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Attorney General Nessel Charges Former Guardian with Embezzlement

LANSING - Attorney General Dana Nessel announced today that she has charged Tanya Patterson, 40, with one count of Embezzlement from a Vulnerable Adult-$1,000 or more but less than $20,000, a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison.

The investigation conducted by the Department of Attorney General revealed that Patterson’s father was admitted to the Schnebb Senior Care and Rehabilitation Center, located in St. Louis, Michigan in July 2019. The next month, Patterson was appointed his guardian by the Gratiot County Probate Court. After this appointment, it is alleged Patterson opened a checking account for her father, listing her as guardian, where her father’s monthly Social Security income was deposited. The Attorney General now alleges that during 2021, Patterson removed money from her father’s account and unlawfully used it for her personal expenses and needs.

"Guardians and conservators are entrusted to protect and manage the medical and financial matters of a protected person," said Nessel. “Being a family member does not relieve a guardian of these responsibilities. If guardians breach that trust, they must be held accountable.”

Patterson was arraigned on January 17, 2023, before the Honorable Stewart D. McDonald of the 65th District Court in Gratiot County. She received a $20,000 personal recognizance bond and is due back in court for a probable cause conference on January 26, 2023.

The Attorney General’s Health Care Fraud Division (HCFD) handled this case for the Department. The HCFD is the federally certified Medicaid Fraud Control Unit for Michigan, and it receives 75% of its funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under a grant award totaling $5,196,188 for the fiscal year 2023. The remaining 25% percent, totaling $1,732,061, is funded by the State of Michigan.

Please note:  A criminal charge is merely an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. The Department does not provide booking photos.

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