Elder care entrepreneur sentenced for embezzling from businesses
A Spring Garden Township woman faces less than two years in federal prison and a six-figure restitution for embezzling from her senior care businesses.
Melinda Bixler, 50, was sentenced to 18 months during a federal court hearing this week, the U.S. attorney’s office in central Pennsylvania announced Thursday.
She pleaded guilty in March 2022 to a count of engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from unlawful activity.
She agreed to pay $147,882 to three of her former clients. She’ll also forfeit office property at 4070 W. Market St. and forfeit another $129,357 from the bank account balance of one of her companies, Adult Care Advocates, the U.S. attorney’s office said.
With the federal case resolved, Bixler still faces charges on the York County level.
A hearing in the local case is set for next month while she’s charged with felony counts of corrupt organizations, theft by failing to make required distribution of funds, theft by deception, receiving stolen property and conspiracy.
Federal investigators accused Bixler of lying on bank statements and funneling money from the nonprofit Adult Care Advocates and her for-profit business, Elder Healthcare Solutions, to purchase a $685,000 house.
They said she sent false statements to a bank, including one claiming she no longer owed money on the West Market Street property she purchased, in order to get a mortgage for the house.
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Bixler also claimed her son gifted her $350,000 from his personal funds.
But, according to the allegations, she actually funneled that money to her son through transactions to disguise the sources of the funds, including siphoning $78,000 from the bank account of a 94-year-old client in Lancaster County.
The federal sentence calls for Bixler to report to the Bureau of Prisons on June 20 to begin her term. Documents show a federal judge recommended she serve time at a facility in West Virginia.
Before she reports to prison, Bixler is scheduled to appear before a York County Court of Common Pleas judge on June 5 for a hearing in the local case.
Those charges, stemming from a West Manchester Township Police investigation, included further allegations that she used company funds to purchase a car, take her family on overseas vacations and possibly cover her son’s drug rehabilitation.
Bixler is currently free on a $200,000 bail after she posted surety bonds the day after she was charged locally in January 2020, court documents show.
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She was also granted release after she pleaded guilty in the federal case last March.
— Aimee Ambrose can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter at @aimee_TYD.