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Attorney General Lynn Fitch announced these recent sentencings in cases across Mississippi investigated and prosecuted the Attorney General’s Office.
“As our loved ones become older, they become vulnerable to financial abuse, often at the hands of those who have been entrusted with caring for them,” said Attorney General Lynn Fitch. “If you suspect that a family member or friend is being taken advantage of, do not hesitate to contact my office. The sooner we can stop the bad actor, the better the chance of full recovery for their victim.”
On September 19, 2022, William Joseph Bayes of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, was sentenced by Forrest County Circuit Judge Robert Helfrich to five years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC), was sentenced to 5 years Non-Adjudicated probation. Bayes will have to pay restitution to his victim’s estate in the amount of $75,500. He was also required to transfer back title of a car to the victim’s estate that he had unlawfully transferred to himself before the victim’s death.
On October 3, 2022, Sheree Daniels of Aberdeen, Mississippi, was sentenced by Monroe County Circuit Judge Michael P. Mills, Jr. to five years in the custody of MDOC, with five years suspended and three years of supervision. Daniels will have to pay restitution in the amount of $2,129.17 to the victim, for whom Daniels was engaged as a home health assistant.
On October 3, 2022, Verneka Watson of Sardis, Mississippi, was sentenced by DeSoto County Circuit Judge Celeste Wilson to five years of Non-Adjudicated probation in the custody of MDOC. Watson will have to pay restitution in the amount of $13,894.85 to her six victims, all residents of Millcreek of Olive Branch, where she served as site manager.
Both Daniels and Watson will be placed on the Federal Exclusions list for five years and prohibited from working in a healthcare facility.
You can take steps to help safeguard your loved ones from financial exploitation as they age. Be on the lookout for signs of possible abuse, including:
- Unexplained account withdrawals,
- Another individual unexpectedly making financial decisions on the older person’s behalf,
- Disappearance of funds or valuable possessions,
- Unanticipated transfer of assets to another individual,
- Sudden changes to a will or other important financial documents, or
- Suspicious signatures on checks.
If you would like to report a crime involving the exploitation of a vulnerable adult, please contact the Attorney General’s Public Integrity Division.
MageeNews.com is an online news source serving Simpson and surrounding counties as well as the State of Mississippi.