenker admitted to stealing $13,402 from the disbursement funds she managed for the company’s adult living community and its nursing home from January 2007 until 13 months ago.  Blenker pleaded guilty to felony grand larceny and misdemeanor attempted grand larceny for the thefts before a grand jury reviewed her case.

Blenker, a former administrative assistant for financial affairs at the nursing home complex, was forced to sign confessions of judgment and must make complete restitution.

Rhonda Skiver, Absolut’s former chief financial officer, faces sentencing on her Feb. 19 guilty plea to embezzling more than $163,000 between December 2005 and April 2009.

 

The Facts had a story about Bree Ann Gallardo who faces first-degree felony charges of stealing about $227,000 from Lake Jackson Healthcare Center.  Gallardo was indicted by a grand jury on charges of misapplication of fiduciary property and aggregated theft.  If convicted of the misapplication charge, she could face up to life in prison.

Gallardo is accused of signing checks to herself and making checks to cash from a resident’s trust fund between May 2007 and August 2009, according to a probable cause affidavit.  Gallardo, who also has used the last names Quisenberry and Finch, worked as the business office manager for the nursing home. Her responsibilities including “replenishing” the resident’s trust fund, court documents state.  The nursing home’s administrators discovered in September that Gallardo cashed a $6,960 check that was meant for a resident’s funeral expenses at Palms Funeral Home, the probable cause affidavit states.

After learning about the incident, a certified public accountant researched the company’s books and discovered $227,402 that she endorsed for cash and wrote a check for cash when she was not authorized by the resident to do so, court documents state. The report also found there were about $1,531 worth of checks, all less than $30, that had no signature or receipt of funds, the document states.

Brazoria County District Attorney Jeri Yenne said misapplication of fiduciary property cases are common in the medical field. Alvin Community Health Endeavor Executive Director Nancy Benefield turned herself in on the same charge and is accused of taking money from the federally funded clinic.

“There will always be individuals that will find access to accounts in settings where people least expect it,” Yenne said. “A small-type setting that handles a lot of funds can be ripe for this type of theft.”

According to Brazoria County Sheriff’s online records, Gallardo has served probation on several unrelated charges including forgery, theft and theft by check that date back to 2002. She was on probation for a forgery charge at the time of her arrest.

There are some great people working at nursing homes, below are not stories about them:

WCAK.com had a story about Rhonda Skiver who pled guilty to grand larceny after embezzling more than $163,000 from an upstate New York nursing home where she worked as chief financial officer.  She was struggling to pay off gambling debts and costs from a failed marriage has admitted to stealing the funds for resident care from Absolut Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Orchard Park, where she had worked for 10 years.   Rhonda Skiver could face up to 15 years in prison at sentencing on May 17. Buffalo News also had an article on the arrest.

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SheboyganPress.com had a story about Ross H. Hoblitzell who was a nursing home activities director .  He was charged  after being captured on surveillance video stealing cash from the Plymouth Senior Center.  Hoblitzell could face up to seven and a half years in prison, if convicted on the count of felony burglary.

The manager of the senior center contacted police Monday morning after discovering money was missing from parking meter proceeds left in the senior center office. The manager also noticed a camera installed after a prior burglary had been moved.  The video showed Hoblitzell starting to remove the money, then noticing the camera and attempting to reposition it so he is not recorded. He then appears to try removing it, but fails, after which he picks up change from the floor and places it back in its container.  Hoblitzell admitted taking money for gas for his vehicle because he was having financial difficulties. He admitted taking money from the senior center in the past as well.  _______________________________________________________________________

St. Joe News had a story about Janet Sue Tinker who pled guilty to stealing prescription drugs from a nursing home for her son to sell. Tinker started working as a licensed practical nurse (LPN) for Carriage Square Health Care Center in November 2008. Around August of last year, she began pocketing medications.

Ms. Tinker took drugs home and left them on a table for her son Ryan O. Tinker, 20, according to her testimony.  The stealing went on for at least two months and included Ativan, Xanax, Lortab and morphine. A Crimestoppers tip led police to look into the family’s activities in September.

Ms. Tinker told Circuit Court Judge Pat Robb she never explicitly told her son to sell the drugs but left them for Mr. Tinker to find, knowing that would be the result. In a convoluted explanation, she said to the court, “There is a very unhealthy relationship between my son and I,” and added she hoped providing the drugs to her son would lead him to move out of her house on Safari Drive.

“It just doesn’t make sense to me,” Mr. Robb told her when she maintained she never instructed her son to sell the drugs but it was an understanding.

 

 

My hometown paper the Spartanburg Herald had an article about the Mountainview nursing home employee arrested for taking more than $32,000 from a patient trust account charged with exploitation of a vulnerable adult.  Jenny Denise Birch was released on $10,000 bond after spending a little less than three hours in the Spartanburg County jail.

An arrest warrant obtained by the Attorney General’s Office accuses Birch of making "unlawful, unauthorized or improper use of the funds" from Mountainview Nursing Home’s Bank of America patient trust account between Nov. 3, 2008, and Nov. 27, 2009.

Mountainview Nursing Home’s Web site indicates Birch had worked there since 2004. Wilson Dillard, the adminstrator of the nursing home, said that Birch formerly worked in the facility’s business office.  Dillard said the facility became aware of "problems associated with (Birch’s) work" and contacted the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud division to begin an investigation.

The arrest warrant accuses Birch of making "electronic transfers of received cash from the patient trust account in the amount of $32,413.42 for her personal benefit." It also states that the funds belonged to vulnerable adults who were living at the facility.

Upon discovery of the problem, Dillard said the facility completely routed that amount of money to the patient accounts and that no patients had been adversely affected. Dillard said the facility will "pursue whatever avenues" exist to reclaim the funds.

 

The Star-Telegram had a story about nursing home employees who stole and embezzled money from the residents at a nursing home.  This is outrageous and it happens quite often.  Taxpayers are the ones who end up paying for these thefts.  The nursing homes should pay more attention to their finances and laws need to be passed that provide for transparency in nursing home financial transactions.

Terry Dean West and Elizandro Valdez Arana pleaded guilty this week to federal felony charges related to their embezzlement of about $42,000 from Medicaid, insurance carriers and a corporation that operated 10 Texas nursing homes including one in Fort Worth.  They pled to making false statements related to health care matters and aiding and abetting in the embezzlement scheme.   There is no reason mentioned why they weren’t charged with embezzlement.

West was working as a financial analyst for the Georgia-based Sava Senior Care Corp. in 2006 when he devised a scheme to embezzle money from Medicaid, private insurance carriers and Sava, which operated 10 Texas nursing homes and dozens of others nationwide.

West’s duties including overseeing the business managers of the Pampa Nursing Center in Pampa and the Arlington Heights Health and Rehabilitation Center in Fort Worth. In that capacity, he was required to refund excess payments to Medicaid, insurance carriers or residents of the centers.  West hired Arana to provide his name and that of an alias to use to cash funds containing the embezzled funds.

West admitted altering patient records to show non-existent credit balances and to create false names and addresses of the parties to whom the refunds should be mailed. He then issued refund checks to those newly created parties and mailed them to a post office box the pair had rented. They cashed the checks for their own use.

The scheme involved altering patient records to show non-existent credit balances and to create false names and addresses where refunds were mailed.

 

WSOCTV.com had an article about a Rock Hill, S.C. charged with stealing money from patients at the nursing home where she worked.   Melissa Kelly was the business manager at Magnolia Manor on Murrah Drive in Rock Hill. She has been charged with one count of forgery, and one count of elder exploitation.  Magnolia Manor is part of the chain of THI and Fundamental nursing homes.

Kelly was fired from her job last fall after an internal audit uncovered more than $65,000 of company checks that were forged and then cashed. "The more we dug, the more blatant it became," said detective David Hanoka who spent four months investigating the case.

Hanoka said dozens of nursing home patients lost money since April of 2006 without ever knowing it.  Many of the nursing home residents on Medicaid or Medicare have small trust accounts used for spending money. The money is often petty cash that’s used for small day to day items. Those are the accounts police say were stolen from.

"This money was never distributed to the individuals it should’ve been distributed to," Hanoka said.

Instead, police believe Kelly forged and cashed the checks. Police said it’s not clear how much of the missing $65,000 she is responsible for. Police focused their investigation on just 14 cases they say took place in 2008.

The state attorney general’s office will continue the investigation, and prosecute the case.

Joy Patterson, the administrator at Magnolia Manor, told the media that the company was not ready to release a statement yet, but would soon.

Michelle Norman, who worked as a business office manager for a skilled nursing and rehabilitation center for nearly 10 years, has been indicted in the theft of more than $183,000.  How could anyone not notice that much money missing? 

She was employed by Lake Pointe Health Center.  The missing funds were discovered during a complete audit of the firm’s books.   The 182-bed facility, which has been under the management of Lake Pointe Health Center since December 2005.

Patients at the facility maintain individual accounts used to pay for personal bills or other expenses.  Those accounts are maintained by a combination of funds provided by retirement or pension plans, Medicaid and family members.

Norman is accused of using what police said was a scheme that became increasingly complex as she obtained money from various accounts by writing checks and then replacing shorted funds with money from other accounts “to maintain the balances,” Carpentiere said. “It became something that progressively affected more and more accounts.”