June 29, 2010
Jefferson City, Mo.-Attorney General Chris Koster said today that Connie Jean Beckerman, a former nursing home bookkeeper in Perry County, has pleaded guilty to one count each of forgery, stealing by deceit, and abuse of a person receiving health care by taking of funds. Each of the charges is a felony. Beckerman admitted that she forged checks in order to steal money from the resident trust fund account at the Perryville Nursing and Rehabilitation Center (formerly Perry Oaks Manor) where she was the bookkeeper.
Koster said his Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigated the case and found that between September 2006 and October 15, 2007, Beckerman misappropriated more than $14,500 by forging the nursing home administrator's signature on checks written for cash and keeping the money for her personal use. Beckerman's victims were Medicaid recipients residing at the Perry Oaks Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Perryville.
"One of my top priorities as Attorney General is to go after those who are cheating Missouri taxpayers by committing Medicaid fraud," Koster said. "This kind of outrageous conduct steals medical resources that would otherwise be directed to truly needy Missourians. Those who would steal from Missouri taxpayers must understand that we will find you and prosecute to the fullest extent."
Koster said Circuit Judge William Syler set Beckerman's sentencing for August 13.
Koster said citizens should report suspected Medicaid provider fraud or abuse and neglect to his Medicaid Fraud Hotline toll free at 800-286-3932, e-mail the complaint to firstname.lastname@example.org or complete a complaint form at the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Website at http://ago.mo.gov/divisions/medicaid-fraud-control-unit-faqs.htm.
Koster commended Assistant Attorney General Stephanie Gwillim and Perry County Prosecuting Attorney Thomas Hoeh for their work on the case.