Archive for the ‘Oklahoma’ Category

Oklahoma: New Nursing Home Hidden Camera Law Begins Today!

November 1, 2013

Oklahoma is one of the worst states when it comes to nursing home quality, according to a national study conducted by a nonprofit elder advocacy group.

On its report card, Families for Better Care gave the state an “F” rating.
Proponents of a new law hope hidden cameras will change that. 
Undercover cameras caught two caretakers abusing 96-year-old Eryetha Mayberry at an Oklahoma City nursing home. Police arrested the two women shown in the undercover video — Caroline Kaseke and Lucy Gakunga.
Kaseke bonded out of jail and has not shown up for court, authorities said. There’s currently a warrant out for her arrest.
The video prompted legislation allowing hidden cameras to be installed in nursing homes statewide.
It was signed by Gov. Mary Fallin in May and goes into effect on Nov. 1.

Full Article and Source:
New Nursing Home Hidden Camera Law Begins Friday

Former Nursing Home Employee Accused of Stealing over $10,000

August 22, 2013

KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo –

A former nursing home employee is facing charges of elderly exploitation.  Over a span of six months, police said Stefani Bridges stole over ten thousand dollars from an elderly man she was caring for while working at a nursing home near 73rd Street and Northwest Cache Road.

Police said Bridges was authorized to make purchases for an elderly man through the use of his bank card. But police said instead in a string of  transactions, she transferred the money onto her own credit cards.

She vowed to take care of the elderly living at this nursing home. But instead, Bridges allegedly bilked an elderly man of over ten thousand dollars.

Red flags were raised after the nursing home’s Director of Finance was contacted by a bank and was told that a bank account belonging to one of their residents had been overdrawn by thousands of dollars. The missing money was traced back to employee Stefani Bridges.

Once confronted Bridges admitted to her coworkers that she had in fact taken the money. She was able to do it after she transferred money from her victim’s account and into her personal accounts including credit cards.

She used the money to pay off some of her debt and also spent several hundreds of dollars while making her cell phone payments.

Full Article and Source:
Former Nursing Home Employee Accused of Stealing over $10,000

Former assisted living center director sentenced in financial exploitation

August 20, 2013
Elaine Marie Elcyzyn

JAY – The former director of a Grand Lake assisted living center accused of using a patient’s debit card at several casinos received a 15-year suspended sentence and order to pay restitution, a prosecutor said Monday.

Elaine Marie Elcyzyn, 38, of Grove, pleaded no contest in Delaware County District Court on Thursday to financial exploitation by caretaker.

She was also ordered to pay $4,680.30 in addition to a $1,000 fine and court costs, said Nick Lelecas, assistant district attorney.

Elcyzyn, the former director of Grand Wood Assisted Living, was charged after bank statements of a dementia patient showed numerous ATM withdraws amounting to over $2,743 were withdrawn at the Grand Lake Casino in Grove, Turtle Stop Casino in Wyandotte and Cherokee Casino in Watts, according to an arrest affidavit.   

Full Article and Source:
Former assisted living center director sentenced in financial exploitation

Caught Off Guard

May 28, 2013

With his partner of 34 years in a nursing home, a court order preventing him from entering the facility and two weeks to get out of his house, Lon Watts sold his wedding ring to pay for gas to get to his mother’s place in Oklahoma.

Watts never expected to be in this position, because he always thought of himself as part of his partner Jim Heath’s family.

But after Heath was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, his sister stepped in and took guardianship from Watts, who is now unable to see or talk to Heath.

After the story of Heath and Watts recently made national news, Watts has renewed his fight to bring Heath home and launched a legal fund, but the fight could take years.

In 2006, Heath began to show signs of Alzheimer’s Disease. The next year, Watts retired to take care of his partner full-time.

Watts thought he had all the paperwork in place — wills naming each other beneficiaries, mutual powers-of-attorney.

As the Alzheimer’s progressed, Watts said Heath was comfortable in his surroundings and never wandered. But he kept bells on the doors just in case Heath decided to leave the house at night alone.

In 2011, Watts noticed large blisters on Heath’s foot. He noticed swelling elsewhere.

“He had love handles where he never had them before,” he said.

He called 911, but paramedics refused to take him to the hospital.

“I couldn’t get him to a doctor,” he said.

But when the blisters opened, he got him to the emergency room, tricking him to leave the house by telling him they were visiting a friend.

From there, Heath was transferred to Pittsburg Nursing Center.

That’s when things turned ugly.

Full Article and Source:
Caught Off Guard

See Also:
Lon Watts, Texas Gay Man, Says Partner Jim Heath’s Sister Forced Them Apart, Evicted Him

Indicted Former Judge Craig Steven Key Resigns From Law Pactice

May 26, 2013

A former Lincoln County district judge indicted on charges of cattle theft, forgery and embezzling money from a client has relinquished his law license. A multi-county grand jury in April indicted Craig Steven Key on three counts of delivering a forged instrument, two counts of embezzlement, conspiracy to commit larceny of domestic animals, and larceny of domestic animals.

According to an indictment, Key, 47, of Chandler, conspired with Joshua E. Anderson, 36, of Agra and Leslie Bottger, 47, of Agra to steal a livestock trailer and 13 head of cattle in September, 2012.

Key allegedly gave the Anderson $200 for expenses involved in stealing the cattle. The cattle were stored at Key’s Lilliebridge Farm, the document states. Key allegedly exchanged a text message with one of the men instructing him to store the stolen trailer at Key’s farm where, according to the document, one of the men started painting it in preparation for efforts to sell the stolen cattle.

The indictment says another man, Brandon R. Dawson, 42, also of Chandler then hauled the cattle to Waurika Livestock Commission Company in Jefferson County, where he failed to find a buyer.

When he was approached by enforcement officers from the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, he is alleged to have used a cell phone to text Key.

“Cops Just Came In,” Dawson allegedly texted.

“Leave,” the former judge is reported to have replied.

Full Article and Source:
Former Judge Resigns Law Practice After Embezzlement, Cattle Theft Indictments

See Also:
Former Oklahoma Judge Craig S. Key Indicted

Former Oklahoma Judge Craig S. Key Indicted

April 22, 2013

The former judge involved in the Kelsey-Smith Briggs case was accused Thursday in three state indictments of embezzling from clients and stealing cattle.
Craig S. Key was the former Lincoln County associate district judge who lost re-election in 2006 after he was widely criticized for his handling of the abused girl’s case.
Kelsey, 2, died on Oct. 11, 2005, at her Meeker home. She had suffered repeated injuries in the year before her death.
Key was criticized because he had returned Kelsey four months before her death to her mother even though the mother was suspected of abusing her.

Former Oklahoma Judge Indicted

Former Okla. DHS worker charged with wire fraud

September 22, 2012
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A former Oklahoma Department of Human Services worker faces federal wire fraud charges after allegedly bilking a Bethany nursing home resident out of more than $27,000 in disability payments.
Katharine A. Daugherty, a former DHS adult protective services specialist, has agreed to a plea deal with federal prosecutors in which she will plead guilty to the charges and make restitution payments, her attorney Irven Box said.
“She has accepted responsibility for what she did and acknowledged that what she did was wrong,” Box said.
Daugherty is expected to enter a guilty plea at a hearing Wednesday in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma. She will also forfeit her state pension as part of the guilty plea.
According to the charges, Daugherty had guardianship over a man identified only as “L.J.A.” in court documents. The man was a former Federal Aviation Administration employee who received monthly disability payments from the U.S. Department for Labor for an on-the-job injury sustained in 1976.

Full Article and Source:
Former Okla. DHS worker charged with wire fraud

See Also:
Former Oklahoma DHS Worker Charged With Mail Fraud

Former Oklahoma DHS Worker Charged With Mail Fraud

September 19, 2012

A DHS worker kept hidden from the federal government that a disabled adult had died so she could get his monthly benefits checks and use the funds “for her personal benefit,” prosecutors allege.

Katharine A. Daugherty, 57, of Bethany, is charged in Oklahoma City federal court with wire fraud.

Because of the scheme, the U.S. Labor Department was cheated out of more than $27,000, prosecutors allege.

Daugherty retired from the Oklahoma Department of Human Services in August 2011 after learning she was under investigation. She was an adult protective services specialist IV.

Her attorney, Irven Box, said she has accepted responsibility for her actions and intends to plead guilty to the felony charge. A hearing is set for Wednesday.

Full Article and Source:
Former Oklahoma DHS worker charged with wire fraud

Former Judge Tammy Bass-LeSure Ordered to Pay Nearly $70K

May 12, 2012

Former Oklahoma County District Judge Tammy Bass-LeSure and her husband were ordered Thursday to repay nearly $70,000 plus interest to the state in an adoption fraud case.

“A person who had a high position of authority should be held to a higher standard,” Garfield County District Judge Paul K. Woodward, who heard the case, told the couple.

Bass-LeSure, 44, pleaded guilty March 2 to two felony counts of obtaining public assistance by false representation. Her husband, Karlos Bass-LeSure, 48, pleaded guilty to one felony count of obtaining public assistance by false representation and one felony count of attempting to obtain public assistance.

They were accused of secretly giving twin babies to Ravonda L. Edwards, the sister of the judge’s bailiff, after becoming the twins’ foster parents. The couple became foster parents for the twins in 2008 and adopted them in 2010.

Edwards, 42, faces six felony counts in the case. She is due back in court June 1.

Defense attorneys argued during Thursday’s restitution hearing that the couple did not owe any restitution because their children were entitled to money from adoption subsidies and foster care payments.

Full Article and Source:
Court Orders Former Oklahoma County District Judge Tammy Bass La-sure to Pay Nearly $70,000

See Also:
Oaklahoma County Judge Faces More Accusations

Oklahoma: SB1304

April 18, 2012

Catheryn Koss, executive director of the Senior Law Resource Center, discusses Oklahoma laws related to guardianship.

Q: How would Senate Bill 1304 affect Oklahoma laws related to guardianship and durable powers of attorney?

A: This bill would clarify the relationship between a guardian and a person who has durable power of attorney. If it passes, if a guardian is ever appointed, any durable power of attorney that may have been in effect earlier would be automatically terminated.

Full Article and Source:
Business Q&A with Catheryn Koss