Abuse of government healthcare beneficiaries is beyond despicable, particularly when the victims are vulnerable adults who are unable to defend themselves, remove themselves from the facility in which the abuse is happening, or even report it. Unfortunately, those circumstances apparently provided a perfect opportunity for a heartless Kentucky abuser: Daniel L. Wright, of Stearns, pleaded guilty in April to wanton abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult. (Keep in mind that the definition of wanton is “a cruel or violent action that is deliberate and unprovoked”.)
Wright repeatedly kicked and severely injured a client residing at the residential facility where he was employed, which serves individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. After this incredibly cruel assault, he tried to convince co-workers to help hide his abuse. He was initially set to stand trial in May, before striking a plea agreement. (He was looking for far more mercy from the court than he afforded his victim.)
Wright was sentenced in May to five years in prison and will be placed on the state’s Caregiver Misconduct Registry (“Misconduct” doesn’t begin to describe this shameful abuse.)
Organizations that provide care to vulnerable adults can access registry information to determine if a current or prospective employee was found to have committed substantiated adult abuse, neglect, or exploitation. While not a criminal finding, the information listed is validated, meaning it was finalized after an appeal or no appeal was made within the time permitted by law. (And let’s hope that listing is enough to ensure this fiend never has the chance to work with vulnerable adults again.)
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General (OIG) notes an increase in reports of elder harm and neglect during the COVID-19 pandemic. This OIG website provides information on signs of potential abuse or neglect, urging the public to report suspected abuse to local law enforcement, state agencies, or the OIG at tips.hhs.gov. If a senior is in urgent danger, call 911 for immediate help.
Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from a Commonwealth Journal article, “McCreary man sentenced to five years in adult abuse case,” dated May 22, 2021.
A McCreary County man was sentenced Thursday to five years in prison for abusing a vulnerable adult.
Daniel L. Wright II, 39, of Stearns, had been set to stand trial in Pulaski Circuit Court had initially been scheduled to stand trial earlier this month before pleading guilty in April to wanton abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult.
Additional information comes from a Kentucky Today article, ‘McCreary man sentenced for abuse of vulnerable adult” dated May 21, 2021.
Further information is from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General website.