OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General Mike Hunter has filed financial exploitation charges on the former nursing home administrator of Drumright Nursing Home, who allegedly diverted more than $217,000 from at least 33 elderly residents.

An investigation by the attorney general’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit alleges that Tina Pearson, 57, of Drumright, used her position as an administrator to divert funds that were supposed to go to residents to herself instead.

A review of banking records showed Pearson wrote checks from a resident trust account made payable to cash, to herself, or to the name of the bank holding the trust so she could withdraw the residents’ funds in cash.

The trust account was originally set up to hold money for residents to be used only for their benefit. Pearson was the administrator over the account.

Attorney General Hunter said his office is firmly committed to protecting all Oklahomans against this type of exploitation.

“Crimes against the elderly are appalling and will never be tolerated by my office,” Attorney General Hunter said. “Residents of nursing homes are in vulnerable positions and those charged with residents’ care have the duty to protect them. When that authority is abused, my office will ensure those responsible are held accountable for their actions.”

The attorney general’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigates and prosecutes Medicaid fraud, as well as abuse, neglect and exploitation of patient funds in long term board and care facilities. Within the last year and a half, through civil and criminal litigation efforts, the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit recovered over $10 million in restitution and other civil recoveries.

If convicted, Pearson faces up to 10 years in prison and fines.

All defendants are innocent until proven guilty.

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