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MADISON - An Oneida County woman has been sentenced for theft from developmentally disabled Medicaid recipients and from the facility caring for those recipients, Attorney General Van Hollen announced today. On February 2, 2008, Janelle Wisner-Cook, 41, of Rhinelander, pleaded guilty to a felony count of Theft. As part of her plea agreement, Wisner-Cook admitted to the facts of three additional theft crimes that the judge would consider in imposing the sentence. Yesterday, Brown County Circuit Court Judge William Atkinson sentenced Wisner-Cook to 90 days jail, followed by three years of probation. As conditions of probation, the defendant must complete any alcohol and mental health treatments deemed necessary by the Department of Corrections, seek and maintain full time employment, and write letters of apologies to the victims.
According to the Department of Justice's criminal complaint, Wisner-Cook was employed by Innovative Services, Inc. as a home manager and was assigned to work at an adult family home in DePere. As part of her duties Wisner-Cook had access to envelopes containing residents' money used to purchase personal goods and services for each resident. Wisner-Cook also had access to a corporate credit card with restricted use for business purchases only. Between August and October 2006, Wisner-Cook used the residents' funds and corporate credit card to purchase gasoline, groceries and other assorted personal items for her own use.
Upon questioning, Wisner-Cook admitted to the thefts and agreed to reimburse the parties. The amount of the unauthorized credit card purchases and resident funds was deducted from Wisner-Cook's final pay check. Wisner-Cook was terminated from employment as a result of these incidents.
The case was investigated by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Eric Defort.