A.G. Schneiderman Announces Jail Time For Former Nursing Home Employee Who Stole Patient Funds

Claire Wieland Admitted To Stealing Thousands From Residents At Livingston Hills Nursing And Rehabilitation Center; Sentenced To Six Months In Jail, Five Years’ Probation

Schneiderman: We Will Keep Working To Fully Prosecute Nursing Home Staff Who Steal From Residents

HUDSON – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the sentencing of Claire Wieland, 28, of White Plains, to a term of imprisonment of six months and a period of probation of five years upon her conviction of one count of the crime of Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, a Class D felony in Columbia County Court. Wieland previously pled guilty to knowingly possessing and cashing multiple forged checks drawn on the Livingston Hills Nursing and Rehabilitation Center Patient Funds Account while she was a receptionist there.

“Nursing home residents and their loved ones deserve the peace of mind of knowing that residents will receive the best care, respect and protection by those responsible for their wellbeing,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “To violate that trust by stealing from patients is a reprehensible abuse of power. This sentence sends the message, loud and clear, that nursing home staff who steal from patients will be held fully accountable.”  

At the time of her guilty plea before Columbia County Court Judge Richard M. Koweek, Wieland admitted that on various occasions between April 24, 2013 and February 6, 2014, while employed as a receptionist at the Livingston Hills Nursing and Rehabilitation Center located on Route 9 in the Town of Livingston, in Columbia County, she knowingly possessed multiple checks, drawn on the Livingston Hills Nursing and Rehabilitation Center Patient Funds Account, that bore the forged endorsements of the payees on the check. Wieland also admitted that during the same period, she cashed the checks bearing the forged endorsements and kept the proceeds. 

A resident trust account is maintained at all nursing homes for the benefit of their residents. These personal funds are kept in 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.

This case was investigated by Special Investigators J.R. Benshoff and Danette Benson with the assistance of Medical Analyst Stephanie Keyser, Investigator Dianne Tuffey, and Deputy Chief Investigator William Falk, and Associate Special Auditor/Investigator Cheryl Kaczor of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU), Albany Regional Office with the assistance of Regional Chief Auditor Investigator Charles Norfleet Jr. and MFCU Chief Auditor Michael LaCasse.  The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Paul A. Clyne.  Kathleen A. Boland is Regional Director of the Albany Regional Office.  

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