Richmond assisted living facility owner charged in elder fraud scheme
A federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging the former owner of a Richmond-based assisted living facility with allegedly diverting over $800,000 in federal and state benefits that were intended to pay for the care of the facility’s residents.
According to the indictment, Mable B. Jones, 77, of Richmond, owned and operated Jones & Jones, an assisted living facility complex that served primarily elderly and incapacitated adults. For residents who were legally incapable of managing their own funds, Jones & Jones served as a representative payee and regularly received state and federal benefits payments on behalf of those residents.
Representative payees are required to use Social Security benefits to provide for the beneficiary’s needs, including food, clothing, housing, and medical care. Representative payees, moreover, are specifically prohibited from using Social Security benefits for anything other than the beneficiary’s needs.
Similar requirements also apply to auxiliary grants issued by the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services.
“As alleged in the indictment, the defendant repeatedly left the residents of her assisted living facility in deplorable conditions while she diverted their essential benefits to pay for her gambling expenses in Atlantic City and Las Vegas, and to fund her personal debts, travel, and retail purchases,” said Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “We will vigorously pursue justice on behalf of vulnerable members of our community to ensure that those entrusted to care for the elderly and infirm are held accountable if they exploit the critical trust placed in them.”
According to the indictment, beginning around December 2015 and continuing through the facility’s closure in 2019, Jones converted more than $800,000 of the residents’ federal and state benefits for her own personal use.
As alleged in the indictment, Jones used the residents’ benefits to satisfy her personal debts, including her mortgage and bankruptcy payments, and to fund her personal travel, retail purchases, and gambling expenses, including at casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey and Las Vegas, Nevada.
According to the indictment, Jones’s diversion of resident benefits allegedly led to significant and persistent deficiencies in the facilities, care, and services provided to Jones & Jones residents, including deficiencies that allegedly endangered residents’ health and safety. These conditions ultimately prompted state and federal audits of the facility before its closure, during which Jones allegedly made false statements about her conversion and use of resident funds.
Jones is charged with wire fraud and making false statements. If convicted, she faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.