SuperTalk Mississippi

Woman sentenced to two years for exploiting a vulnerable adult

Photo courtesy of the Attorney General's Office.

A woman was sentenced to two years in the Mississippi Department of Corrections for exploiting a vulnerable adult.

Attorney General Jim Hood announced the guilty plea and sentencing of 29-year-old Leslie Burkett, of Jackson, who was charged with one count each of fraudulent use of identity and exploitation of a vulnerable adult, both of which are felony charges.

Burkett, a former direct care worker at a Pearl nursing home, pleaded guilty to and was sentenced Monday on both charges in Rankin County Circuit Court.

She was indicted last year for stealing several patients’ debit cards and making more than $1,000 in fraudulent transactions on those cards. Additionally, she stole a patient’s diamond ring and pawned it. The ring has an estimated value of more than $3,000.

“Most caregivers take good care of our elderly every day,” said General Hood. “However, this one chose to steal. I hope this one year sentence and the burden of a felony conviction will deter any caregiver contemplating taking advantage of the patients in their care.”

Judge John Emfinger sentenced Burkett to two years in MDOC with one year suspended and one year to serve, followed by five years of supervised probation for both counts. The sentence will be served concurrently.  Burkett was also ordered to pay $250 to the Crime Victim Compensation Fund and $250 to the Office of the Attorney General for investigation and court costs, as well as full restitution to the victims.

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