January 13, 2017
A 46-year-old Omaha woman should serve no prison time for stealing about $52,000 from her ailing Manning grandmother, a judge decided Thursday.
Kristan Lee Warrick faced up to 10 years in prison for taking money that her late mother bequeathed to her grandmother, Joyce Roecker, in 2012.
Roecker was too poor to pay to live at Manning Plaza Nursing Home, so the state paid about $450,000 to the home over the course of more than a decade for her to live there.
State officials alleged that the inheritance from Warrick’s mother’s estate would have made Roecker ineligible for a period of time for Medicaid benefits.
That’s how the criminal charges came about.
Warrick claimed she would create a trust for the inheritance to keep her grandmother eligible for the benefits, but she allegedly didn’t.
Most of the money was transferred from the grandmother’s bank account to another checking account several hundred dollars at a time. It’s unclear how the money was spent, because Warrick merely listed the expenses as “transfers,” according to court documents.
In court on Thursday at her sentencing hearing, Warrick said she shouldn’t have taken the money.
“I’m thankful that this day has come so I can start a new journey,” Warrick said. “I’m very regretful and sorry for the things that I’ve done.”
She had pleaded guilty to two felony charges of perjury, both of which are punishable by up to five years in prison.
But because Warrick hasn’t been convicted of a crime — and because she has sought financial counseling and has been active with her church — District Associate Judge Adria Kester, gave her a deferred judgment.
If Warrick abides by the terms of her probation for three years, the charges will be wiped from her record.
County Attorney John Werden, who prosecuted the case, recommended the sentence.
“It’s not often that a county attorney requests a deferred judgment,” Kester said.
Warrick is required to repay a total of about $52,000.