CAREGIVER PLEADS GUILTY TO STEALING THOUSANDS FROM ALZHEIMER'S PATIENT
October 4, 2017
Defendant Used Victim’s ID for Credit Cards and Personal Items
Decatur, Ga. DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston announces a conviction by guilty plea in the exploitation case against a former health care provider accused of stealing from a client suffering from Alzheimer’s. During court proceedings on Wednesday, 41-year-old Diandra Abernathy entered a guilty plea to three counts of Exploitation of an Elder Person and two counts of Identity Fraud in connection with financial crimes totaling more than $50, 000 against Sue Walker, now 90 years old.
In 2014, Ms. Walker’s family hired the defendant to assist her with medication, transportation, finances, and light housekeeping in the Stone Mountain home she shared with her daughter. Shortly after her resignation in 2016, the victim’s daughter discovered that the defendant had forged checks to herself with the victim’s stamped signature and used her credit cards to make unauthorized purchases. Defendant Abernathy also opened two store credit cards using the victim’s personal information. Authorities were contacted following the discovery of the Defendant’s fraudulent activity.
Following her guilty plea before DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Gail Flake, Defendant Abernathy was sentenced to twenty years to serve three with the balance on probation. She was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $55, 407.619. According to the terms of her plea agreement, Abernathy is prohibited from working with the elderly.
The case was prosecuted by Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Jeanne Canavan, assigned to the Elder Exploitation Unit, with assistance from DA Investigator Michelle Flinn. Detective J.W. Kim of the DeKalb Police Department led the initial investigation.