Nursing home employee accused of stealing $400K from residents

A Louisiana nursing home employee was arrested Friday for allegedly stealing almost $400,000 from the home’s residents.

Stephanie Sanders Hays, 49, of Minden, Louisiana, was accused of “executing several schemes” from September 2012 through February 2016 at the Leslie Lakes Retirement Center in Arcadia. Hays was a former Social Services Director at the retirement center.

According to a press release from the office of Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, Hays allegedly secured access to the financial assets of at least one resident and abused her Power of Attorney authority to draw funds from a bank account, IRAs, annuity plan and money from the sale of the resident’s home.

Some of the funds allegedly stolen included Social Security payments, pension payments and reparation payments.

Hays is also accused of using forged checks at local stores for items requested by the center’s residents. After her arrest in a pharmacy parking lot, Hays was booked on 15 counts of theft of the assets of a person who is aged or person with a disability, 19 counts of money laundering, 17 counts of forgery, and 17 counts of exploitation of persons with infirmities.

Bail was set at $300,000.

Attorney General Landry said in the press release, “It is a disgusting travesty for the elderly, especially Holocaust survivors, to be scammed and robbed by those supposedly caring for them. I hope to get justice for our victims very soon.” 

Local ABC affiliate KTBS reported that this is not the first time Hays has been accused of abusing her position at Leslie Lakes. She was arrested in December 2013 after she admitted to using a deceased resident’s mobile phone to send text messages. In that instance, Hays was not jailed for the crime.


Photo: Louisiana Attorney General’s Office