JACKSON, Miss (WCBI) – A North Mississippi resident is facing charges that she exploited a resident of the care facility where she worked, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.
Jessica Lowery, 38, of Hickory Flat, turned herself in to authorities in Union County late yesterday on an indictment handed down by the Union County Grand Jury which alleges one count of uttering a forgery and one count of exploitation of a vulnerable person.
The indictment alleges that Lowery, while employed as a resident assistant at the Magnolia Place Assisted Living Facility in New Albany, obtained a residents’ signature on eight personal checks under the guise of using the checks to buy personal items for the resident but instead used the checks for her own benefit. Lowery is also accused of forging one check and pocketing the cash.
Lowery’s bond was set at $5,000. She is scheduled to make her initial court appearance on Oct. 29 in Union County.
The uttering a forgery charge carries a penalty of not less than two years and up to ten years imprisonment upon conviction, and/or a fine of up to $10,000. In cases where the amount of the forgery is less than $500, which is applicable in this case, the judge has the discretion to sentence the individual to a term of not more than six months in the county jail, and/or a fine of up to $1,000. The exploitation charge carries a sentence of up to ten years imprisonment.
As with all cases, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The New Albany Police Department assisted with this case which is being investigated by Joe Sanderson and will be prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Pat McNamara of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.