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For Immediate Release
March 15, 2006
Media Contact:
Kevin Enright 410-576-6357

ASSISTED LIVING FACILITY OWNER PLEADS GUILTY TO EMBEZZLEMENT FROM PATIENT SUFFERING FROM DEMENTIA

Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that Lynette Dudley Richardson, an owner of an assisted living facility in Baltimore County, pled guilty to embezzling more than $5,000 from and elderly woman suffering from dementia. Baltimore County Circuit Court Judge Thomas J. Bollinger sentenced Richardson to two years in jail, suspending all but 11 days and placed her on three years probation. The court ordered two special conditions of probation: Richardson must repay $5,280 and she may not own, run or operate an assisted living facility while on probation.

In October 2004, Richardson was the owner of an unlicensed assisted living facility located on Prince George Street in Gwynn Oak, Maryland. In late October, Richardson met Martha G. at an emergency room at Maryland General Hospital (MGH). Martha, an 80-year-old vulnerable adult, was living on her own in an apartment building in Baltimore City. Richardson invited Martha to live with her at Richardson’s assisted living facility and Martha moved in the next day. A few days later, Richardson took Martha to a psychiatrist because Martha was showing signs of depression. The doctor determined immediately that Martha should be placed in the psychiatric ward at MGH and Martha was taken directly to MGH. On the way to the doctor’s office, however, Richardson first took Martha to Martha’s bank, where Richardson had Martha increase her personal line of credit to $6,000.

Martha remained an inpatient at MGH for one week until November 2, 2004, when she was discharged to Richardson’ s custody while suffering from depression and dementia. During Martha’s inpatient term, Richardson began using Martha’s credit cards for her own use and writing checks to herself on Martha’s new line of credit.

From October 26 through November 27, 2004, Richardson wrote herself four checks totaling $3,620 from Martha’s account and spent more than $1,600 on Martha’s credit card for her own benefit. She began using Martha’s card on October 31, 2004, while Martha was in the psychiatric ward, to purchase dinner for herself and a companion in Ellicott City. Thereafter, in the next three weeks, she spent more than $1,600 on the card, buying plane tickets for her relative to come to New York from Jamaica; paying $210 for a limousine to drive her and a companion around New York and charging hotel stays out of state. Richardson also used the card at a racetrack in Delaware to take out $430 in cash. The total billed on the card for Richardson’s personal use was $1,660. The total taken was $5,280. None of the money was paid back.

The case was -prosecuted by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) of the Maryland Attorney General’s Office, who has jurisdiction to prosecute crimes arising out of assisted living facilities.


   

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