Thursday, a four-count information was filed in U.S. District Court charging a former Oak Landing Assisted Living Facility employee with embezzling money and assets from a former resident at Oak Landing, announced U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town, Special Agent in Charge Patrick M. Davis, United States Secret Service, Special Agent in Charge Rod Owens, Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General and Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Holloman, III, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation.
Lisa Talton Wells Daugherty is 52 and lives in Rainbow City. She is a former Unit Coordinator at Oak Landing Assisted Living Facility in Atalla, Alabama.
She has been charged with one count each of wire fraud, money laundering, filing a false tax return, and theft of government property.
The information alleges that while Daugherty was the Unit Coordinator at Oak Landing Assisted Living Facility and used that position to obtained power of attorney from the victim.
Prosecutors allege that Daugherty then arranged for the victim to become a resident of Oak Landing. Beginning in January 2017, after the victim became a resident of Oak Landing, Daugherty used the power of attorney to gain access to the victim’s assets. Daugherty subsequently allegedly transferred the victim’s assets to herself and purchased a primary residence, multiple vacations homes, automobiles, and paid her ordinary living expenses from the victim’s assets.
Daugherty is also charged with embezzling the victim’s Social Security benefits and filing a false tax return. The information seeks forfeiture of a number of assets seized from Daugherty, including cash and automobiles.
“Elder abuse cases like this all too often go unreported and unchecked.” Town said. “The dedication and hard work of the agents investigating this case assures the people of Alabama that one such abuser will spend time as a resident of the federal prison system. In addition, the assets seized will begin to help restore some of the losses the victim sustained.”
“The U.S. Secret Service remains steadfast in its resolve to bring those who would take advantage of the elderly for their own financial gain to justice,” Davis said. “This case highlights the extent that some individuals will go to financially exploit those who are among the most vulnerable in our community. Without the intervention of the U.S. Secret Service, these individuals would have been able to steal millions of dollars, collectibles, personal effects, and property from the victim.”
“Social Security benefits are a lifeline to millions of Americans in retirement. We are committed to pursuing those who misuse these benefits and victimize some of our most vulnerable citizens,” Owens said. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to protect elderly and disabled Americans from this type of fraud.”
“Elder fraud is a fast-growing problem in our communities as it disproportionally affects seniors,” Holloman said. “Individuals who seek to exploit our elderly through financial fraud schemes involving trickery, deception and outright theft deserve the wrath of all Americans. IRS Criminal Investigation and all of its partners will remain vigilant in identifying, investigating and seeking prosecuting of those individuals who seek to willfully defraud our most vulnerable citizens.”
If Daugherty is found guilty of all of things she has been charged with, she could potentially be facing lengthy jail time.
The maximum penalties for the charged crimes include the following: Wire Fraud, 20 years and a fine of not more than $250,000 or twice the gross gain; Money Laundering, 10 years and a fine of not more than $250,000 or twice the amount of criminally derived property involved in the transaction; Filing a False Tax Return, 3 years and a fine of not more than $100,000; and Theft of Government Property, 10 years and a fine of not more than $250,000.
The United States Secret Service, Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General, and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorney Davis Barlow is prosecuting.
An information contains only charges. Daugherty still is entitled to presenting a defense before a jury of her peers. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.