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February 26, 2013

A Dekalb County woman who ran a nursing home out of her own house was convicted this Monday of several counts of nursing home abuse after a jury found that residents were being abused and mistreated while living in unsanitary conditions.

According to officials at the Dekalb County District Attorney’s Office, Bobbie Ward, a former secretary, was charged last month with 21 nursing abuse charges that happened to six victims over a time span of five years. Ward opened her home to senior citizens, offering them a safe home where she would emotionally and medically provide for them. Instead, the victims ended up living in poor conditions while they were abused. Not only did Ward neglect the elderly residents, but she also tapped into their financial accounts, stole their identities, and took their money.

Wards charges include exploitation of the elderly, neglect of disabled and elderly adults, forgery, false imprisonment, and several additional identity fraud charges.

District Attorney Robert James of Dekalb County said in a recent statement that this sort of behavior is unacceptable in his county:

“This sentence sends a resounding message that elder and disabled adult exploitation will not be tolerated in DeKalb County.She relentlessly preyed on vulnerable adults and exploited them for her own personal financial gain.”

Ward was initially indicted in 2011, yet as more victims came forward, she was indicted again. On top of criminal charges, Ward may also face civil charges should the victims retain a Georgia nursing home abuse attorney and file for personal injury damages. However, Ward was also sentenced to pay restitutions to the first victim that came forward: an elderly lady who was able to sneak out of a window in the home and call police.

Along with the restitution, Ward was sentenced to 20 years in prison and 10 years on probation.


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