By ANDY GARDNER
MASSENA -- A former Highland Nursing Home employee was arraigned in Massena Village Court on Thursday afternoon on accusations that she stole $18,208.76 from her former employer.
Wendy Vice, 44, of 597 County Route 40, Massena, is facing one count each of third-degree grand larceny, second-degree forgery, and first-degree falsifying business records.
According to a felony complaint, Vice altered business records to conceal her taking the money from various accounts that included the sunshine account, resident trust account, operating account, and petty cash fund. She did so by allegedly forging the names of residents Pendra J. King and Lisa Evans on petty cash receipts.
The complaint says Vice has confessed to the allegations.
The missing money came to light last year when the state Attorney General’s Office Medicaid fraud unit audited the nursing home’s books.
Justice Gerald Sharlow released Vice on her own recognizance to re-appear on Aug 21 at 5 p.m., citing statements from the Attorney General’s office saying she has been fully cooperative and has repaid $10,500.
She was not accompanied by a lawyer on Thursday but said she has applied for a public defender.
She could face a maximum sentence of seven years in prison if convicted.