Former social services director arrested for allegedly stealing almost $400k from elderly residents

Former social services director arrested for allegedly stealing almost $400k from elderly residents

BIENVILLE PARISH, LA (WAFB) - A Minden woman has been arrested for reportedly stealing approximately $391,000 from residents of a retirement home in Arcadia, reports the Attorney General's Department of Justice.

With the assistance of the Minden Police Department and the Bienville Parish Sheriff's Office, Stephanie Sanders Hays, 49, was arrested on the following charges:

  • Theft of assets of an aged or disabled person (15 counts)
  • Money laundering (19 counts)
  • Forgery (17 counts)
  • Exploitation of persons with infirmities (17 counts)

Hays allegedly stole money from residents at Leslie Lakes Retirement Center (LLRC) in Arcadia after executing several schemes from September 2012 through February 2016 in order to gain access to the financial assets of at least one resident. Hays worked at LLRC as social services director, says the AG's office.

The AG's office says Hays abused her power of attorney over the affairs of a resident, draining a bank account, IRAs, annuity plan, and money from the sale of the resident's home. She also reportedly shopped for items requested by the residents at a local Walmart and forged retirement center checks. Some of money allegedly stolen included Social Security payments, pension payments, and German reparation payments.

"Our office fights daily to protest our state's senior and sick. Criminals preying on Louisiana's most vulnerable will be investigated, apprehended, and prosecuted. 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," said Attorney General Jeff Landry.

Hays was arrested without incident after investigators found her in a pharmacy parking lot in Minden. She was transported to Webster Parish Jail, then extradited to Bienville Parish. Her bond was set at $300,000.

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