Woman arrested for stealing nearly $400k from elderly residents in north Louisiana

Former retirement home employee charged with 68 counts of criminal violations

Stephanie Sanders Hays (Photo Courtesy: Louisiana Attorney General's Office)

BATON ROUGE, La. (KLFY) – A woman from north Louisiana has been arrested for stealing approximately $391,000 from residents of a retirement home where she worked, according to the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office.

Attorney General Jeff Landry said Stephanie Sanders Hays, 49, of Minden, La. is accused of executing “several schemes from September 2012 through February 2016 in order to gain access to the financial assets of at least one resident” of the Leslie Lakes Retirement Center in Arcadia, La., where Hays worked as a Social Services Director.

Hays allegedly abused her power of attorney authority over a resident to drain a bank account, IRAs, annuity plan, and proceeds from the sale of the resident’s home.

She is also accused of shopping for items requested by the residents of with forged retirement center checks. A portion of the alleged stolen funds included Social Security payments, pension payments, and German reparation payments, Landry said.

The attorney general issued a statement about Hays’ arrest saying:

“Our office fights daily to protect our State’s seniors and sick. Criminals preying on Louisiana’s most vulnerable will be investigated, apprehended, and prosecuted,” said General Landry. “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,” Landry said.  

Hays was arrested 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.

Her bail was set at $300,000.

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