Pontiac — A Lapeer County woman convicted of ripping off elderly residents of a nursing home for hundreds of thousands of dollars while she was the home’s business office manager will be sentenced March 2.

The Healthcare Fraud Division of the state Attorney General’s office secured the conviction of the former nursing home employee for her role in an embezzlement scheme from Boulevard Health Center in Rochester Hills.

Tina Binkley, 44, of Lapeer County, pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement from vulnerable adults of $100,000 or more. The offense is a felony punishable by 20 years in prison and/or a $50,000 fine, or three times the value of the money or property involved, whichever is greater.

As part of a plea agreement Binkley has agreed to pay restitution of $460,266 to 136 victims. She is to be sentenced before Oakland Circuit Judge Martha Anderson.

“Families deserve to know their precious loved ones in nursing homes are being cared for, not being exploited for personal financial gain,” Attorney General Bill Schuette said in a news release. “I am happy to secure restitution for victims of this case so they and their families can begin to rebuild their lives.”

Binkley pleaded guilty in the scheme at Boulevard between May 2010 and April 2013. Boulevard fired Binkley in April 2013 after she failed to follow standard financial reporting procedures and an audit discovered discrepancies.

As business office manager, Binkley was authorized to access and manage funds in two separate accounts including the health center’s general account, where facility income was deposited and day-to-day facility expenses were paid, and the Resident Trust Fund account, which hold residents’ money until the need to use it for incidentals.

Attorney General investigators analyzed Boulevard bank records which revealed a scheme to embezzle money as Binkley transferred residents’ overpayments for room and board from the general account into the trust fund account and later made cash withdrawals from the trust fund account for personal expenses.

Binkley embezzled money by directing subordinate employees to make cash withdrawals and turn the cash over to her. The investigation revealed the subordinates were unknowing accomplices in Binkley’s alleged scheme. Boulevard cooperated in the investigation, Schuette said.

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