East Orange woman convicted of falsifying, then stealing medical records

ELIZABETH — A Union County jury has returned guilty verdicts against a former worker at a Berkeley Heights group home who falsified medical records and later stole them after she was fired, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace Park announced.

Joy Ebuzor-Onayemi, 48, of East Orange was convicted of third-degree burglary and fourth-degree falsifying medical records following several hours of jury deliberation and a five-day trial before state Superior Court Judge Stuart Peim.

In the spring of 2011, Ebuzor-Onayemi was tasked with taking and recording blood-pressure readings of patients at the aforementioned group home, where people with developmental disabilities resided and received care, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Meghan Tomlinson, who prosecuted the case.

On one occasion, however, Ebuzor-Onayemi failed to follow protocol after recording an abnormally high reading for a patient, contacting a physician instead of calling 911 immediately.

The error was uncovered by the company that runs the group home, and during the days leading up to a disciplinary meeting, Ebuzor-Onayemi altered the medical record in question in an attempt to cover up what she had done.

On April 8, 2011, her employers fired her, and immediately after leaving corporate headquarters, Ebuzor-Onayemi drove back to the group home, broke in, and stole the records implicating her, according to Tomlinson.

Sentencing in the case has been scheduled for May 16.