29 Nov ATTORNEY GENERAL WRIGLEY ANNOUNCES SENTENCE IN PATIENT ABUSE CASE
November 29, 2022
CONTACT: Attorney General Drew Wrigley 701.328.2210
Attorney General Drew Wrigley announced today that the Honorable Jay Schmitz sentenced Gracious Weah to serve 1 year and 1 day in jail after a jury found Weah guilty of Aggravated Assault Causing Permanent Impairment, and Reckless Endangerment. Weah’s actions caused a severe and painful injury to a resident of the Sheyenne Care Center in Valley City, and Weah failed to report the injury. Judge Schmitz also ordered that Weah complete 3 years of supervised probation and that she be prohibited from working in care settings for that time period.
The case was investigated and prosecuted by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, a division of the North Dakota Attorney General’s Office, with the assistance of the Valley City Police Department. The Unit reported the sentence to the Office of Inspector General of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, and Weah will be excluded from receiving payments from any Federal healthcare program such as Medicaid or Medicare. The exclusion will last a minimum of 5 years. The exclusion effectively prohibits Weah from working with patients in the healthcare industry.
Attorney General Wrigley said “This sentence serves the dual purpose of holding the offender accountable for her heartless conduct and protecting the citizens of North Dakota. The Attorney General’s Office is committed to protecting vulnerable adults receiving services in long term care settings, and we are asking the legislature for additional personnel so we can further elevate these priority investigations and prosecutions.”
The NDMFCU receives 75% of its funds from the US DHHS under a 2023 grant of $812,336. The State of North Dakota provides 25% or $270,775.