Richmond Assisted Living Facility Owner Sentenced for Health Care Fraud
From the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Virginia:
RICHMOND, Va. – The former owner of a Richmond-based assisted living facility was sentenced today to 2 years in prison for health care fraud after diverting over $800,000 in federal and state benefits that were intended to pay for the care of the facility’s residents.
According to court documents, Mable B. Jones, 79, 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 benefit 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.
Beginning around December 2015 and continuing through the facility’s closure in the spring of 2019, Jones converted more than $800,000 of the residents’ federal and state benefits for her own personal use. 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.
Jones’s diversion of resident benefits led to significant and persistent deficiencies in the facilities, care, and services provided to Jones & Jones residents, including deficiencies that endangered residents’ health and safety. These conditions ultimately prompted state and federal audits of the facility before its closure, during which Jones made false statements about her conversion and use of resident funds.
Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Stanley M. Meador, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office; and Michael McGill, Special Agent in Charge, Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General, Philadelphia Field Division, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge M. Hannah Lauck.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kaitlin G. Cooke and Shea Gibbons prosecuted the case.
Combatting elder abuse and financial fraud targeted at seniors is a key priority of the Department of Justice. Elder abuse is an intentional or negligent act by any person that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to an older adult. It is a term used to describe five subtypes of elder abuse: physical abuse, financial fraud, scams and exploitation, caregiver neglect and abandonment, psychological abuse, and sexual abuse. Elder abuse is a serious crime against some of our nation’s most vulnerable citizens, affecting at least 10 percent of older Americans every year. Together with our federal, state, local, and tribal partners, the Department of Justice is steadfastly committed to combatting all forms of elder abuse and financial exploitation through enforcement actions, training and resources, research, victim services, and public awareness. This holistic and robust response demonstrates the Department’s unwavering dedication to fighting for justice for older Americans.