Former Nursing Home Employee Pleads No Contest to Abuse Following Attorney General Medicaid Fraud Control Unit Investigation
OKLAHOMA CITY – Former nursing home employee pleads no contest to felony Abuse by Caretaker.
On June 15, 2022, Cherish Finnie of Midwest City, Oklahoma, pleaded no contest before Oklahoma County District Judge Natalie Mai. The Court sentenced Finne on on June 22, 2022. Finnie was taken into custody to serve the first 30 days of her sentence in custody with the remainder of her three (3) year sentence deferred under the supervision of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections Pardon and Parole. As a condition of her probation, Finnie agreed to not seek employment involving care of vulnerable adults or children while on probation, and to pay all fees, fines, and assessments associated with her case.
“My office does everything it can to protect Oklahomans, and I am proud of our Medicaid Fraud Control Unit for always investigating elderly and vulnerable adult abuse,” said Attorney General O’Connor.
The Oklahoma Attorney General Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) investigation began after a referral was received from Adult Protective Services of potential abuse by caretaker at Reliant Living Center, located at 2901 SE 22nd Street in Oklahoma City.
During the investigation, MFCU agents obtained witness statements and other evidence confirming Finnie arguing with a resident before pushing the resident into a railing and onto the ground.
The Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) has statewide jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute cases of abuse, neglect, drug diversion and financial exploitation involving elderly and/or vulnerable adults. In this role, the MFCU serves as a safeguard against caretakers that abuse, neglect, or exploit vulnerable Oklahomans. The MFCU also investigates and prosecutes violations of state and federal laws pertaining to provider fraud in the administration of the Medicaid program. Additionally, the MFCU pursues and monitors Qui Tam or whistleblower litigation both at the Oklahoma level and on a national level in conjunction with other state’s MFCU and U.S. Attorneys offices. The MFCU can recover Medicaid funds by pursuing criminal sanctions, civil judgments, or administrative recoveries.
If you have any information about Medicaid provider fraud or patient abuse, please report it to the Office of the Oklahoma Attorney General Medicaid Fraud Control Unit by calling 1-405-522-2963 or complete a complaint form found in following link: oag.ok.gov/Medicaid-fraud-citizen-resources.
The Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office Medicaid Fraud Control Unit receives 75% percent of its funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under a grant award totaling $3,424,943.00 for Federal fiscal year (FY) 2022. The remaining 25% percent, totaling $856,235.00 for FY 2022, is funded by the State of Oklahoma. The federal fiscal year is defined as October 1, 2021, through September 30, 2022.