A Minden woman who continued to work at a nursing home despite being accused in the past of abusing her position there is in trouble again.
This time, authorities say, she went even further. They accuse her of draining a resident’s bank and retirement accounts to the tune of $391,000.
Stephanie Sanders Hays, 49, the social services director at Leslie Lakes Retirement Center in Arcadia, was arrested Friday in a pharmacy parking lot in Minden.
She was booked on 15 counts of theft of the assets of a person who is aged or person with a disability, 19 counts of money laundering, 1 counts of forgery and 17 counts of exploitation of persons with infirmities.
She’s held in the Bienville Parish jail on a $300,000 bond.
Hays allegedly executed several schemes from September 2012 through February 2016 to gain access to the financial assets of at least one resident of Leslie Lakes, according to a news release from Attorney General Jeff Landry, whose Louisiana Department of Justice lead the investigation with the assistance of the Bienville Parish Sheriff’s Office and Minden Police Department.
Hays allegedly abused her power of attorney authority over the affairs of a resident – draining a bank account, IRAs, annuity plan, and proceeds from the sale of the resident’s home. She also allegedly shopped for items requested by the residents at local Walmart stores with forged retirement center checks. A portion of the funds included Social Security payments, pension payments and German reparation payments.
“Our office fights daily to protect our state’s seniors and sick. Criminals preying on Louisiana’s most vulnerable will investigated, apprehended, and prosecuted,” said Landry. “It is a disgusting travesty for the elderly, especially Holocaust survivors, to be scammed and robbed by those supposedly caring for them. I hope to get justice for our victims very soon.”
Hays was arrested in December 2013 on a charge of unauthorized use of a moveable after Hays admitted to using a deceased resident’s cell phone to send text messages. The deceased resident’s wife discovered the phone was being used despite assurances from the administrator it was secured.
Hays was not jailed for the offense. Instead, former District Attorney Johnathan Stewart placed her on pre-trial diversion.