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JUNE 14 – Burroughs Indicted for Embezzlement from Riverview Nursing Home

SBJ Staff Report

June 14, 2010 –Mary O. Burroughs, 66, of Savannah has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of embezzlement, money laundering, credit card fraud and identity theft for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from Riverview Nursing & Rehabilitation Center (“Riverview”), a non-profit organization which received millions of dollars in federal funding.

United States Attorney Edward J. Tarver said Monday, “This defendant is allegedly to have used her position as Administrator of a non-profit nursing home to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from the organization.  The indictment alleges that she systematically took money over a one-year period and used it for her own selfish purposes.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to investigating and prosecuting financial fraud and regaining what victims of these crimes have lost.” 

The indictment alleges that between May 1, 2009 and April 30, 2010, Burroughs used her position as administrator “to cause Riverview to issue multiple checks from its Wachovia money market account to cash, which she then used to purchase cashier’s checks made payable to Burrough’s Heating & Air and others.

Burroughs is alleged to have embezzled over $235,000 from the Riverview money market account.  In addition, the indictment alleges that she used a Riverview credit card in the name of an employee she had terminated to make thousands of dollars of unauthorized and personal charges.  The indictment also alleges that, without permission or authority, she had others rip out copper piping and other metal objects from a Riverview building to be sold as scrap metal.

In addition, the indictment charges Burroughs with 5 counts of stealing from a program receiving federal funds and one count of credit card fraud, which carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on each count.  She is also charged with four counts of money laundering which carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000 on each count. 

Finally, the indictment alleges one count of aggravated identity theft, which requires a 2-year consecutive prison sentence to any other sentence imposed. Tarver emphasized that an indictment is only an accusation and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the Government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, he said.

The indictment of Burroughs arises out of a joint investigation by United States Secret Service Special Agent William Griffin, Detective Raymond Woodberry of the Savannah-Chatham County Metro Police Department and Karen S. Hartley, Forensic Auditor with the United States Attorney’s Office.  First Assistant United States Attorney James D. Durham is prosecuting the case.

Stan Adams Jr. is now the Acting Administrator of Riverview. Mr. Adams was unavailable for comment.

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