March 20, 2013

Former Nursing Home Employee Charged with Stealing from 100 Year Old Patient

by Lebowitz & Mzhen

penny%20purse.jpgThis week a former Wyoming nursing home employee pleaded no contest to obtaining goods by false pretenses. Malgorzata Burns, who was formerly a certified nursing assistant, has been accused of stealing thousands of dollars from an elderly resident with dementia who was under her care.

During his statement the District Attorney explained how Burns allegedly used the 100 year old victim's money to pay various credit card and other bills. He said she also forged four checks, totaling $7,200. He explained that the victim was a patient living at the care center where Burns worked. According to the statement, the man suffers from “aggressive and ongoing dementia."

Subject to the plea deal, Burns could serve up to ten years in prison. Prosecutors are also seeking to have the woman repay $13,000. Furthermore, as part of the agreement, prosecutors will dismiss charges of forgery and exploiting a vulnerable adult. Further complicating the situation for Burns, is the fact that she is a legal resident from Poland, meaning that a felony conviction could affect her ability to remain in the country.

The misdeeds were initially discovered by an employee of a non-profit guardian organization, who noticed suspicious activity in the man's bank accounts. Such discrepancies included several online payments to a cable and internet provider, and for credit cards that did not belong to the man. The District Attorney further stated that the man does not even know how to use the Internet.

According to a document from the Wyoming State Board of Nursing, Burns had worked at the facility since December 2009, but resigned last June after the allegations arose. Her nursing assistant certification was suspended by the Board shortly thereafter in August.

Sadly, scenarios such as this one are probably not as uncommon as we'd like to believe. Nursing home employees are in a position of trust, and often exercise a great deal of power over their wards and those individuals' possessions and finances. Although the accusations in this case are being pursued within the criminal system, the family likely has a civil cause of action against the woman and the nursing home as well.

Typically, the cause for concern in patients of nursing homes or assisted care facilities, is that a patient is being abused or neglected. This can take a number forms, from failing to turn a patient often enough resulting in bed sores, to affirmatively assaulting or otherwise inflicting harm on a person. Regardless of the various sorts of different examples, these all share the commonality that they are wrongful and illegal.

If you believe that your loved one is being neglected or abused within their nursing home or assistd care facility, you should consult with an experienced nursing home abuse attorney to determine what steps to take to ensure that your loved one is protected. If you are worried that an elderly friend or relative who is living in a nursing home in Maryland or the Washington D.C. area is suffering from nursing home neglect or nursing home abuse, contact the experienced attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC today in order to schedule your free, no obligation initial consultation so that we can help you evaluate the situation, and make any recommendations regarding your case. You can contact us through our website, or by calling us at 1-800-654-1949.

More Blog Posts:

Maryland Attorney General Announces $48 Million Settlement over Unapproved Bed Sore Ointment, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published March 13, 2013

Family Files Wrongful Death Suit Against Nursing Home, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published March 6, 2013