Salaries increase for DONs, administrators

A former business office employee at a West Virginia nursing home has been sentenced to 13 months in federal prison for embezzling more than $80,000, the U. S. Attorney’s Office announced this week.

Veneford Blankenship, 35, of Bluefield, oversaw financial operations of a Princeton nursing home as its business office supervisor. In that role, she routinely sent patient invoices, deposited checks and recorded those deposits into the facility’s main operational account, according to the Bluefield Daily Telegraph.

But the nursing home also had a second bank account to receive resident contributions for occasional outings or events. The nursing home’s parent company didn’t have oversight of that account, according to U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart.

She had previously pleaded guilty to mail fraud and agreed to pay $82,926.15 in restitution. She was sentenced in Charleston Tuesday by Senior U.S. District Judge David A. Faber.

Blankenship admitted she began diverting resident payment checks in June 2015.

Instead of depositing their money into the operations account, she put the money into the secondary account and then wrote checks to herself from that fund, authorities found. In order to make the expenses seem legitimate, she forged signatures of two other employees and made incorrect entries into the nursing home’s accounting program.

Neither the name of the nursing home nor its owner was disclosed in a press release issued by the Department of Justice.