Caseworker embezzles $70,000 from clients with disabilities in group home

Nov 08, 2010
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Whether or not to place your loved one in a group home is a tough decision, often talked through with a case worker. In Texas, at a privately owned group home, the case manager exploited and swindled more than a dozen  residents with disabilities while he was entrusted with managing their money. He allegedly funneled the  resident’s trust fund money into his own bank account.

Authorities say Allen Mitchell embezzled nearly $70,000 from at least 14 individuals—all of whom were his clients at the Daybreak Group Home and Community Services. Daybreak is privately owned, but contracted by the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services to provide home and community-based services, Texas Home Living Services, and Deaf-Blind/Multiple Disabilities services.

State investigators arrested Mitchell, charging him with 14 felony counts of exploiting the disabled in connection with the five-year embezzlement scheme. Mitchell, 39, was employed as a case manager for Daybreak between April 2004 and June 2009. He was responsible for maintaining all the detailed records of all the deposits and expenditures of consumers. Daybreak residents were receiving state funds because of their disabilities.

According to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit said authorities accused Mitchell of using the residents’ trust fund money for personal use. He allegedly kept the cash himself, depositing consumer’s paychecks and other funds into his own bank account. Authorities wrote in their report that many of the working Daybreak consumers were not aware that they were being paid for their labors. Mitchell opened four bank accounts under some of the consumers’ names.

The news report stated that during the five years that Mitchell was employed at Daybreak, a total of $89,511.07 was earned by or spent for 17 consumers. Authorities said that Mitchell misappropriated $68,046.80.

“From our understanding, they have agreed to reimburse all the individuals,” said Allison Lowery, spokeswoman for the Department of Aging and Disability Services, which is responsible for certifying group homes, but does not operate nor own Daybreak.

Author: Tessa