Woman convicted for stealing from elderly
Published 10:30 pm Monday, February 27, 2006
Special to the Advance
Attorney General Troy King announced the conviction of a former bookkeeper at the Atmore Nursing Care Center for stealing $18,905 from the nursing home's patient trust fund on Feb. 22.
Peggy Joyce Dagen, 62, of Century, Fla., pleaded guilty this morning in Escambia County Circuit Court to first-degree theft. Judge Joseph Brogden sentenced her to two years imprisonment, which was suspended, and placed her on eight years of probation with the condition that she must make full restitution.
"Our parents and grandparents were strong for us and protected us when we needed it, and now that they are older and need our care, we must defend them from exploitation and abuse," said Attorney General King. "I am sickened that an employee would steal money that families entrusted to a nursing home for the comfort and needs of their patients. This woman betrayed not only the trust of vulnerable elderly residents and their families, but also that of her employer. "
Dagen stole the money during her employment at Atmore Nursing Care Center between August 2003 and March 2005. She resigned after nursing home staff began to uncover evidence of her theft and reported the matter to the Attorney General's Office.
Attorney General King thanked the nursing home staff for its vigilance in referring the matter to his office and for its cooperation during the investigation and prosecution. He commended the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit for bringing the case to a successful prosecution, noting particularly Audit Manager Richard Keeshan, Senior Special Agent Gerald Shockley, and the unit's chief, Assistant Attorney General Bruce Lieberman.
The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and its prosecution of elder abuse and exploitation is a part of Attorney General King's Family Protection Unit, which he has committed to the protection and defense of Alabama's families and particularly to the defense of the elderly.
Alabamians with concerns about family protection issues may call toll-free to 1-800-30-9485 or visit the unit's web-page at www.familyprotection.alabama.gov.