Karissa-Anne Frannicola of Caldwell charged with stealing $20,530 from nursing home residenT
by Carolyne Volpe Curley / Carolyne@WestEssexNOW.com
CALDWELL, NJ - The New Jersey Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor announced yesterday charges against Karissa-Anne Frannicola, 29, of Caldwell. Frannicola is accused of stealing about $20,530 from an elderly nursing home resident over whom she had power of attorney.
In an effort to protect elderly and disabled individuals from abuse and neglect, the office also charged three other women with residential care crimes.
The charges were determined after investigations were completed by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit which receives federal monies to investigate and prosecute Medicaid provider fraud and the abuse of Medicaid patients.
Frannicola was charged with the following over incidents which occurred between April and August of 2017:
The other women involved in the indictment were Martha Ruiz, 25, of Camden, and Kendall Crouch, 24, of Clementon. Both women were employed as psych aides at Bancroft Neurohealth in Mt. Laurel. Bancroft Neurohealth is a facility which cares for developmentally disabled adults and children. In their case, both Ruiz and Crouch are accused of physically abusing one of the disabled residents.
According to the Prosecutor, on June 1, 2018, Ruiz and Crouch allegedly "struck the resident in the face, twisted his hand and wrist, forcefully restrained him to his bed, and forced a urine-soaked towel on his face."
Both women were charged with:
Additionally, Christine Sanford, 31, of Atlantic City, is accused of assuming a false identity to work as a Certified Nurse Aide at the Barnegat Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Barnegat in November 2018. The Prosecutor believes Sanford used a false identity because her own Nurse Aide certification had been revoked by the New Jersey Department of Health in 2017 after she was determined to be unqualified.
Sanford is charged with:
People who are concerned about insurance cheating and have information about a fraud can report it anonymously by calling the toll-free hotline at 1-877-55-FRAUD, or visiting the website at www.njinsurancefraud.org. State regulations also permit a reward to be paid to an eligible person who provides information that leads to an arrest, prosecution and conviction for insurance fraud.
North Caldwell Police Sergeant Hospitalized After Police Pursuit: Five Arrests Made
by Carolyne Volpe Curley / Carolyne@WestEssexNOW.com
First Published 5am
NORTH CALDWELL, NJ - Early Wednesday morning, North Caldwell Police received a report of suspicious individuals running through a backyard on Mountain Avenue near White Oak Road.
The incident led to a responding officer, North Caldwell Police Sergeant John Belotta, being hospitalized after reportedly being dragged by the driver of a stolen car. Multiple departments responded and ultimately five were arrested, while two cars which were reported stolen in Morris County were recovered.
At about 4:51am this morning, North Caldwell Police responded to Mountain Avenue investigating the suspicious individuals and at the same time called in Caldwell Police Department and West Caldwell Police Department to assist with the investigation. Caldwell and West Caldwell officers patrolled Mountain Avenue while North Caldwell officers patrolled the side street areas.
A few minutes later, at 4:54am, another call came into North Caldwell headquarters from a resident reporting that they could seeing individuals running on Mountain Avenue toward Knollwood Drive. At 4:57am, Cedar Grove Police were also dispatched to assist.
While patrolling the area at 5:03am, Sergeant Belotta spotted two cars driving on Deer Trail Road headed to Brookside Terrace. Police later determined that the two cars were stolen last night out of Morris Plains and Maplewood:
"The driver of the stolen Jeep
North Caldwell officers were able to apprehend two individuals on Brookside Terrace and placed them under arrest. Although injured, Belotta was able to report that the cars drove away towards Mountain Avenue and by 5:05am, Verona Police was also sent out to assist the investigation.
At 5:26am, a Verona patrol officer on Smull Avenue saw the two wanted cars drive past him on Mountain Avenue headed towards Bloomfield Avenue.
At 5:30am, another Verona patrol officer witnessed multiple persons bail out of a car at Ryerson Avenue near Grove Street in Caldwell. The officer followed after the suspects on foot and reported to the other responding units that they were running in the area of Fells Road and Devon Road, in Essex Fells.
At 5:32am, Roseland Police were dispatched to assist after the suspects were seen behind Devon Road residences near Avon Drive. Soon after, Livingston Police were dispatched to assist at 5:36am.
North Caldwell officers were on foot as they witnessed individuals running through the backyards of Devon Road going through the connecting Fells Road backyards. At the same time, at about 5:39am, Verona officers reported seeing suspects near a residence on Fells Road.
By 5:49am, the Verona patrol office witnessed a suspect on Devon Road. Soon he was subdued, and the final arrest was made.
Deuer reported that, in total, five arrests were made in Essex Fells and North Caldwell and 1 gun was recovered. The individuals arrested reside in Maplewood, Newark and Irvington.
Within minutes, Caldwell Police reported they were with the two
stolen cars which were located at the dead end of Grove Street, Caldwell.
North Caldwell Chief Mark Deuer:
According to Deuer, by 9:45am, Essex County Sheriff's Department Crime Scene Unit, along with the Prosecutor's Office and officers from Maplewood and Morris Plains Police Departments responded to the scene and police headquarters to process the incidents.
This investigation is ongoing, and police request that anyone with video or information should contact them: