MONTEVIDEO, Minn. - The former administrator of the Luther Haven nursing home in Montevideo in western Minnesota faces a charge of felony theft.

Tamara Noel Borstad, 46, of Appleton, is accused of using the nursing home's credit card and taking cash from its safe to use for gambling. The nursing home calculates it lost $38,812 in money taken and not paid back, including fees and charges, according to a criminal complaint filed Sept. 19 in Chippewa County District Court.

Borstad began serving as Luther Haven's administrator in November, and was terminated in June. The financial losses were discovered by the nursing home's accountant.

According to the complaint, the accountant initially spoke to Borstad about 18 credit card transactions on the Luther Haven account made for cash at Prairie's Edge Casino and Jackpot Junction. Borstad wrote a check to cover the $9,568.

The accountant subsequently found charges totaling $7,256.27 allegedly made by Borstad at Mystic Lake Casino, Jackpot Junction and Prairie's Edge. Borstad wrote a check for $7,256.27 to cover the charges, but a stop order was placed on the check.

The accountant also discovered that $25,872 in cash was missing from a safe in Borstad's office. The nursing home is required by law to keep $30,000 in cash on hand.

After her termination, Borstad met with a Montevideo Police Department investigator and another officer. She told them that she has a very serious gambling addiction, according to the allegations in the complaint.

She allegedly said that she had taken all $30,000 of the cash in the safe, but had put $4,000 back. Borstad told the investigators that "in her addict's mind, she was not taking the money, she was borrowing it," stated the complaint.

The complaint alleges that all of the funds were used for gambling.

A summons also was issued last week, and Borstad is scheduled to make her first court appearance on the charges Oct. 15.