A federal grand jury has indicted the former owner of a Virginia assisted living community on 13 counts of wire fraud and two counts of making false statements for allegedly diverting $823,374 in federal and state benefits intended to pay for the care of the community’s residents.
Raj Parekh, acting U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said that Mable B. Jones, who owned and operated Jones & Jones of Richmond, VA, “repeatedly left the residents of her assisted living facility in deplorable conditions while she diverted their essential benefits” to pay for gambling trips to Atlantic City, NJ, and Las Vegas; personal debts, including mortgage and bankruptcy payments; and retail purchases.
According to the indictment, announced Tuesday, Jones & Jones was a representative payee for residents who were legally incapable of managing their own funds. The company regularly received federal Social Security benefits and auxiliary grant benefits from the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services on behalf of the residents. As a representative payee, Jones & Jones was required to use those benefits to provide for the beneficiaries’ needs, including food, clothing, housing and medical care.
From December 2015 through the facility’s closure in 2019, the indictment alleges, Jones converted more than $800,000 of residents’ benefits for her own personal use. Her actions led to “significant and persistent deficiencies in the facilities, care and services” provided to residents, allegedly endangering resident health and safety, the document states.
Those conditions prompted state and federal audits in 2018, during which Jones allegedly made false statements about her use of resident funds. The facility was the focus of stories in the Richmond Times-Dispatch in 2018 chronicling resident complaints related to abuse and the cleanliness of the property.
Jones faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.