(ATHENS, Ohio) – Attorney General Mike DeWine announced that Janet Root, 35, was sentenced this week in connection with her theft of patient funds at the Arcadia Nursing Center in Coolville, Ohio. Root was sentenced in Athens County Common Pleas Court to five years of community control and ordered to pay $31,471 in restitution. She also received a nine-year suspended sentence. Root, a business manager at Arcadia Nursing Center, pled guilty last November to four counts of Theft from the Elderly, fourth-degree felonies, and two counts of Forgery, fourth-degree felonies.
"This should be a warning sign to those who think about stealing from seniors. We will come after you," said Attorney General DeWine. "It should also be a reminder to seniors and their loved ones to be on the lookout for financial abuse."
The case was investigated by the Ohio Attorney General's Health Care Fraud Section and prosecuted by Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn's Office.
In her position as business manager, Root, of Coolville, had full control of the residents' funds accounts. Over the course of 2010, Root embezzled $31,471 from several accounts to pay her own bills. Root attempted to hide the theft by indicating in the ledger at the center that the checks were going to pay for patients' doctors' bills or other individual needs.
Arcadia has reimbursed all of the affected accounts.
The Attorney General's Health Care Fraud Section investigates alleged misappropriations of patient funds and enforces Ohio laws protecting mentally or physically disabled or elderly citizens from financial exploitation, neglect and abuse in long-term care facilities. The Section also investigates and prosecutes health care providers who defraud the state's Medicaid program.
Anyone who suspects patient abuse or neglect or Medicaid fraud can contact Attorney General DeWine's office at (800) 282-0515 or www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov