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Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced that a Winnebago County woman was convicted and sentenced today for embezzlement of the funds of a disabled resident of a care related facility.
Van Hollen said that Jayme Higgins, 33, entered a plea of guilty to the charge of Embezzlement property of a resident of a care related facility, a Class H Felony. After the plea, Winnebago County Circuit Court Judge Scott C. Woldt withheld sentence and placed Higgins on 2 years of probation with the following conditions: 100 hours of community service, restitution, no work as a caregiver, full time employment and the costs of the action.
The charge stems from Higgins' employment as a caregiver fund manager for developmentally disabled adults at the Catherine House, an assisted living, care-related, facility in Oshkosh. According to the criminal complaint filed by the Department of Justice, Higgins cashed the checks and kept the money of a resident of the facility who suffers from cognitive disability. Specifically, Higgins stole eleven checks belonging to the victim, to which Higgins had access because of her caregiver fund manager position. Higgins stole the first check in March of 2007 and then continued stealing the checks until June of 2008. Higgins stole a total of $1,898.25 (USD) from the victim. Higgins spent the money on personal bills, on diapers for the children of her friends, and meals. When confronted, Higgins did confess and repay most of the amount that she stole. The disabled resident, that Higgins victimized, is Higgins' own cousin.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Eric Defort of the Medicaid Fraud Control and Elder Abuse Unit.