Etowah County woman convicted of exploiting elderly resident at assisted living facility for $10 million

Published: May. 8, 2023 at 3:12 PM CDT|Updated: May. 9, 2023 at 8:37 AM CDT
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ETOWAH COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - An Attalla woman has been convicted of exploiting an elderly resident at an Etowah County assisted living facility out of more than $10 million, according to Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall.

57-year-old Lisa Talton Wells Daugherty pleaded guilty Monday in the Etowah County Circuit Court to four counts of financial exploitation of an elderly person, first degree.

According to Marshall, Daugherty was sentenced to 20 years, split to serve 5 years in the Department of Corrections.

Daugherty also agreed to relinquish all claims to around $5.5 million in currency and make restitution for the remaining balance.

“Daugherty will feel the full force of justice after using her position as a caregiver to exploit a vulnerable elderly woman from her life savings,” said Attorney General Marshall. “This is an egregious example of financial fraud that continues to happen in our state, and I urge Alabamians to contact my office if they suspect someone is being used for Medicaid fraud or abuse.”

Attorney General Marshall said Daugherty exploited a total of over $8.5 million in cash, over $500,000 in personal property, and nearly $1 million in real property from an elderly resident at an assisted living facility in Etowah County.

We’re told Daugherty exploited the woman while working as a technician at Oak Landing Assisted Living in Etowah County. While there, Marshall says she became power of attorney for the elderly victim and began transferring the victim’s funds into her own personal accounts. That’s when Daugherty began using the money to benefit herself, purchasing a home in Etowah County and a beach house, each valued over $1 million, multiple vehicles valued over $120,000, among other purchases.

Daugherty was being held in the Etowah County Jail on a $1 million bond since her arrest in July 2021.

We spoke with AARP of Alabama about this type of fraud specifically targeting the elderly. Jamie Harding with AARP says people need to have conversations with their loved ones before they get up in age about things like estate planning to make sure they don’t fall victim to this type of financial fraud.

“It’s really a matter of making sure you have the paperwork done that designates who makes decisions for you if you can’t do it for yourself. Who has power of attorney? Who can make financial decisions? Who can make medical decisions. It’s time to do that when you’re in good health not later on when a crisis comes up,” Harding said.

Here are a few signs you can watch out for in your elderly loved ones or neighbors who may have fallen victim to financial scams:

-Change in their behavior

-They seem more worried than they used to

-May have a new friend in their life who you haven’t seen before

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