Attorney General Office Announced Charges In Alabama Nursing Home Abuse Crimes Against Two Bessemer Nursing Home Employees.
The Attorney General’s Office announced on January 14, that two Alabama Bessemer Nursing Home employees are being charged with multiple crimes against two elderly residents. One of the employees has been charged with abuse and the other has been charged with theft. The abuse allegations come from an elderly resident claiming she suffered multiple injuries as a result of an altercation with a female employee. The allegations leveled against the second employee, a bookkeeper, accuse her of stealing over $10,000 worth of patients’ trust fund money. One of the Alabama elder abuse cases purportedly occurred at The Golden Living Center-Meadowood and the other at The Oak Trace Care and Rehabilitation Center. The women accused at the Golden Living Center-Meadowood is also being charged with violating the Adult Protective Services Act.
Golden Living Center-Meadowood employee Latrice Shuntae Brown, 34, is charged with abuse of a “protected person”. Anyone who resides in a nursing home, mental institution, development center for people with an intellectual disability and/or convalescent care facility is considered a protected person in Alabama. Brown was indicted on October 24, 2014 as a direct result of evidence presented to a grand jury in the Bessemer Division of Jefferson County Circuit Court by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. As an employee of Golden Living Center-Meadwood as well as a certified nursing assistant, she is also being charged with violating the Adult Protective Services Act. Moreover, Brown is accused of throwing an 86-year-old patient on top of her bed, which resulted in injury as the assault caused the patient’s head to slam against side table. The woman also violently took her call-button off the patient’s wrist causing a cut wound on her hand. The nursing home patient was seen and examined at a hospital, sustaining two injuries, one being described as a hematoma on her forehead and a laceration on her hand that required stitches. According to the law, any person who intentionally abuses or neglects a protected person shall be guilty of a class C felony, punishable by 1 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000, if the intentional abuse or neglect causes physical injury as provided by Alabama’s Adult Protective Services Act.
According to the Attorney General’s Office, Oak Trace Care and Rehabilitation Center employee Anita Denise Miller, 49, is charged with forgery and theft of patient trust fund monies. She was indicted October 24, 2014 after the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit presented evidence to a grand jury in the Bessemer Division of Jefferson County Circuit Court. She was working as a bookkeeper for the center when she obtained seven counts of third-degree forgery and three counts of first-degree theft. Specifically, she is accused of stealing over $10,000 worth of patient trust fund money and forging the patients’ signatures in an effort to cover up her alleged theft. A first-degree theft is a class B felony that comes with a penalty of 2 to 20 years accompanied by a fine of up to $30,000. A third-degree forgery is a class A misdemeanor with a penalty of up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $6,000. (http://www.ago.state.al.us/News-583).
Alabama Nursing Home Abuse Statistics
According to Elder Abuse Report during 2008 Alabama Adult Protective Services investigated 5,125 abuse reports. Over half of all the investigations, 53% to be specific, were substantiated and one out of every two victims was aged 65 years or older. Allegations of suspected neglects covered more than 75% of all the APS investigations. Allegations of abuse counted for 13% of reports received and allegations of financial exploitation covered the remaining 12% of the received reports. (http://www.elder-abuseca.com/stateResources/alabama.html)