MASSENA -- A former nursing home business manager and Massena resident who admitted to stealing $18,000 in residents’ funds was sentenced to three years probation, according to Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman.
Wendy Vice was sentenced Wednesday afternoon in Massena Village Court by the Honorable Gerald P. Sharlow and will also be required to seek counseling for gambling problems.
Vice pled guilty on Sept. 25, to petit larceny charges for diverting funds to her own account in 2011 and 2012.
“My office will hold those who take advantage of vulnerable nursing home residents accountable,” Schneiderman said.
Vice reportedly stole the funds while working in the business office of the Highland Nursing Home, where her duties included receiving and depositing funds into the facility's various accounts, including the Resident Trust Account.
She made false entries into the facility's books and forged names on receipts.
“Highland Nursing Home detected the crime, reported it and recovered the losses; but I encourage all nursing homes and other residential facilities to maintain safeguards to prevent such thefts. My office will keep fighting to ensure that those who take advantage of vulnerable nursing home residents will be held accountable,” Schneiderman said.
Highland Nursing Home reimbursed all of the patients whose funds were wrongfully taken.
Upon discovery by the facility, Vice admitted her wrongful acts and repaid over $10,000 of the $18,000 she stole.
“Nursing home residents entrust a great deal of control of their lives – physically, financially and emotionally – to the staff members of these facilities, who are obligated to honor that trust,” Schneiderman said.
The case was investigated by Special Investigator Scott Petucci and the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit's (MFCU) Rochester Regional Chief Investigator William Falk.
The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Paul R. Berry of the MFCU Syracuse Regional Office. MFCU is led by Acting Director Amy Held.
The Division of Criminal Justice is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General Kelly Donovan.