LAWRENCE — A Haverhill woman was ordered to spend the next year behind bars after pleading guilty to stealing from elderly residents while business manager at the Penacook Place nursing home in Haverhill. 

Bridget Briand, 50, was sentenced to two and a half years in jail, one year to be served, with the balance of the sentence suspended for four years, following a hearing in Lawrence Superior Court Friday afternoon. 

She was immediately placed in handcuffs by court officers after she pleaded guilty to 12 offenses, including larceny from a person over aged 60 and multiple counts of making false entries into corporate books. 

Briand, in a plea agreement reached between the prosecution and defense and approved by Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Karp, was also ordered to spend five years on probation.

She came to Lawrence Superior Court on Friday afternoon with a cashier's check for $19,050 -- the restitution to be paid in the case to Penacook Place, 150 Water St., Haverhill and numerous patients who were Briand's victims. 

Conditions of Briand's probation include staying away from and having no contact with victims and witnesses in the case, not working in a nursing home or long-term care facility, and not serving as power of attorney or assisting elderly and/or disabled persons with financial transactions.

Karp, echoing a victim impact statement issued by Penacook, said he agreed Briand's conduct was "disgraceful, appalling and shameful."

But the judge added the plea agreement reached was "fair and just."  

Briand was indicted on criminal charges by the Essex County grand jury and the case was prosecuted by Attorney General Maura Healey's office. 

Healey's investigation revealed that between 2018 and 2019, "Briand was running an alleged scheme in which she stole more than $20,000 from an 88-year-old resident by writing checks to herself from the resident's account," according to information provided by Healey's office.

Also, Briand is accused of transferring reimbursements from Penacook Place, which were owed to a number of residents, into an account from which she was stealing to "cover up" the original theft, according to Healey.

Also, prosecutors said Briand made regular false entries into the accounting system and the corporate books to misappropriate credits of other residents into the account she was stealing from.

Briand was terminated from Penacook Place in December 2019, prosecutors said. 

The investigation began in early 2020 after Covenant Health Inc. acquired Penacook Place and discovered accounting discrepancies.

 Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter @EagleTribJill. 

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