Foster’s Daily Democrat reported that Nina Perez has been convicted and sentenced for stealing morphine that was supposed to go to an elderly nursing home patient.  Perez was a licensed practical nurse at The Edgewood Centre who pleaded guilty to one class B felony count of possession of a controlled drug and one misdemeanor count of abuse of facility patients.

Perez took a quantity of the controlled drug morphine that was prescribed for a resident and retained it for her own use. Perez received a sentence of twelve months followed by two years of probation. Six months of the sentence was suspended for two years upon the condition of good behavior. Perez also received a sentence of two to five years at the New Hampshire State Prison and a $350 fine. The term of incarceration was suspended for three years upon the condition of good behavior.  Perez’s nursing license has been revoked and she has been added to a federal database of individuals who are excluded from working in health care facilities for five year.

 

NewsOK and 9 Mobile recently reported on an appalling incident of resident abuse at
Quail Creek Nursing and Rehabilitation Center of Oklahoma. Lucy Waithira Gakunga who worked at a nursing aide at the facility, admitted stuffing latex gloves and holding them into the mouth of the victim, Eryetha Mayberry, who was 96-year-old and suffering from dementia.

The abuse was caught on video after the family of Mayberry suspected that facility staff was stealing from their loved one and placed a hidden security camera in the room. They were shocked to discover the abuse that was occurring. “We had no idea that she was being mistreated,” said Mayberry’s three daughters. “She was so helpless.”

The video shows Gakunga forcing the gloves into Mayberryʼs mouth while another aide look on. Further footage shows Gakunga place the victim into bed and then push her face, forcing her into a lying position. The aide is also seen pushing on the residentʼs torso for no apparent reason.
Sadly, Gakunga received a seven year prison sentence but the last five years of it were suspended.  Mayberryʼs daughter expressed her concern with Gakungaʼs light sentence, “I don’t feel it was severe enough, but I’m not the judge.”

Hopefully, a jury will someday be able to provide the family the justice they deserve.

In a report by Ashley Michelle Williams of the WBAL Radio Station in Baltimore, Maryland, Tarslia Jackson was found guilty of assault.   Jackson abused an elderly female resident living at the Northwest Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Baltimore. Back in August, while Jackson was a nursing home employee, she pushed and slapped the 71-year-old lady when the pair had a “verbal disagreement.”   Another employee witnessed the incident and reported it to the appropriate authorities.

Jackson was put under supervised probation for one year and not allowed to work with or around “vulnerable adults.”  She was also sentenced to pay her court costs, and the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund has received a contribution of $35 from her.

The Sacramento Bee reported the sentencing of John D. Henderson–former executive for Medical Facilities of America–to five years and three months in prison for accepting kickbacks from contractors and evading taxes.  Henderson was ordered to pay only $700,000 in restitution, federal taxes and penalties.  Henderson is the former director of maintenance and renovations for Medical Facilities of America, which operates more than 40 nursing homes in Virginia and North Carolina.

He was convicted of demanding kickbacks in exchange for giving various companies contracts for construction work at some of those nursing homes.  This is a common problem in the industry.   Henderson pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and two counts of tax evasion in federal court in March.  Four contractors have been convicted of paying kickbacks to Henderson.

 

The News Observers recently reported that a registered nurse at Britthaven nursing home in Chapel Hil, N.C. plead guilty in the death of resident Rachel Holliday.  Almore is guilty of involuntary manslaughter and patient abuse, and six additional counts of felony patient abuse involving other residents in her unit.

Almore administered unauthorized, unsafe levels of morphine to the residents which ultimately resulted in the death of one and injuries of the other six.  None of the victims were prescribed morphine.

Sadly, the sentencing in this case did not nearly reflect the severity of the crimes. Almore was only sentenced to a mere 5 months in jail for her crimes and was even given credit for the 107 days she served prior to her sentencing. The facility, after a state investigation, was fined only $20,000.

The Sunbury Daily reported on the conviction and sentencing of a former administrator for Selinsgrove personal care home in Middleburg, PA.  Linda A. Sullivan, the spouse of Thomas Pregent, president of the corporation that operated Loving Care, was convicted of three counts of felony theft and one count of misappropriation of property.

Sullivan stole over $20,000 from a helpless resident of Loving Care Nursing Center and then used the funds to purchase a van in her own name.  During the hearing Synder County Senior Judge Harold F. Woelfel Jr. said, “To take advantage of the old and infirm is inexcusable.” Sullivan was sentenced to 23 months on intermediate punishment (house arrest) for her crimes.

Why isn’t she in jail instead of house arrest?

The Billings Gazette had an article about the guilty plea and sentence of Perry Vandeventer to between four and six years in prison and ordered him to payback only $41,000 in restitution for embezzlement.  Vandeventer was the chief financial officer of Shepherd of the Valley nursing home.  Vandeventer pleaded guilty to one count of obtaining money under false pretenses from Shepherd of the Valley. Vandeventer was blamed for accelerating the financial decline at the nursing home in late 2010 that led to its acquisition by a Minnesota company.

"From his hiring in early 2008 to January 2011, Vandeventer defrauded the nursing home by submitting bogus receipts for contractors who never did any work, obtaining cash advances for travel including trips he didn’t take, and obtaining money for books, education expenses and dues for purposes unrelated to the nursing home’s business, according to court records. He also used nursing home credit cards to pay for a computer, books, meals in Denver restaurants, vehicle repair, fuel, and a personal speeding ticket in Casper Municipal Court, according to court records."

West Virginia’s WSAZ reported the sentencing of Darren Canada, a nursing home employee, to only one to three years in jail. In December, Canada pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of attempting to commit a felony.  Canada was indicted on charges of abuse or neglect of incapacitated adult and second degree sexual abuse in September 2010.  The charges were the result of an incident involving an 81-year-old female patient at the Chateau Adult Care Facility.

The criminal compliant says that another employee at the facility caught Canada attempting to sexually assault the incapacitated patient.  When confronted, the complaint says Canada exited the building by jumping through a window.  Canada later confessed to the incident  

And he only has to serve a year?  Where is the justice?

WKRC out of Cincinnati reported the guilty plea of Judith Ney, a manager for Meadowbrook Care Center nursing home for stealing more than $311,000 from the business.  Ney pleaded guilty to an aggravated theft charge. Ney was the payroll administrator for Trinity Health Care, which owns the Meadowbrook Care Center.  From 2007 though 2010, Ney would keep employees on the payroll for a couple of weeks, even after they left their jobs. She then deposited the paychecks into her own bank accounts.

 

ABC News out of Chicago, Illinois reported the sentencing of nursing home employee Marty Himebaugh for criminal neglect that led to the death of 6 nursing home residents.  In 2006 six patients died from over-medication of morphine.  Himebaugh, a nurse for Woodstock Residence Nursing Center pleaded guilty to one count of criminal neglect and the five other charges were dropped.

Himebaugh will not serve any jail time.  Himebaugh was sentenced to only two years of probation. There are still civil cases against Himbaugh that have yet to come to court.  One of the plaintiff attorneys for one family was frustrated with the prosecution’s inability to prove the range of charges found during the investigation.