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Massena woman charged with stealing $18K while working at nursing home

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MASSENA — A former business office employee at the Highland Nursing Home has been charged with stealing more than $18,000 from various accounts, including the residents’ spending trust fund, at the facility while she was employed there.

Investigators from the state attorney general’s Medical Fraud Control Unit charged Wendy Vice, 44, of 597 County Route 40, with felony counts of third-degree grand larceny, second-degree forgery and first-degree falsifying business records.

She was arraigned by Town Justice Gerald P. Sharlow and released on her own recognizance upon the recommendation of the attorney general’s office, which said she already had made restitution of $10,500 and cooperated with the investigation.

Court documents indicate an audit conducted by the Medicare Fraud Control Unit revealed $18,208.76 had been stolen from the various accounts from Aug. 2, 2011, to Aug. 2, 2012, and Ms. Vice had entered false entries into the business records to hide the theft of the money.

Investigators said Ms. Vice forged the names of Pendra J. King and Lisa Evans on petty cash receipts. They said Ms. Vice also made false entries into various account records and forged the names of residents on petty cash receipts.

Ms. Vice’s duties at the nursing home included managing a series of accounts including the sunshine account, the residents’ trust account, the petty cash fund and the operating account.

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