Nursing home staffer charged with theft


A bookkeeper at Anne Arundel County's largest nursing home has been accused of carrying out an embezzlement scheme in which she allegedly stole $2,350 in just over four months.

County police charged Monte Griffin, 34, with felony theft Aug. 11, police said, after owners of Wellspring Nursing Center noticed that the hours on her time card did not coincide with the hours for which she was paid.

From a review of payroll records, Ms. Griffin appeared to have been paid for 250 extra hours, said Michael Francus, owner of the 200-bed home on Furnace Branch Road. He said officials noticed the discrepancy in early August.

"It's a small amount in the scheme of things, but it could have gone on indefinitely," Mr. Francus said.

He said the scheme worked for as long as it did because Ms. Griffin was paid from two separate payrolls, one from the nursing home and another from Med-Ride, a van transport company. Neither check ever showed more than 40 hours a week, he said.

Some weeks, checks were written to Ms. Griffin for 40 hours' worth of work with one company and 25 hours with the other when she actually worked only 40 hours, Mr. Francus said.

"It's something where if we checked every week, it would have been caught immediately," he said.

Ms. Griffin was hired as director of payroll at the end of March, Mr. Francus said. She was responsible for issuing some $120,000 worth of checks for 200 employees every two weeks.

"She created havoc and chaos to cover her tracks," Mr. Francus charged. "It wasn't a monetary impact as much as a business impact."

Ms. Griffin was freed on her own recognizance after an Aug. 11 bond hearing before a District Court Commissioner.

Her trial has been scheduled for Nov. 20 in District Court in Annapolis.

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