Flint woman ordered to pay more than $20,000 after embezzling from dementia patient (MI)

FLINT, MI — A Flint woman was ordered to pay more than $20,000 in restitution after she pleaded guilty to embezzling money from a dementia patient.

Veronica Pitts, 47, was sentenced Monday, July 15, by Genesee Circuit Judge Archie Hayman to serve five years probation and pay $20,547 in restitution. She pleaded guilty May 21 to one count of embezzling $1,000-$20,000 from a vulnerable adult after she obtained a conservatorship for a man who began showing signs of dementia around 2006.

The case is prosecuted by the office of Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette.

Pitts was charged after Genesee Probate Judge Jeanie Barkey appointed an attorney to review the finances of the man that were being handled by Pitts, according to court records.

The attorney testified during a February preliminary exam that his review turned up a number of possible inappropriate expenditures, including cell phone, home improvement and cable television bills. The man was admitted to a nursing home in 2006.

Nursing home staff testified that the man’s bill, $20,544, was allegedly not paid while Pitts was the man’s conservator, even though he received regular income from Social Security and a General Motors pension.

Pitts allegedly established a joint account with the man to deposit the payments to keep other family members from getting to the money, according to testimony from a special agent with the Michigan Healthcare Fraud Division who interviewed Pitts.

There was less than $1,500 in the account when it was taken over by the attorney, according to court records.

Testimony in the case shows that nearly $2,500 was also spent at Shop NBC, an online shopping website.

The special agent testified that Pitts admitted to using some of the money after suffering her own financial hardships.


Flint woman ordered to pay more than $20,000 after embezzling from dementia patient
Gary Ridley
July 15, 2013