Social services director charged with stealing $400,000 from nursing home residents

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The former social services director for a Louisiana nursing home has been arrested and charged with stealing nearly $400,000 from residents between 2012 and 2016.

Stephanie Sanders Hays worked as social services director for Leslie Lakes Retirement Center, a facility in Arcadia, LA, that provides skilled nursing, rehabilitation, memory care and independent living.

Between September 2012 and February 2016 Hays allegedly “executed several schemes” and abused her power of attorney for at least one resident to steal money from that resident's bank account, IRAs, annuity plan and money from the sale of a house. She also reportedly purchased items requested by residents with forged checks from the facility, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said in a press release issued Monday.

The $391,000 stolen by Hays also included Social Security and pension payments, as well as German Holocaust reparations.

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

McKnight's requests for comment from Leslie Lakes were not returned by production deadline Tuesday.

Hays was arrested Friday and charged with 15 counts of thefts of the assets of a person who is aged or person with a disability; 19 counts of money laundered; 17 counts of forgery; and 17 counts of exploitation of persons with infirmities. Her bail was set at $300,000.

Last week's arrest marks the second time Hays has landed in hot water over her workplace conduct, according to local reports. She was previously arrested in December 2013 for unauthorized use of a deceased resident's cell phone to send text messages. She was placed on pretrial diversion of the alleged offense, according to KTBS.