More than a year after the state shut down her Eatonville boarding home and revoked her license, Jodi Becker was sentenced to 75 days in jail for her role in mistreatment of a patient and stealing from the state.
Becker, of Puyallup, pleaded guilty to one count of third-degree criminal mistreatment, six counts of first-degree theft and one count of Medicaid false statement for falsifying information given to state regulators about her hiring practices.
She was also sentenced to six months of community supervision, a year of probation and must pay $146,078 in restitution. The state shut down the Eatonville Manor in 2011 and barred her from providing paid care to vulnerable clients for 10 years.
A nurse practitioner, Joanne Hardtke, of Tacoma, pleaded guilty to one count of third-degree criminal mistreatment and was barred for five years from caring for vulnerable patients receiving government-funded long-term care. She must also pay a $3,000 fine.
Prosecutors said Becker and Hardtke were taking care of a state Department of Social and Health Services client from December 2008 to April 2009 but did not prevent the patient from developing painful pressure sores. The patient later died, though the death was not directly linked to their mistreatment.
They also allege she stole more than $265,000 from the state and her patients, and refused to properly train staff members while lying about their training status. Because of that, she was able to receive Medicaid and personal money from the residents at Eatonville Manor.
“Justice was done, and health care providers, owners and operators of long-term care facilities should take notice that the State will not tolerate criminally negligent treatment of frail residents who depend on their care givers nor will we tolerate fraudulent behavior,” said Carrie Bashaw, a senior prosecutor with the Attorney General’s Office.