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For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Raquel Guillory, 410-576-6357
rguillory@oag.state.md.us

Former Assisted Living Facility Owner Convicted of Theft

BALTIMORE, MD (February 4, 2009) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced today that former assisted living facility owner, James Edward Breakfield, 51, of the 1100 block of Fulton Avenue in Baltimore was convicted by a Baltimore City jury of Misappropriation by a Fiduciary and Felony Theft for stealing $14,000 from a resident of the facility.

In June 2006, Breakfield owned C&J Peaceful Living Assisted Living Facility located at 1011 Reverdy Road in Baltimore. The victim, 78-year old Nellie Jackson, became a resident of the facility on June 22, 2006. When she arrived, she had two checks totaling $27,404.49. Breakfield deposited those checks directly into C&J’s bank account rather than into a separate account in Ms. Jackson’s name, as required under State regulations. Ms. Jackson lived at C&J for only 15 days and at the time of her departure, only $10,000 of her funds remained. Ms. Jackson passed away in 2008.

In response to a Grand Jury subpoena, Breakfield produced a document that was an accounting written by him and was dated after the Grand Jury subpoena was issued. According to that document, in addition to charging Ms. Jackson $3,500 per month for room, board, and assistance with her activities of daily living, Breakfield charged Ms. Jackson an additional $1,000 a day, or $14,000 total, for services that he described as 24/7 sitter services. During trial, however, the State of Maryland established that Ms. Jackson never asked for the additional services, that additional one-to-one sitter services were not medically necessary for Ms. Jackson, and that Breakfield never even provided the services.

Misappropriation by a Fiduciary is a misdemeanor punishable by not less than one year imprisonment and not exceeding five years. Felony Theft is punishable by up to 15 years imprisonment and a $25,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for March 23, 2009.

This case is being prosecuted by Attorney General Gansler’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit based on a referral from the Baltimore City Commission on Aging and Retirement Education’s Long Term Care Ombudsman Program. The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit has authority to prosecute abuse and neglect of vulnerable persons, including financial exploitation that occurs in assisted living homes, nursing homes and group homes throughout the State of Maryland.

   

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