RACINE — A Burlington woman who spent three decades taking care of mentally disabled residents in her group home no longer can continue the work she said she loves.
She was sentenced Monday to three years behind bars for reportedly stealing more than $24,000 from three mentally disabled men who lived in her City of Burlington group home.
“I am completely remorseful. I started doing things out of character,” Becky Ann Borucki, dressed in orange Racine County Jail scrubs, said quietly, her shoulders hunched, from the defense table Monday. “I am sorry for the pain I have caused everyone. I have worked (for) 30 years with special-needs people.”
Borucki, 58, operated Borucki Group Home, 425 Herman St., City of Burlington. Police discovered she was stealing from three residents — reportedly about $24,383 — after they were contacted by the legal guardian of one of the men, according to her criminal complaint.
That man’s legal guardian, his sister, reported to police that someone from her brother’s bank had contacted her about his checking account. She said she then discovered numerous discrepancies in the account — which traced back to Borucki, the complaint stated.
Through bank records, the woman and police found approximately $8,629 had been removed from the man’s bank account between Aug. 10, 2011, and Jan. 4, 2012, according to the complaint. The amount also included overdraft fees charged by the bank to the account of her brother, then 50 years old.
Officers and family members of two other men reported finding that Borucki stole $5,097 from a second man, the complaint stated. She stole $4,407 from a third, and stole an additional $6,250 in wages from him, the complaint stated. Police reported that of 42 checks that were issued to the third man from Careers Industries, most had been endorsed by Borucki or appeared to have been endorsed by the man but marked “Paid to the Order of Betty Borucki.”
The money reportedly went to buy electronics, rugs, clothing, Christmas items and a Caribbean cruise — a trip that was canceled about a month after those checks were written, the complaint stated.
“This is an egregious case,” Assistant District Attorney Noah Wishau said during Monday’s sentencing. “She took advantage of people she was put in charge of.”
Assistant State Public Defender Margaret Johnson said Borucki was ashamed of her conduct. Yet during that time, she said Borucki suffered from a variety of mental health and physical issues. Additionally, Wishau said her family disclosed she’d been gambling.
Circuit Judge Tim Boyle said Borucki was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, possible schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Johnson said Borucki had no prior criminal record.
Borucki pleaded no contest in March to two counts of theft and one of ID theft.
“I am begging for a second chance at life (after prison),” Borucki said Monday just before she was sentenced.
Boyle also sentenced her to three years on extended supervision and imposed three years of probation, which he ordered her to serve consecutively. He gave her credit for time served, dating to May 4, 2012, when she was arrested in Arizona.
“These are disabled individuals,” Boyle said, calling her behavior “impulsive and completely out of character.” He said “to not imprison her would unduly depreciate the severity of the offense here.”
A restitution hearing is set for Nov. 21. “I believe she’s very committed to making those amends,” Johnson said.