SAEGERTOWN — The former top administrator for the Quality Living Center of Crawford County will stand trial for allegedly stealing almost $1 million from residents’ allowance accounts and the personal care home’s operational account over a seven-year period.

Deborah A. McKinley, 48, of 12345 Ellis Road, Conneaut Lake, Monday waived her right to a preliminary hearing and automatically was bound over for trial in county court on nine counts of theft by unlawful taking and two counts each of forgery, tampering with records or identification, and state income tax evasion.

She had been scheduled to appear next Monday before Magisterial District Judge Lincoln Zilhaver for a preliminary hearing on the charges. That hearing would have determined whether there was enough evidence to take her to trial.

If convicted on all charges, McKinley faces a maximum of 91 years in jail and $235,000 in fines.

McKinley, who resigned as the personal care home’s administrator in January this year, was charged Aug. 1 by Pennsylvania State Police in what District Attorney Francis Schultz termed one of the biggest thefts ever in the county.

A joint investigation by the state police, District Attorney’s Office and Pennsylvania Department of Auditor General alleges at least $951,925 was stolen from the two accounts between Jan. 1, 1999, and Feb. 24. Investigators found financial records were incomplete, making it impossible to determine if more money was stolen, Schultz said.

Investigators found $879,905 was missing from the center’s allowance account between 1999 and 2006. The account contains residents’ Social Security, Supplemental Security Income and other checks, Schultz said.

Investigators also found falsely endorsed and cashed checks, and determined $72,020 in cash payments received from residents from 2003 through 2005 were never deposited in center residents’ accounts, Schultz said.

The QLC, operated by a nonprofit board, is located at the old county home and houses about 86 residents — most with SSI or Social Security as their only source of income.

The county has a contract with the QLC to provide annual subsidies to it because QLC took the place of the old county home when it closed. In 2005, the budget allocation was almost $170,000. In 2005, county commissioners approved an additional $71,000 subsidy to help the center pay overdue bills — including food service and utility bills because of the center’s financial problems.

Barb Hogan, who heads the QLC’s board, said care for the residents was never in jeopardy.The board now requires either its treasurer or assistant treasurer and its president or board secretary to sign financial documents.

McKinley remains free $50,000 unsecured bond with conditions, such as monitoring by the county’s adult probation office and the stipulation that she must remain in Pennsylvania.

She started as a part-time secretary at the QLC in the late 1990s and worked her way up to administrator.



Keith Gushard can be reached at 724-6370 or by e-mail at kgushard@meadvilletribune.com

React to this story:

0
0
0
0
0

This Week's Circulars