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For Immediate Release

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

Former Assisted Living Facility Owner Sentenced for Theft from Elderly Resident

BALTIMORE, MD (April 5, 2009) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced today that former assisted living facility owner, James Edward Breakfield, 52, of Baltimore, was sentenced to one year in prison for stealing $14,000 from a resident of the facility. Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge John Addison Howard sentenced Breakfield to the one-year mandatory minimum for misappropriation and to three years incarceration for the felony theft count with all but one year suspended. Judge Howard also placed Breakfield on three years supervised probation, ordered that he have no control over the funds of another in a fiduciary capacity and not work in a field where he will have contact or supervisory control over a vulnerable adult. Breakfield was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $14,000.00. In February, 2009, a jury found Breakfield guilty of misappropriation by a fiduciary and felony theft after a three day trial.

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 for services that he described as 24/7 sitter services. During trial, however, the State established that Ms. Jackson never asked for the additional services, that additional one-to-one sitter services were not medically necessary, and that Breakfield never provided the services.

This case was 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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