Woman Faces Felony Financial Elder Abuse Charges for Embezzlement

Woman Embezzled $460,000 from Nursing Home Residents, Faces Felony Financial Elder Abuse Charges

felony financial elder abuseA Michigan woman has been charged with felony financial elder abuse after investigators discovered that she had embezzled $460,000 from several nursing home residents, who desperately need their money.

Tina Marie Binkley, 44, was indicted on Thursday, October 16th, with two charges of felony financial elder abuse for embezzling money from vulnerable senior citizens in a nursing home. Binkley worked at Boulevard Health Care in Rochester Hills, MI, and over 3 years embezzled $460,000 from 136 residents of the nursing home.

According to Attorney General Bill Schuette, Binkley worked as the business office manager at BHC between 2010 and 2013, when she was fired in April 2013 after allegedly failing to follow standard financial reporting procedures. Her job gave her access to manage two separate funds that the skilled nursing facility held on behalf of their residents: the BHC general account, and the Resident Trust Fund Account.

Financial elder abuse involving theft or embezzlement from nursing home residents’ trust funds has been a growing problem in the US.

Binkley faces two counts of Embezzlement from a Vulnerable Adult in the Amount of $100,000 or More. One count could land her in jail for 20 years or more.

“Families deserve to know their loved ones in nursing homes are being cared for, not being exploited for personal financial gain,” said Schuette in a statement. “Criminals attempting to victimize our Greatest Generation to line their own pockets will be brought to justice.”

A new study from the Journal of General Internal Medicine shows that financial elder abuse is the fastest growing crime in the United States. According to Adult Protective Services, 60% of their cases involve theft of money or property from an elderly person.

Most cases of financial elder abuse unfortunately involve an unscrupulous family member, according to the study. However, caregivers hired by family members, as well as administrators at nursing homes, are also responsible for numerous cases of financial elder abuse. A recent survey of allegedly 5-star nursing homes – a ranking system created by Medicare to help the elderly and their families choose good quality care – showed that most of the criteria for the rating was self-reported, which means that many of those supposedly high-quality facilities bill seniors out of their money and fail to provide sufficient care.

The survey interviewed senior citizens in New York State over the phone, and 2.7% reported that they had suffered financial elder abuse sometime in the last year, while an alarming 4.7% reported some type of financial elder abuse occurring regularly over several years. About 78% of respondents reported theft of property or misappropriation of funds sometime in the past year; 42% said that financial elder abuse occurred between 2 and 10 times in the past year; and 9% reported such serious and regular financial elder abuse occurring more than 10 times in the past year.

The Strom Law Firm Defends Senior Citizens against Financial Elder Abuse

Unfortunately, there is no current federal law against financial elder abuse, but many states have laws and regulations under Adult Protective Services to prosecute financial elder abuse, as well as physical, emotional, or sexual elder abuse.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of financial elder abuse or exploitation by your care facility, nursing home, caregiver, or a relative, contact us today. Come in for a free consultation with one of our nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers to discuss your situation and hear how we can help. 803.252.4800

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