Social Services Director of a Nursing Home Charged with ID Theft from Elderly Residents
St. Louis, MO – Jabbaar Smith, 37, of St. Louis, was indicted today on seven counts of identity theft and two counts of aggravated identity theft.
The indictment alleges between 2015 and 2016, Smith was employed as a Social Services Director at an area nursing home. His duties included purchasing items for the residents from funds maintained in their personal accounts. Smith would purchase items from companies through the internet on behalf of nursing home residents who were over the age of 60. Smith then returned some of the merchandise and the vendor mailed refund checks made payable to the elderly nursing home residents. Smith intercepted the refund checks, forged the residents’ names as endorsements, and deposited the refund checks into his personal bank account.
Smith also impersonated an elderly resident during a telephone call with the Social Security Administration and, based on information provided by Smith, the administrative agency unwittingly changed the resident’s direct deposit information to Smith’s personal bank account. Social Security payments for that resident were then deposited into Smith’s personal bank account.
If convicted, identity theft carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count and aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory two-year term of imprisonment. In determining the actual sentences, a judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.
This case is being investigated by the Social Security Administration and St. Louis County Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracy Berry is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
As is always the case, charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.
This indictment coincides with the United States Department of Justice coordination of a nationwide elder fraud sweep. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and law enforcement partners are coordinating the largest sweep of elder fraud cases in history. The cases involve more than two hundred and fifty defendants from around the globe who victimized more than a million Americans. In total, the charged elder fraud schemes caused losses of more than half a billion dollars. The Department coordinated its announcement with the FTC and state Attorneys General, who independently filed numerous cases targeting elder frauds within the sweep period.
Elder fraud complaints
Elder fraud complaints may be filed with the FTC at www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov or at 877-FTC-HELP. The Department of Justice provides a variety of resources relating to elder fraud victimization through its Office of Victims of Crime, which can be reached at www.ovc.gov.