Criminal Charges Dropped Against Former Nursing Home Employee

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) — Prosecutors have dropped criminal charges against a former Fayetteville Health and Rehabilitation employee accused of conspiring with three other former employees to defraud the nursing home.

Jennifer Allyson Thumser, 44, was initially charged with two felony counts of conspiracy to commit theft and credit card fraud,  but a judge agreed to dismiss the charges due to a lack of evidence and testimony from the other suspects, according to the Washington County Prosecutor’s Office.

The other three former employees — Diana Vanwinkle, 47, Kristy Kennamer-Hunt, 52, and Nichole Brennom, 42, — are accused of spending $14,000 from a nursing home account on personal items instead of buying supplies for the facility, according to court documents.

All three face felony charges of theft of property and fraudulent use of a credit card. They’re due back in Washington County Circuit Court later this month.

In November 2016, a nursing home administrator noticed discrepancies in the facility’s Harps Foods invoices, including some which should’ve come to her that had already been approved.

The administrator then requested Harps surveillance footage and found Brennom, Kennamer-Hunt and Vanwinkle shopping in the store despite failing to have proper authorization to use the facility’s credit card, according to court documents.

While the women mainly purchased miscellaneous items, invoices show some of the $14,772.67 was spent on more than 25 gift cards.

All four women have been named in a civil conversion suit filed by the nursing home.

The facility is seeking restitution as well as punitive damages, according to court documents.