Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Augusta woman pleads to reduced charge in elder exploitation case

An Augusta woman accused of helping herself to the bank account of a 96-year-old nursing home patient pleaded guilty Wednesday.

Patsy Sheppard, 60, had been charged with two counts of exploitation of an elder person, two counts of attempted exploitation of an elder person and one count of theft. She pleaded guilty to a single count of theft.

Judge James G. Blanchard Jr. accepted the plea deal and sentenced Shep­pard to 10 years of probation, all but six years of which will be suspended if she pays restitution of about $4,000.

Initially, Sheppard was accused of taking $7,833 from the victim’s bank account in the summer of 2014 and of twice trying to become a joint account holder on the woman’s investment account, which contained $156,000.

The case was a lot more complicated, defense attorney Kimberly Wilder said at Wednesday’s hearing.

Sheppard met the woman through a fellow church member and the two became close. They considered each other family, Wilder said. When the elder woman was put in hospice in a nursing home, Sheppard took over her care, fed her and nursed her back to health, Wilder said. The
woman did get better and the two continued to spend a lot of time together.

In 2014, the woman wanted out of the nursing home and Sheppard offered her home, which Sheppard paid to make handicapped accessible, Wilder said. She was able to provide receipts for most of the money she took from the woman’s account, Wilder said.

Lyndie Freeman, an assistant attorney general, countered that there were a number of questionable money transfers and that the attempt to become a joint account holder on the investment account was stopped because a bank employee realized the elderly woman couldn’t even identify Sheppard.

As conditions of Sheppard’s probation, she cannot work in any residential care facility for disabled or elderly people, nor serve in any position of trust for any disabled or elderly person, nor use anyone else’s financial or personal identity documents.

Full Article & Source:
Augusta woman pleads to reduced charge in elder exploitation case

1 comment:

Betty said...

I am glad she pleaded and saved the taxpayers money.