SALEM – The former business office manager at Penacook Place Nursing Home in Haverhill has been indicted in connection with stealing tens of thousands of dollars from elderly residents, Attorney General Maura Healey announced.
Bridget Briand, age 48, of Haverhill, was indicted by an Essex County Grand Jury on charges of Larceny over $1,200 – person over 60 years old (4 counts), Larceny over $1,200 (2 counts), and False Entry into Corporate Books (6 counts). She will be arraigned in Essex Superior Court at a later date.
The AG’s Office began an investigation in early 2020, after the matter was referred by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH). Covenant Health Inc. acquired Penacook Place in 2017 and discovered the discrepancies that led to further investigation of the company’s accounting. The AG’s investigation revealed that between 2018 and 2019, Briand was running an alleged scheme in which she stole more than $20,000 from an 88-year-old resident by writing checks to herself from the resident’s account.
The AG’s Office also alleges that Briand transferred reimbursements from the facility, which were owed to a number of other residents, into the account from which she was stealing to cover up the original theft. When residents of Penacook or their insurance carriers overpaid the amount due for a particular month, Penacook would owe the resident a credit that was to be deposited into their account at Penacook, or Penacook would give the resident a check for reimbursement. The AG’s investigation found that Briand allegedly shifted credits from residents’ accounts and applied them as a payment to the resident’s account from which she was stealing to facilitate her scheme. According to the AG’s investigation, Briand also allegedly deposited a rebate check from a medical supply company that was payable to Penacook into the account she was stealing from.
The AG’s Office alleges that Briand made regular false entries into the accounting system and the corporate books to misappropriate credits of other residents into the account she was stealing from. Briand was terminated in December 2019.
This matter is being handled by Senior Trial Counsel Elisha Willis, Assistant Attorney General Darcy Currey and Investigators Shelby Stephens and Nicole Doherty, all of the AG’s Medicaid Fraud Division, with assistance from DPH, the Essex County DA’s Office, and the Haverhill Police Department. The facility referred the matter to DPH and fully cooperated with the investigation.
The Medicaid Fraud Division receives 75 percent of its funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under a grant award. The remaining 25 percent is funded by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.