July 2, 2008
Bloomfield, Mo. - A Poplar Bluff woman was convicted today on criminal charges that she forged checks in order to steal money from the resident trust fund account of the nursing home where she was the bookkeeper. Tammy Lynn Dudley (DOB - 3/20/71) pleaded guilty to one count each of forgery, stealing by deceit, and abuse of a person receiving health care by taking of funds. The victims were Medicaid recipients who were residents at the Mark Twain Caring Center in Poplar Bluff.
The charges, filed last November, were prosecuted jointly by Attorney General Jay Nixon and Butler County Prosecuting Attorney Kevin Barbour. The case was investigated by Nixon's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, with assistance from the Poplar Bluff Police Department. The case was heard in Stoddard County on a change of venue.
Circuit Judge Stephen R. Sharp sentenced Dudley to seven years on each count, to run concurrent. The judge suspended execution of sentence and placed her on five years supervised probation. Dudley also was ordered to pay restitution in full of $47,561.47 in monthly installments of no less than $800.
The investigation by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit showed that, between April 2005 and February 2006, Dudley misappropriated money through checks allegedly signed by residents after their date of death, and through checks made payable to a resident when the checks should have been payable to the nursing home as surplus funds. All of the checks were cashed for cash.
Nixon formed the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit within the Attorney General's Office in 1994. The unit has concurrent jurisdiction in prosecuting and investigating cases where the victim is a Medicaid recipient.