Crime

Arrest Of Second Person Charged With Neglect At Upstate Assisted Living Homes

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that on March 4, 2022, the Office’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (SCMFCU) arrested Veronica Manuala Garcia, 25 years old, of Boiling Springs, SC for Neglect of a Vulnerable Adult {43-35-0085(C)} and Failure to Report Abuse/Neglect of a Vulnerable Adult {43-35-0085(A)}. Garcia is the wife of Darryl Mast, who the Unit previously arrested in connection with his role as owner and administrator of Oakridge Community Care Home #1 and #2, two assisted living facilities located in Inman, S.C. Garcia was booked into the Spartanburg County Detention Center on March 4, 2022.  

VeronicaManualaGarcia

This case was referred to Attorney General Alan Wilson by a concerned citizen and investigated by the SCMFCU with assistance from the Inman Police Department, Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Department, and the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control Law Enforcement Unit.

Investigators with the SCMFCU allege that on February 14, 2022, Garcia, while acting as a caregiver for the residents of the facility, knowingly and willfully failed to provide care, goods, or services necessary to maintain the health or safety of 37 vulnerable adults. The Attorney General’s Office claims that this failure by Garcia presented a substantial risk of causing physical or mental injury to the vulnerable adults residing in the facility. Additionally, it is alleged that Garcia failed to report the abuse and neglect of the 37 vulnerable adults in Oakridge Community Care Home #1. 

“Neglect of a Vulnerable Adult” is a felony and, upon conviction, has a penalty of not more than five years imprisonment. “Failure to Report Abuse/Neglect of a Vulnerable Adult” is a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than $2,500 or imprisoned not more than one year.

Pursuant to federal regulations, the SCMFCU has authority over Medicaid provider fraud; abuse and neglect of Medicaid beneficiaries in any setting; and the abuse, neglect, and exploitation of individuals residing in assisted living facilities or nursing homes. 

Attorney General Wilson stressed all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they are proven guilty in a court of law.

The SCMFCU receives 75 percent of its funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under a grant award totaling $1,927,636 for Federal fiscal year 2022. The remaining 25 percent, totaling $642,544 for FY 2022, is funded by South Carolina.

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