South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that Karyn Howard, 46 years old, of Lexington, S.C. has been arrested for Exploitation of a Vulnerable Adult (43-35-0085 (D)) and Breach of Trust with fraudulent intent, value of $10,000 or more (16-13-230 (B)(3)). Howard was booked into the Lexington County Detention Center on September 10, 2021.
The South Carolina Attorney General Office’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (SCMFCU) investigated this case based on a referral made on the victim’s behalf. The victim, a vulnerable adult under South Carolina law, was a resident at Lexington Extended Care at the time of the alleged misconduct. Howard was serving as the victim’s power of attorney at the time. Howard is accused of making multiple unauthorized and improper banking transactions from the victim’s bank accounts starting in 2017 and continuing until 2021, and using the money for her benefit and not that of the victim.
Exploitation of a Vulnerable Adult is a felony with a penalty of up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $5,000, or both, and possible payment of restitution. Breach of Trust with fraudulent intent, value of $10,000 or more is also a felony with a penalty of up to 10 years in prison or a fine at the discretion of the court.
The SCMFCU will be prosecuting both cases under its patient abuse jurisdiction, which covers abuse, neglect, and exploitation of individuals residing in assisted living or nursing home facilities.
Attorney General Wilson stressed all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they are proven guilty in a court of law.