A Methuen, Mass. woman, who was the former business manager at a Lawrence, Mass. retirement home and nursing center, has pleaded guilty and been sentenced to a serve a year and a half in state prison in connection with stealing more than $530,000 from the facility and the estate of a deceased resident at the home, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.
Sherry Verdick, 45, of Methuen, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Essex Superior Court to the charges of Larceny Over $1200 by a Single Scheme (5 counts), Larceny over $1200 (1 count), Larceny Over $250 by a Single Scheme (1 count), Making False Entries in Corporate Books with Intent to Defraud (2 counts), Forgery (3 counts), Uttering (3 counts), and Obtaining a Signature Under False Pretenses (1 count).
Following the plea, Judge Kathleen McCarthy-Neyman sentenced Verdick to one-and-a-half years to one-and-a-half years and a day in state prison, followed by five years of probation, with the first nine months under home confinement with GPS monitoring.
The sentence also includes the conditions that Verdick pay restitution to the Berkeley Retirement Home and Nursing Center (with the amount to be determined at a later hearing); undergo a substance abuse evaluation and complete any recommended treatment; remain drug free and be subjected to random testing; refrain from working in any job in which she would have any fiduciary responsibility or access to money; and to stay away from the Berkeley Retirement Home.
The court allowed Verdick’s request for a stay of execution of her sentence until Oct. 12, 2021.
“This defendant exploited her position of trust at this nursing home to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars for her own personal use,” AG Healey said. “This sentence ensures accountability for these crimes, including serving time in state prison and paying restitution.”
From January 2016 through September 2018, Verdick operated a sophisticated scheme to steal money from several accounts operated by the Berkeley Retirement Home, where she was the business manager.
Verdick wrote several hundred checks to herself from various accounts affiliated with the retirement home, forged various signatures of other Berkeley employees to steal money from Berkeley accounts, improperly used a corporate credit card for over $19,000 worth of personal purchases, and altered the company’s payroll system to reduce her health insurance contribution to zero.
Verdick also stole money from the estate of a deceased resident of the retirement home and nursing center by misleading another employee into signing a check which Verdick then deposited into a Berkeley account for which she was a signatory and then stole.
In total, Verdick stole $535,759 from various accounts associated with the Berkeley Retirement Home.