Sentencing in Sunrise Manor Embezzlement Case

Samantha Berry, the former administrator of Savage Sunrise Manor, made her initial appearance in District Court on Jan. 30, in Sidney. Berry is being charged with embezzling over $30,000 in August-November 2022.

According to a Jan. 12 court document, Berry began working at the manor in August 2022. The previous person handling the finances for the business retired in mid-September and then Berry took over. By Nov. 3, 2022, the account for Sunrise Manor at Stockman Bank had been flagged for suspicious activity and everything was frozen. A member of the manor board looked back through the transaction records. The first thing they noticed was several large ATM withdrawals that totaled just under $8,000 for October. Further investigation found there were direct deposits to an unknown account beginning mid-September. A total of $31,443.89 in ATM withdrawals, bank transfers, and direct deposits was taken from Savage Sunrise Manor’s bank account without permission. Another board member confronted Berry about it, but it was brought to the attention of the Richland County Sheriff’s Department on Nov. 3. Berry was fired and came to the Sheriff’s office for questioning.

According to Richland County Attorney, Charity McLarty, in a Jan. 13 court document on this case. “A person convicted of the offense of theft of property exceeding $10,000 in value by embezzlement shall be imprisoned in state prison for a term of not less than one year or more than 10 years and may be fined an amount not to exceed $50,000. The court may, at its discretion, place the person on probation with the requirement that restitution be made under terms set by the court. If the terms are not met, the required prison term may be ordered.”

Berry’s first day in court was Monday, Jan. 30. Attorney Shannon Sweeney was her representative during the proceeding hearings. Many hearings were set throughout the spring and summer in preparation for Berry’s trial.

There was a change of plea hearing on June 21, 2023 where Berry plead guilty and a sentencing hearing was held on Aug. 9, 2023. Her sentencing was delayed for six years with the condition that she pay restitution to Sunrise Savage Manor in the amount of $31,433.89 and follow the conditions of her parole. Berry’s attorney did not wish to comment on the case at this time.

 

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