May 22, 2013
A Manchester, New Jersey woman was arrested last week after being charged with stealing prescription medication at a local assisted living facility. State laws mandate that exploitation, including stealing pills, is a form of assisted living abuse in New Jersey.
According to the Manchester police, 32-year-old Lauren Thom, a nursing director at Arista Care Assisted Living Facility, was arrested last Wednesday, May 16, while a work. Police received a call at around 10:46 p.m. from Arista Care, located in the Whiting area of Manchester Townships. The caller stated that Thom was stealing prescription from the residents of the facility and taking the drugs for her own use. Shortly after the complaint, police launched an investigation and found several different kinds of prescription medication in Thom’s possession.
According to the New Jersey Nursing Home Residents’ Bill of Rights (N.J.S.A. 30:13-5), the state of New Jersey has strict laws in place for elder and assisted living abuse. Financial exploitation is defined as using an elderly victim’s property for personal gain or profit, whether through stealing, taking, coercing, bribing, forcing, and/or intimidation. A victim’s property includes valuables, medication, money, a driver’s license and other forms of identification, bank account information, personal checks, and more.
If someone is charged with financial exploitation, not only may felony criminal charges apply, but the victim and/or the victim’s loved ones have the right to file civil charges and seek damages. Unfortunately, even with laws in place to protect vulnerable adults, New Jersey has extremely high incidents of financial exploitation when compared to other U.S. states.
Manchester police arrested Thom, but she is now out, awaiting trial, on a $5,000 bail. She’s been charged with a total of five felony counts of theft and an additional five felony counts of possesion of Controlled Dangerous Substances.
If you or your loved one has been victim to assisted living abuse, an experienced assisted living attorney may be able to assist. Our award-winning Texas assisted living abuse lawyers at McIver Brown law firm have helped numerous clients go on to successfully win their cases. Give us a call today for a free consultation.