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Social Worker Indicted After Financially Exploiting Tennessee Nursing Home Resident

A grand jury indicted, Douglas Harris, following allegations relating to the financial exploitation ofPicture-213 a mentally disabled resident at the nursing home where he was a social worker.  According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), Harris was director of social work at Brookhaven Manor.  During a period between November, 2007 and March, 2008 Harris unlawfully persuaded the resident to give him: a $20,000 check, cash, and a luxury van.

A statement from a TBI spokesman reads, “Harris was employed as the director of social work at Brookhaven nursing home located in Kingsport Tennessee when he obtained property and cash from a resident of the facility who was incapable of making financial decisions.”

The grand jury indicted Harris on the criminal charges related to his financial exploitation of July 14th and he was arrested shortly thereafter by authorities.  Currently, Harris is free on bond and has an arraignment set for September 11th in Sullivan County Criminal Court.

Financial Abuse In Nursing Homes

Financial abuse is the most common type of abuse in the elderly population.  Financial abuse is generally considered to be the theft or conversion of money or other property by caregivers, relatives, or other people the elderly person trusts. Many cases of financial abuse remain undocumented because those initiating the fraud have become sophisticated in evading authorities.

For example, parties involved in financial abuse may sign over the title to the older person’s home or other assets to the abuser and then sold. Other examples of financial abuse include unauthorized removal of funds from: checking, savings, and investment accounts. Another major area of financial abuse amongst the elderly is the alteration of wills.

If you suspect financial abuse, notify authorities immediately before the property or funds are forever lost.

For more information on nursing homes in Tennessee look here. For laws related to Tennessee nursing homes, look here.

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