Woman accused of illegally depositing $24,000 sentenced in Woodbury business theft caseMinnesota News
-- A Twin Cities woman accused of pocketing health care payments for elderly and vulnerable adult patients in Woodbury was sentenced last month to 30 days in jail and to pay restitution.
By: Mike Longaecker - Woodbury Bulletin, Pierce County Herald
WOODBURY - A Twin Cities woman accused of pocketing health care payments for elderly and vulnerable adult patients in Woodbury was sentenced last month to 30 days in jail and to pay restitution.
The woman, Sunny May Bloomquist, pleaded guilty in December 2011 to one count of felony theft. She was accused of depositing more than $24,000 in funds for home-nursing care into her personal checking account.
In addition to the jail and restitution, Bloomquist was ordered at the April 19 sentencing hearing to serve seven years on probation.
The owner of Woodbury-based Five Star Alternative Nursing came to police in July 2010 to report embezzlement at her business. The business offers alternative living places for elderly and vulnerable adults who need medical care.
She said Bloomquist, who was manager of the business’ facilities, was in charge of taking payments for services on behalf of residence. The owner said the payments were supposed to be deposited in the Five Star account, but she grew suspicious of Bloomquist after reviewing account records.
A review of the accounts revealed Bloomquist had taken money from the business without permission from January 2010 to July 2010. Investigators identified 10 occasions where clients made out checks to directly to Bloomquist or where she deposited checks made out to the business into her personal account.
All 10 instances were documented in the complaint. A total of $24,269 was deposited into Bloomquist’s account without permission.
The largest checks – which were deposited into Bloomquist’s personal account – were each made out to Five Star for $5,500 by a legal guardian for a patient in March and April 2010.
Police were given invoices in 2011 from the child of a patient. The invoices called for $1,366 and reads “Make check payable to Sunny Bloomquist.”
When interviewed by police, Bloomquist said she had been instructed by Five Star’s owner to cash checks and pay employees with cash.
Police asked Bloomquist about one instance where she accepted a cash payment where deposit slips did not reflect cash deposits. Bloomquist “acknowledged the situation didn’t look good,” but “stated that things weren’t as they appeared to be,” the complaint states.
She eventually admitted to keeping some cash, but said it was only to pay employees in cash and to buy things for the facilities. She also admitted to buying herself food with the cash payment.
Bloomquist named six employees who would back up her claims that she paid them in cash.
The workers told police they had been paid by payroll checks by Five Star. Two workers said they were paid in cash – mostly for overtime hours – by Bloomquist. The total amount of cash payments received by workers who talked to police totaled $386.