Assisted Living Facility Owner Convicted of Theft
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.