A.G. Schneiderman Announces Guilty Plea Of Nurse Aide Who Stole From Nursing Home Resident

News from Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 13, 2016

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A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN ANNOUNCES GUILTY PLEA OF NURSE AIDE WHO STOLE FROM NURSING HOME RESIDENT 

Hope Pearson Used Stolen Credit Card To Purchase Over $5K In Stolen Goods 

Schneiderman: Nursing Home Professionals Who Steal From Defenseless Residents Will Be Held Accountable 

CORTLAND – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced that Hope Pearson, a certified nurse aide, entered a plea of Guilty to the charge of Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree, a Class E felony in Cortland County Court. Pearson, together with the co-defendant Schenekqua Carter, was indicted on charges alleging the theft of a debit/credit card from a resident of Crown Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Cortland.  The two defendants used the card throughout central New York, at stores, at ATMs, and at the casino, stealing a total of $5,229.14 in merchandise and cash.

“Nursing home residents are amongst our state’s most vulnerable citizens, and they deserve to be treated with the utmost respect and dignity by those in charge of their care,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “For a certified nurse aide to steal from someone whose wellbeing is their primary responsibility is reprehensible. Nursing home professionals who seek to profit by stealing from defenseless residents will be held accountable.”

Using personal information which could have come only from someone with close personal access to the victim, Pearson and her co-defendant activated the card and checked on available balances.  Phone records identified both defendants.

Pearson worked as an agency-assigned certified nurse aide and was not a regular employee of the facility.  She provided care for the victim in the week prior to the fraudulent use of the card. The administration of Crown Center Nursing Home was of great assistance in identifying the cause of the initial theft.

Following the plea, a Pre-Sentence Report was ordered, and Pearson will return for sentencing on October 4, 2016.

Co-defendant Schenekqua Carter entered a similar plea and was sentenced to a split sentence of five years’ probation, with credit for 45 days in jail, and an order of restitution.

This case was investigated by Senior Special Investigator Patrick M. Lynch of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit; Investigator Patrick Sweeney of the Cortland Police Department; and Jennifer Pudney, Senior Fraud Investigator for NBT Bank.  The case is being prosecuted by Paul Berry, Special Assistant Attorney General with the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit’s Syracuse Regional Office.  Catherine Wagner is the Chief of Criminal Investigations–Upstate, and William Falk is the Deputy Chief Investigator-Upstate.  The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit is led by Director Amy Held and Assistant Deputy Attorney General Paul J. Mahoney.  The Division of Criminal Justice is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General Kelly Donovan.

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