OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General Mike Hunter has charged a former office manager at a Warr Acres nursing facility with two felony counts of embezzlement and three felony counts of obtaining money by false pretenses after an investigation by the attorney general’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.
The investigation found that Sandra Tovar was running a fraudulent billing scheme, where she would divert residents’ payments for nursing care at the facility to her own bank account. Throughout the course of her employment, investigators claim Tovar embezzled nearly $20,000.
“Crimes against the elderly, who are among the most vulnerable, and their family members will not be tolerated by my office,” Attorney General Hunter said. “We hope these charges serve as a deterrent to others who abuse their power for personal financial gain. I appreciate the hard work and dedication of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit in my office, who investigated the claims that led to the charges.”
According to the probable cause affidavit, Tovar was fired in 2015 for requiring family members who admitted residents to pay the first three months up front by a cashier check or with cash, which was not the facility’s policy.
Administrators also discovered fictitious billing statements, which led to an internal audit. The auditor found checks from family members made out to cash to pay the facility.
Tovar was also charged with one misdemeanor count of obtaining money by false pretenses.
If convicted, Tovar faces up to 31 years in prison and/or fines of $26,000.
All defendants are innocent until proven guilty.