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Post date: September 10 2015

A.G. Schneiderman Announces Arrest Of Former Nursing Home Employee Charged With Stealing From Nursing Home Residents

Claire Wieland, Former Receptionist At Livingston Hills Nursing Home, Allegedly Stole Thousands From Residents

Schneiderman: We Will Not Tolerate Those Who Seek To Exploit Nursing Home Residents For Personal Financial Gain

HUDSON--Attorney General Eric Schneiderman today announced the arrest and arraignment of Claire Wieland, 28 of White Plains for allegedly stealing more than $6,000 from a resident trust account at the Livingston Hills Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Columbia County.

“Nursing home residents across New York State entrust financial control to those who are trained and paid to care for them, and those staff members must honor that trust,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “We will not tolerate those who seek to exploit nursing home residents for personal financial gain.”

A resident trust account is maintained at all nursing homes for the benefit of their residents. These personal funds are co-mingled into a single account, as they were held at a bank. Individual records are kept for the benefit of each resident, and a small amount of cash is kept on-hand at the facility for daily resident use.  As the receptionist at the nursing home, Wieland was responsible for submitting requests to have checks drawn for residents who requested funds.

The indictment alleges that on various occasions between April 2013 and February 2014, Wieland knowingly possessed twenty-four checks for residents, even though no request for a withdrawal of funds was made by any resident. The indictment further alleges that during the same period, the defendant cashed the checks bearing forged endorsements and kept the proceeds.

Wieland was arrested on a warrant issued following the return of a sealed indictment by a Grand Jury sitting in Hudson, New York, that charges twenty-four counts of the crime of Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, a Class D felony, two counts of the crime of Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, and seven counts of the crime of Petit Larceny, a class A misdemeanor.  The defendant was arraigned in Columbia County Court by the Honorable Richard M. Koweek. 

The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in Court.

This case was investigated by Investigators J.R. Benshoff and Danette Benson and Associate Special Auditor/Investigator Cheryl Kaczor of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, Albany Regional Office, with the assistance of Supervising Investigator Dianne Tuffey and Upstate Deputy Chief Investigator William Falk.  The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Paul A. Clyne.  Kathleen A. Boland is Regional Director of the Albany Regional Office.  Catherine Wagner is MFCU’s Chief of Criminal Investigations – Upstate.  MFCU is led by Acting Special Deputy Attorney General Amy Held and Assistant Deputy Attorney General Paul J. Mahoney.  The Criminal Division is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General Kelly Donovan. 

The New York State Police and the MFCU Pearl River Office assisted in this case.