Nursing home abuse and neglect can take many forms. Most frequently, people think of physical or emotional abuse when it comes to cases of elder abuse, but frequently, these crimes involve financial betrayal, either through embezzling or misappropriating a person's funds or by coercing them into making inappropriate financial decisions for the gain of the perpetrator.
A person accused of nursing home abuse or neglect may face both criminal and civil penalties. Last week, a federal grand jury handed down an indictment accusing an Oklahoma City woman of conspiracy, mail fraud, and forgery, after she and a co-worker allegedly stole thousands of dollars from the bank account of a 96-year-old patient at the Bethany assisted living facility where they worked. She and her co-conspirator are accused of stealing more than $72,000 from the patient's account since March 2011.
Fraud Charges for Oklahoma City Woman
According to the indictment, Monica Michelle Brown, 39, is accused of multiple counts after allegedly bilking the unidentified patient out of thousands of dollars:
- Conspiracy - Brown and co-conspirator James Lester Hausman are accused of using a computer to write checks from the victim's account and having the bank mail the checks to themselves and third parties. Checks include two checks totaling nearly $30,600 made payable to Hausman, and another check for $15,500 made payable to a car dealership for Hausman's purchase of a 2006 Hummer H3.
- Mail Fraud - Brown is charged with two counts of mail fraud after requesting that two checks totaling more than $17,500 drawn on the patient's account be mailed to her.
- Forgery - Brown is indicted on five counts of forgery after allegedly forging the patient's signature on five blank checks made out to Brown and her daughter. The amount of the forged checks totaled nearly $13,775.
Check fraud and mail fraud are crimes that may be charged at the state level, but are frequently prosecuted in federal court. As federal white collar crimes, these offenses are subject to harsh penalties including significant fines, lengthy prison sentences, and restitution to the victim.
In addition, a person accused of financial fraud against a nursing home patient may also face civil litigation through a nursing home abuse lawsuit. Facing federal charges can be intimidating. Penalties may be more severe than those levied at the state level, and prosecution is often backed by evidence gleaned by skilled federal investigators.
Conspiracy & Mail Fraud Defense
It is important to find an attorney who is experienced at handling federal cases in Oklahoma's U.S. District Courts. A lawyer who specializes in Federal charges of fraud is your best chance of success. Visit our fraud page to learn more.