Duo Neglected, Abused and Exploited Disabled People under Care in Georgia; Spent Money on Fuel Lavish Lifestyle

Duo Neglected, Abused and Exploited Disabled People under Care in Georgia; Spent Money on Fuel Lavish Lifestyle

A mother and daughter from DeKalb County have been found guilty of neglecting and taking advantage of disabled adults under their supervision.

In a recent court case, Valerie West, 58, was found guilty of several serious charges including neglect of a disabled person, terroristic threats, depriving essential services to disabled persons, exploitation of a disabled person, and identity fraud.

Her daughter, Erica West, 36, was also found guilty of neglecting a disabled person, two counts of exploiting a disabled person, and committing identity fraud.

The majority of the crimes in DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston’s jurisdiction took place from March 2017 to February 2019, according to her office.

During the investigation in 2018, authorities discovered some concerning conditions in three homes owned by the West family. These included mattresses infested with bedbugs, empty kitchen cabinets with rodent droppings, and trash scattered throughout the houses.

Residents reported infrequent access to hot water, and further investigation revealed that the power company would frequently disconnect the electricity due to unpaid bills.

Valerie West was charged with identity fraud for the act of cashing Social Security checks on behalf of a deceased individual until 2019, even though the person had passed away in 2014. She stated that she was utilizing the funds to purchase him clothing and nourishment.

A 30-year sentence was given to the mother, with five years to be served in prison and 100 hours of community service. Additionally, she will be required to make restitution, although the specific amount has yet to be determined. Valerie West has been directed by the judge to undergo a mental health evaluation as per Yahoo News.

Erica West has been given a sentence of 10 years, with three of those years to be served under house arrest. Additionally, she is required to complete 100 hours of community service. She has been ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $3,458.

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