Former senior living employee faces up to 40 years in prison, $500,000 fine in fraud case

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An Illinois senior living community employee faces up to 40 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000 after pleading guilty to mail fraud and wire fraud.

Tarkeisha Sayles used the credit card of a resident and also applied for a credit card in the name of a resident while working as the business office manager/operations coordinator at the Atrium of Belleville, a community in Belleville, IL, managed by Grace Management/CPF Living Communities, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Illinois. Responsibilities for her job, which she held from Aug. 3, 2014, through Aug. 18, 2015, included receiving and holding parcels and letters delivered from the post office for certain residents.

Sayles “surrendered her employment” at the Atrium of Belleville in August 2015, the community's executive director, Mary Harris, told McKnight's Senior Living. The next month, she added, Grace Management/CPF Living Communities began managing the community.

A pre-employment background check had not revealed anything suspicious about Sayles, Harris said. The community cooperated fully with authorities during their investigation of the former business office manager, she added.

“We are doing everything we can to make sure we have a safe community for our residents,” Harris said. “We're doing everything we can to make sure this never happens again.”

Sayles is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 3. In addition to prison time and a fine, her sentence could include up to three years of supervised release with mandatory restitution.

This article was updated Sept. 26 to include comments from the executive director, who previously had not returned several calls seeking comment.

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