Former Nursing Home Employee Arrested

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A former bookkeeper for the Riverbluff Nursing Home is arrested and charged with felony theft. Fifty-four-year-old Diane S. Hecker is accused of pocketing $175,000.

For more than ten years, former bookkeeper Diane Hecker had allegedly been pocketing funds from the Riverbluff Nursing Home.

"It happened in small amounts at first, but has built up over the past ten years," says Winnebago County State’s Attorney Paul Logli.

"The investigation was sparked by the number of checks that had not been cashed and many had been dated back several months," says Riverbluff Auditor Tom Ross.

Hecker allegedly covered her trail by misdirecting and mishandling both incoming and outgoing checks at the facility.

Numerous checks come into Riverbluff everyday. They're deposited either into nursing home accounts or resident trust accounts. But the nursing home also requires a certain amount of cash on the premises for the resident's banking system.

"Somewhere in between the deposit of checks into accounts and conversion of limited amounts to cash this employee was able to convert some of that to her own use," explains Logli.

Those who live here at Riverbluff did not lose money. Any funds taken from their personal accounts were replaced by the county. And now new procedures are in place to keep this from happening again.

"We also have the Deputy County Administrator out there on a full time basis to help with the interviewing process and help with overall procedures," says Winnebago County Board Chairman Scott Christiansen.

They'll also work to regain the trust of the 257 current residents as well as those who may consider choosing Riverbluff in the future.