Embezzlement scheme nets nursing home bookkeeper 2½-year prison term

A 31-year bookkeeper for a Wisconsin nursing home received a 2½-year prison sentence and was ordered to repay $296,000 for siphoning funds from residents' insurance proceeds in a decade-long spree.

The New Glarus Home director first discovered Joyce Ziehli's scheme in 2010 but never reported the matter to police, said Green County Circuit Judge Thomas Vale in handing down the sentence on Friday. But Ziehli continued stealing until a forensic accountant hired by the facility in 2013 reported uncovering more than $800,000 in stolen funds over a period of 10 years, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.

As McKnight's earlier reported, Ziehli, a 56-year-old Belleville resident concocted a highly complex scheme of under-reporting insurance proceeds sent to the facility to cover resident expenses. She then devised a method of transferring the funds by using electronic credit card transfers, checks written out to herself, and checks written out to cash.

Several defense witnesses, including the co-owner of a Belleville assisted living facility, reportedly testified about the positive work Ziehli had been doing after being charged in 2013.

Vale also order Ziehli to spend 15 years on extended supervision.