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Post date: July 27 2015

A.G. Schneiderman Announces Arrest Of Former Nursing Home Employee Charged With Stealing From Resident Trust Account

Tequilla Miller, Former Finance Associate At Syracuse Nursing Home, Allegedly Stole Thousands From Resident

Schneiderman: My Office Will Not Tolerate Nursing Home Thefts

SYRACUSE—Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the arrest and arraignment of Tequilla Miller, 28, a former finance associate at the Loretto Nursing Home, for allegedly stealing from a trust account established for residents’ funds. Miller served as the Syracuse-based nursing home’s “resident banker,” maintaining the account and handling residents’ personal funds on a daily basis. An audit of the account discovered a shortage of $21,488.10 over a period of 20 months, from November 2012 through August 2014. Miller faces up to seven years in prison on charges of grand Larceny in the third degree and falsifying business records in the first degree.

“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 homes and their residents for personal financial gain.”

A resident trust account is maintained by 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.

After Miller went on maternity leave, a review of the cash available in the safe was done and a substantial alleged discrepancy was noted. The investigation revealed that on several occasions, Miller allegedly made false entries into the cash accounting sheet in order to hide theft of several thousands of dollars. Miller is charged with stealing an average of $1,000 a month, which she allegedly used for personal expenses.

Miller’s duties at Loretto Nursing Home included receiving and depositing resident funds into the residents trust account, and returning those funds to residents which was then used for personal needs, upon request. Along with handling the funds, Miller was also responsible for maintaining accurate books and records of resident trust account transactions, as well as reconciling available cash on hand in the safe and the overall cash balance.

Miller was arraigned today in Syracuse City Court in Onondaga County in front of the Honorable Mary Anne Doherty. The charges against Miller are accusations, and she is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

This case was investigated by Special Investigator Keith J. Hall and Associate Special Auditor/Investigator Sabrina Stagnitta. The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Paul Berry, of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit’s Syracuse Regional Office. Catherine Wagner is Chief of Criminal Investigations-Upstate. The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit is led by Acting Director Amy Held. The Division of Criminal Justice is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General Kelly Donovan.