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For Immediate Release
May 2, 2003
Contact: Sean Caine, 410-576-6357
scaine@oag.state.md.us

CAREGIVER CHARGED WITH 264 COUNTS OF
NEGLECT, ENDANGERMENT OF HANDICAPPED PATIENTS

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr., announced today that a Baltimore County resident was charged on April 15, 2003 with neglecting three mentally retarded adults four times a week for 11 weeks.

Chinonso Ndidi Ogbonna, 22, of Heraldry Court, has been charged in a 264 count criminal information with neglect of vulnerable adults and reckless endangerment of those adults. During the fall of 2002, Ogbonna was a caregiver for three individuals who, due to their developmental disabilities, were dependant on caregivers for all of their activities of daily living. The 132 neglect charges are based on the allegation that Ogbonna, on 44 separate dates from September 2002 through the beginning of December 2002, failed to provide the required supervision of these adults. The 132 reckless endangerment counts allege that, by leaving these vulnerable adults without proper supervision, Ogbonna engaged in conduct that created a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to each of the vulnerable adults.

The case is being prosecuted by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Maryland Attorney General’s Office which has authority to investigate and prosecute abuse or neglect of vulnerable adults. While a criminal information is only an accusation and all persons are presumed innocent unless proven guilty, a charge of neglect of a vulnerable adult is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine, or both, for each count. Reckless endangerment is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine, or both, for each count.

An arraignment date of May 22, 2003 has been set.

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