Richmond Assisted Living Facility Owner Charged with Elder Fraud Scheme
RICHMOND, Va. – A federal grand jury returned an indictment yesterday charging the former owner of a Richmond-based assisted living facility with allegedly diverting over $800,000 in federal and state benefits that were intended to pay for the care of the facility’s residents.
“As alleged in the indictment, the defendant repeatedly left the residents of her assisted living facility in deplorable conditions while she diverted their essential benefits to pay for her gambling expenses in Atlantic City and Las Vegas, and to fund her personal debts, travel, and retail purchases,” said Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “We will vigorously pursue justice on behalf of vulnerable members of our community to ensure that those entrusted to care for the elderly and infirm are held accountable if they exploit the critical trust placed in them.”
According to the indictment, Mable B. Jones, 77, of Richmond, owned and operated Jones & Jones, an assisted living facility complex that served primarily elderly and incapacitated adults. For residents who were legally incapable of managing their own funds, Jones & Jones served as a representative payee and regularly received state and federal benefits payments on behalf of those residents. Representative payees are required to use Social Security benefits to provide for the beneficiary’s needs, including food, clothing, housing, and medical care. Representative payees, moreover, are specifically prohibited from using Social Security benefits for anything other than the beneficiary’s needs. Similar requirements also apply to auxiliary grants issued by the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services.
According to the indictment, beginning around December 2015 and continuing through the facility’s closure in 2019, Jones converted more than $800,000 of the residents’ federal and state benefits for her own personal use. As alleged in the indictment, Jones used the residents’ benefits to satisfy her personal debts, including her mortgage and bankruptcy payments, and to fund her personal travel, retail purchases, and gambling expenses, including at casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey and Las Vegas, Nevada.
According to the indictment, Jones’s diversion of resident benefits allegedly led to significant and persistent deficiencies in the facilities, care, and services provided to Jones & Jones residents, including deficiencies that allegedly endangered residents’ health and safety. These conditions ultimately prompted state and federal audits of the facility before its closure, during which Jones allegedly made false statements about her conversion and use of resident funds.
Jones is charged with wire fraud and making false statements. If convicted, she faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Stanley M. Meador, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office; Michael McGill, Special Agent-in-Charge, Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General, made the announcement.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kaitlin G. Cooke and Shea Gibbons are prosecuting the case.
Combatting elder abuse and financial fraud targeted at seniors is a key priority of the Department of Justice. Elder abuse is an intentional or negligent act by any person that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to an older adult. It is a term used to describe five subtypes of elder abuse: physical abuse, financial fraud, scams and exploitation, caregiver neglect and abandonment, psychological abuse, and sexual abuse. Elder abuse is a serious crime against some of our nation’s most vulnerable citizens, affecting at least 10 percent of older Americans every year. Together with our federal, state, local, and tribal partners, the Department of Justice is steadfastly committed to combatting all forms of elder abuse and financial exploitation through enforcement actions, training and resources, research, victim services, and public awareness. This holistic and robust response demonstrates the Department’s unwavering dedication to fighting for justice for older Americans.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:21-cr-30.
An indictment is merely an accusation. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.