SALEM, Mass. -– Among the criminal allegations against Sherry Verdick, a Methuen woman accused of stealing from the Berkeley Retirement Home and Nursing Center in Lawrence, is that she wrote 394 checks totaling $412,000 out to herself, a prosecutor said.
Verdick, 43, was released on personal recognizance with a series of conditions after her arraignment Tuesday in Salem Superior Court on multiple larceny charges involving the Berkeley facility.
The former business manager at the home, Verdick is accused of stealing more than $530,000, said Assistant Attorney General Gretchen Brodigan in court.
The case is being prosecuted in Superior Court by Attorney General Maura's Healey's office.
Brodigan said Verdick "exploited a position of trust" while working at the Berkeley home.
In addition to writing 394 checks out to herself, Verdick also forged her signature on another eight check and used a corporate credit card to illegally purchase $19,000 in items for herself, Brodigan said.
Verdick also arranged for $10,500 in health care costs she should have paid for herself to be paid out of a Berkeley account, Brodigan said during the arraignment.
No bail was set during the arraignment and Brodigan noted Verdick was indicted on charges and then appeared in court Tuesday after receiving a summons.
Conditions of her release include staying away from the Berkeley facility, its residents and employees.
Verdick was arraigned on five counts of larceny of property valued over $1,200 by a single scheme, larceny over $1,200, larceny over $250 by a single scheme, two counts of making false entries in corporate books with intent to defraud, three counts of forgery, three counts of uttering and obtaining a signature under false pretenses, according to court papers.
"Staff at the Berkeley Retirement Home fully complied and provided extremely valuable assistance to the investigation," Healey noted in a previous statement regarding the case.
From January 2016 through September 2018, Verdick, while working as the business manager at Berkeley, "operated a sophisticated scheme to steal money from several accounts operated by the facility," according to Healey's statement.
Prosecutors say she wrote several hundred checks to herself from various accounts affiliated with the retirement center, forged various signatures of other Berkeley employees to steal money from Berkeley accounts, improperly used a corporate credit card for personal purchases, and altered the company’s payroll system to reduce her health insurance contribution to zero, according to Healey.
Verdick is also accused of stealing money "from the estate of a deceased resident by misleading another employee into signing a check which Verdick then deposited into a Berkeley account for which she was a signatory," according to Healey's statement.
This is a developing story. A full report will appear online and in print editions of The Eagle-Tribune.
Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter @EagleTribJill.