Poor record keeping at a Northamptonshire care home allowed the manager to steal up to £9,200 from two elderly residents.
Both the owners and the health watchdog inspectors of The Shrubbery in College Street, Higham Ferrers, were singled out for criticism after the former manager Natalia Mychajlyszyn, 45, was jailed for stealing from two residents in their 80s, over a number of years.
She took advantage of poor financial record-keeping to siphon off thousands of pounds from two residents, who had no family and were not capable of looking after their own financial affairs.
She even stole £3,700 intended for a victim’s funeral.
Emilie Pottle, prosecuting, said £9,250 disappeared over four years while Mychajlyszyn was responsible for two residents’ day-to-day finances.
Mychajlyszyn, of Limeﬁeld Way, Northampton, who denied four theft and fraud allegations, was unanimously convicted by a jury at Northampton Crown Court and jailed for 30 months.
She was previously acquitted of slapping patients with learning difficulties at a home in Flore.
Judge Richard Bray said: “This is yet another case which gives rise to serious concerns about the running of homes for the elderly.
“The evidence has shown there was no proper financial administration at this home.
“No proper records were kept of residents’ money.
“No proper scrutiny made of such records as there should be, neither by staff, nor by the area manager, nor by the owners of the home nor by the inspectors from the Care Quality Commission.
“The bank cards belonging to vulnerable residents together with their PIN numbers were used by the manager to withdraw cash without being recorded.
“The evidence has shown the manager was permitted to use residents’ cards without proper checks and continued using them even after leaving the residential home. Substantial sums of money running into the thousands were withdrawn without any proper records.
“You took advantage of poor financing to prey on two elderly and vulnerable residents.
“I’m satisfied the sums run into the thousands and at a time when they had put their trust in you, believing you were looking after them and even when you were arranging a funeral for one of them.
“There are two aggravating features.
“Firstly you were in a position involving a high degree of trust and, secondly, this fraud took place over a substantial period of time and runs into thousands.”