Business manager

Business owner pleads guilty to stealing over $ 500,000 from nursing home | News

SALEM, Mass. – A former business manager who stole more than $ 500,000 from a nursing home in Lawrence was sentenced to one and a half years in state prison and was also ordered to be housebound and pay a compensation after his release.

Sherry Verdick, 45, of Methuen, pleaded guilty to 16 indictments, including several theft, forgery and related charges associated with the theft of $ 535,000 at the Berkeley nursing and care home, at a hearing in Salem Superior Court on Tuesday.

The theft occurred through various ploys, with Verdick exploiting his “position of trust among a vulnerable population” at the Berkeley home, said Gretchen Brodigan, deputy attorney general who pursued the case.

Verdick was declared “guilty” aloud in the courtroom as a clerk read each charge and details aloud.

Responding to a question from the judge, Verdick said she was taking Suboxone, a drug used to treat opioid addiction, daily on Tuesday. His defense attorney previously said Verdick developed an opioid addiction after being prescribed OxyContin and Percocet following knee surgery in 2014.

Verdick faces maximum sentences of 5 and 10 years in state prison on many counts.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Kathleen McCarthy-Neyman sentenced Verdick to five years probation after his release. She is to spend the first 9 months in home confinement and is only allowed to leave her home for medical appointments for herself and her son or to undergo court-ordered drug tests.

Additionally, while on probation, she must undergo substance abuse assessment and treatment, cannot hold any money-handling jobs, and must stay away from Berkeley Institution. A restitution hearing will be scheduled after his release from prison, said McCarthy-Neyman.

While she pleaded guilty on Tuesday, Verdick will not have to appear in court until October 12 to begin her sentence.

Prosecutors wanted Verdick to be sentenced to two to three years in prison or in prison, followed by five years of probation with a series of conditions, including the payment of restitution.

But her defense attorney Hilary McCamic at a hearing this summer suggested that a two-year prison sentence against Verdick could be suspended, and that she could spend that time on a GPS monitor that didn’t allowed people to leave home to work and shop for groceries.

McCarthy-Neyman said on Tuesday she had taken into account the contribution from both sides, but would hand down a one-and-a-half-year prison sentence and five years’ probation to follow.

From January 2016 to September 2018, Verdick wrote 394 checks totaling $ 412,000 to herself, according to the charges.

She also forged her signature on eight other checks, used a business credit card to illegally purchase $ 19,000 of items for herself, and arranged for $ 10,500 in health costs that she should have owed. pay herself from a Berkeley account, Brodigan said.

Verdick is also accused of stealing money from the estate of a deceased Berkeley resident, Brodigan said.

She pleaded guilty to five counts of theft of property valued over $ 1,200 by a single ploy, theft over $ 1,200, theft over $ 250 by a single ploy, two counts of false entries in company books with intent to defraud, three counts of forgery, three counts of uttering and obtaining a signature under false pretenses, according to court documents.

Colleagues at Berkeley released impact statements about the theft, which injured both residents of the 40-bed facility and employees, who haven’t seen a raise in years, they said. declared.

One worker noted that many residents “trusted and in many cases liked” Verdick.

Director of Nursing Denise Murray said Berkeley staff take pride in providing excellent, dedicated care to residents. Verdick’s behavior was “selfish and egotistical,” she said. She described Berkeley’s record as “continuous and unnecessary.” Others said the budget remained rudimentary because of the losses.

“Every day we think we might lose our jobs and what would happen to our beloved residents? Asked a group of members of the Berkeley leadership team in a victim impact statement that Brodigan read to the judge.

Through McCamic, Verdick apologized for her behavior, for the trust she betrayed in the Berkeley home and the impact it had on her family.

Follow reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter @EagleTribJill.