South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that on September 17, 2021, Erica Danielle Gilbert Nichols, 28 years old, of Mooresboro, NC, was indicted by a Spartanburg County Grand Jury on 16 charges related to unlawful conduct occurring in connection with her responsibilities as a caregiver at White Oak Assisted Living.
The South Carolina Attorney General’s Office’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (SCMFCU) will be prosecuting this case under its patient abuse jurisdiction following an investigation conducted by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).
Nichols is alleged to have stolen and unlawfully possessed controlled substances that were prescribed for the vulnerable adults residing at the facility. The Attorney General’s Office charges that Nichols neglected and exploited vulnerable adults by failing to administer prescribed medications and unlawfully using medications prescribed to patients under her care. The indictments allege that various incidents occurred from October 2020 until March 2021.
5 counts of Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance S.C. Code §44-53-370 (c) (d) (1)
1 count of Neglect of a Vulnerable Adult S.C. Code §43-35-85 (c)
5 counts of Exploitation of a Vulnerable Adult S.C. Code §43-35-85 (d)
5 counts of Theft of a Controlled Substance S.C. Code §43-53-365 (a)
Attorney General Wilson stressed all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they are proven guilty in a court of law.
The South Carolina MFCU receives 75 percent of its funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under a grant award totaling $1,478,492 for the Federal fiscal year 2021. The remaining 25 percent, totaling $492,826 for FY 2021, is funded by South Carolina.