Blue Ridge of Sumter has been cited for abuse after a resident’s credit card was used by a nursing home staff member to make online purchases, which they picked up from a nearby retail store.
The resident’s family notified the nursing home of fraudulent activity on her credit card. They found the transactions quickly, within three days of the first transaction. The resident had her credit card at the facility during this time, which made nursing home staff the first suspects. The nursing home collected 34 statements from its staff, including the person who had stolen from the resident. This staff member gave a false statement.
The facility gave the local sheriff’s office the statements it had collected, and a detective continued investigating.
The credit card company notified the resident that her card had been charged $300.00, then $213.00, and then $80.00. The purchased items were all sent to a retail store, where the thief was photographed. The detective took this photograph to the nursing home, and the thief was quickly identified as one of the Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) on staff. The CNA was taken from the facility and placed under arrest.
This CNA was charged with exploitation of a vulnerable adult and financial transaction card theft. The nursing home also confirmed that the CNA had made these purchases while in the facility.
As a result of the investigation, the resident’s credit card company issued a full refund for the stolen money.
Afterwards, the facility conducted an educational session for all staff regarding the use of residents’ property and the consequences of illegal actions. Residents were also reminded that they should have their families hold on to valuable items and could always place valuables in the facility’s safe.
This resident’s family trusted the nursing home would protect her. The nursing home had policies to prevent abuse and misappropriation of resident property; however, this did not stop a staff member from stealing this vulnerable woman’s card and shopping online while still in the nursing home building.
Not all nursing home residents are able to rely on friends and family to ensure their safety. Without the fraudulent activity notice and family members who were able to respond quickly, this resident may have continued to be a victim. With daily access to residents’ belongings, the CNA in this scenario may have been able to steal from other residents previously.
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