Four women are facing charges from three separate cases involving their roles in disturbing crimes at residential care facilities, announced the New Jersey Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor.

The charges were contained in three separate indictments handed up by a state Grand Jury in Trenton.

In the first indictment, two women employed as psych aides at Bancroft Neurohealth in Mt. Laurel, were charged with physically abusing a disabled resident in their care at the facility for developmentally disabled adults and children.

Martha Ruiz, 25, of Camden and Kendall Crouch, 24, of Clementon who were assigned to care for the man during a shift on June 1, 2018, allegedly struck him in the face, twisted his hand and wrist, forcefully restrained him to his bed, and forced a urine-soaked towel on his face.

Ruiz and Crouch were charged with conspiracy (3rd degree), neglect of disabled person (3rd degree), and endangering another person (4th degree).

In the second indictment, Karissa-Anne Frannicola, 29, of Caldwell is accused of stealing approximately $20,530.00 from an elderly nursing home resident over whom she had power of attorney.

Frannicola was charged with theft by failure to make disposition of property received and misapplication of entrusted property (both 3rd degree) in connection with thefts that occurred between April and August of 2017.

In the third indictment, Christine Sanford, 31, of Atlantic City, is accused of assuming a false identity to work as a Certified Nurse Aide at the Barnegat Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Barnegat in November 2018.

Sanford allegedly assumed the identity of another CNA to obtain work at the facility because her own Nurse Aide certification had been revoked by the New Jersey Department of Health in 2017 after she was found unqualified for certification pursuant to State law.

She is charged with forgery, identify theft, and uttering of false government documents (all 3rd degree).

The indictments obtained today stem from investigations conducted by OIFP’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (“MFCU”), which receives federal funding to investigate and prosecute Medicaid provider fraud as well as the abuse or neglect of Medicaid patients, or patients who reside in facilities that receive Medicaid funding.

Third-degree crimes carry a maximum sentence of five years in state prison and a criminal fine of up to $15,000.00, fourth-degree crimes carry a sentence of up to eighteen months in state prison and a criminal fine of up to $5,000.00.

Deputy Attorney General Patrick K. Gessner presented the cases to the Grand Jury. Detective Anthony Iannice coordinated the investigations of all three cases.

Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Thompson thanked the Mount Laurel Police Department for its assistance in the Ruiz/Crouch investigation, the NJ Long-Term Care Ombudsman for its assistance in the Frannicola investigation, and the Barnegat Township Police Department for its assistance in the Sanford investigation.

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