March 15, 2006
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.