Owner of Richmond assisted living facility federally indicted for allegedly stealing $800K in residents’ benefits

Updated: Apr. 8, 2021 at 12:07 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The former owner of the now-shuttered Jones & Jones assisted living facility in Richmond has been federally indicted. U.S. Attorneys for the Eastern District of Virginia say, Mable B. Jones, 77, stole more than $800,000 in federal and state benefits that were intended to pay for the care of the facility’s vulnerable residents. It was all part of what prosecutors called a “scheme” targeting primarily elderly and incapacitated people.

Jones, of Richmond, is currently charged with wire fraud and making false statements.

The charges come after a multipart NBC12 investigation into neglect and potential fraud at the long-term care facility, off Forest Hill Avenue- at the hands of Jones, its owner and administrator. In a series of reports, NBC12 On Your Side Investigator Allison Norlian uncovered dire conditions and a slew of violations. A video also surfaced of possible abuse towards an elderly woman at the facility.

Jones & Jones was supposed to care for people who are disabled, elderly and who have mental health diseases like schizophrenia.

Instead, one resident who spoke under the condition of anonymity, told Norlian, “I live in agony.”

From December 2015 to 2019, Jones is accused of diverting more than $800,000 of residents’ federal and state social security benefits for her own personal use. She is believed to have used the money to gamble in Atlantic City and Las Vegas, pay off personal debt, and for travel and other items she bought for herself, according to the federal indictment.

Meantime, court documents show residents were faced with deplorable conditions like a bed bug infestation, soiled, wet and blood-stained linens, soiled and ill-fitting clothing, and a list of building violations- some unsanitary or unsafe.

Richmond Police detective Patrick Ripley began investigating after many residents were found wandering the street near the facility, begging for money. That triggered investigations from the Department of Social Services, and other state and local authorities.

Due to conditions that officials say endangered residents’ health and safety, investigators audited the facility before closing it down. The indictment says at that time, Jones had made false statements to officials about her use of residents’ benefits.

Jones ultimately had her license suspended and then revoked by DSS.

In 2019, the DSS shut down Jones & Jones, and the approximate 50 residents living there were relocated.

But, the indictment says even after Jones & Jones closed, Mable Jones continued to receive social security benefits meant for residents no longer there.

If convicted, Jones faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

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