Former Director of Nursing Pleads Guilty to Stealing More Than $16,000 From a Resident
MALDEN – A former director of nursing from Tewksbury has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $16,000 from a 75-year-old resident, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today.
Laura Siano, 62, the former director of nursing at Kirkwood House Nursing Home in Wakefield, pleaded guilty today in Malden District Court to charges of Larceny Over $250 (1 count). After the plea was entered, Judge Emily Karsetter sentenced Siano to one year in the House of Correction, suspended for a probationary period of three years. As a condition to her probation, Siano was ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution to the resident within 30 days.
In November 2011, the AG’s Office began an investigation after the state’s Department of Public Health referred an allegation of embezzlement of resident funds. The investigation revealed that more than $16,000 had been misappropriated from the resident’s bank account.
According to investigators, Siano had been entrusted to manage the resident’s financial account at the now-closed nursing facility. For more than a year, Siano allegedly made repeated unauthorized cash withdrawals from the resident’s checking account,typically in amounts of $300-$400. The investigation revealed Siano also used the resident’s debit card to make purchases at stores including Wal-Mart, Christmas Tree Shops, and Jo-Ann Fabrics for items unrelated to the residents’ personal needs such as a laptop, decorative items, cat food and cat litter. Authorities say no receipts or documentation could be provided to confirm whether any of the withdrawals or debit transactions were made on the resident’s behalf.
In July, 2013, a criminal complaint was issued against Siano, and she was subsequently arraigned on the larceny charge.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Casey Groff, and was investigated by Investigators Arianna Sassone and Denise Long, from Attorney General Martha Coakley’s Medicaid Fraud Division. Massachusetts State Police also assisted in the investigation.
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