Attorney General Schwalb Successfully Prosecutes Three Financial Exploitation Lawsuits Involving Seniors & Vulnerable Adults

Defendants Manipulated and Stole From District Seniors, Used Money for Personal Gain

Washington, DC – Attorney General Brian L. Schwalb today announced the successful resolution of three separate cases involving the financial exploitation of elders and other vulnerable adults.

  • Nicole Freeman Smith, a property manager who oversaw living facilities for seniors, will pay over $157,000 in restitution and civil penalties, and will soon be sentenced after pleading guilty to stealing over $130,000 from two facility residents and using the stolen funds to go on shopping sprees and pay off personal debts.
  • Tyronne Taylor pled guilty and received a suspended sentence of two years in prison in addition to 5 years of supervised probation for stealing over $50,000 from a cognitively impaired family member.
  • Tracy Turner paid $22,000 in restitution after coercing and deceiving a District senior for his own financial gain.

The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) resolved the first two cases jointly with the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia (USAO). OAG resolved the third case independently.

“Far too often, bad actors seek to profit by preying upon District seniors, engaging in scams and frauds designed to separate seniors from their assets. This reprehensible behavior is not only immoral, it is illegal,” said AG Schwalb. “We will continue to use every legal tool available to protect victims, recover stolen money, and hold fraudsters criminally and civilly accountable to ensure that our seniors are protected.” 

OAG helps protect the over 87,000 adults over the age of 65 who live in the District from abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Elder abuse is all too common, with one in 10 seniors experiencing some form of exploitation. Financial exploitation is the most common form, but it often goes hand-in-hand with other abuse like physical and emotional abuse. OAG has an established Elder Justice Section that files civil enforcement actions targeting elder financial abuse.  In addition, OAG maintains an elder justice hotline, and engages in regular community outreach to inform residents about their rights, common scams, and red flags. OAG also teams up with USAO to investigate and prosecute the criminal exploitation of seniors.

Read more about OAG’s efforts to protect seniors and vulnerable adults here.

OAG handled the below cases in partnership with USAO:

Former Property Manager of Senior Residential Buildings Pleads Guilty to Stealing $133K+ From Two Residents
In December 2021, OAG filed a civil lawsuit alleging that Nicole Freeman Smith abused her position of trust as manager of several senior residential buildings by stealing over $133,000 from two elderly, disabled building residents. Smith used the stolen funds to go on shopping sprees at luxury stores, eat out, pay off her own personal loans and credit cards, and pay off her car. In June 2023, the DC Superior Court Judge Robert Rigsby granted OAG’s motion for summary judgment, finding that Smith exploited her victims by theft, fraud, and deception. A consent judgment, pending court approval, orders Smith to pay full restitution to her victims, awards the District a civil penalty of $62,649.50, and prohibits Smith from working or volunteering with elderly or vulnerable adults. In a separate action, the USAO criminally charged Smith for the same conduct. In July 2023, Smith pled guilty in DC Superior Court to one felony count and one misdemeanor count of financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult. She is scheduled to be sentenced in September.   

The consent order is available here.

OAG Assistant Attorneys General Monique Gudger and Jessica Berger, Investigator Lucy Lagravinese, and Civil Rights & Elder Justice Section Chief Alicia M. Lendon handled the civil matter.

Man Sentenced for Stealing $51K+ From Cognitively Impaired Family Member After Civil Action by OAG
In June 2021, after filing a civil lawsuit, OAG obtained a $84,000 judgment against Tyronne Taylor, with $74,000 going to the District’s Vulnerable Adult and Elderly Person Exploitation Restitution Fund and $10,000 paid as a civil penalty to the District. Taylor stole over $51,000 from his cognitively impaired family member who was hospitalized at a nursing home. Taylor used his family member’s debit card to withdraw cash, pay for items at stores, go out to eat, stay at hotels, and purchase a new car. Additionally, Taylor used this debit card to fraudulently pay his company, TNTGreen Construction. In February 2023, in a subsequent criminal prosecution by USAO, Taylor pled guilty in DC Superior Court to one felony count of financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult or elderly person. In June 2023, Taylor received a suspended sentence of 24 months in prison, along with five years of supervised probation, and was ordered to pay restitution of over $51,000 to the victim and $100 to the Crime Victims Compensation Fund.

The consent order is available here.

OAG Assistant Attorney General Monique Gudger handled the civil matter.

OAG independently resolved the below case:

Development Company Owner Ordered to Pay $22K to Vulnerable, Elderly DC Resident
In April 2023, OAG secured a final consent judgment in a civil lawsuit alleging that Tracey Turner, the owner of the construction and real-estate development company Turner Development, violated the District’s Abuse, Neglect, and Financial Exploitation of Vulnerable Adults and the Elderly Act by using deception and emotional coercion to financially exploit a vulnerable, elderly DC resident. The judgment bars Turner from engaging in any further financial transactions with the victim and requires him to pay the victim $22,000 in restitution. 

The consent order is available here.

OAG Assistant Attorney General Anabel Butler and Civil Rights & Elder Justice Section Chief Alicia M. Lendon secured the settlement against Turner.

Resources for District Seniors and Vulnerable Adults
Elders or vulnerable adults may be hesitant to report abuse because of fear of retaliation or lack of physical or cognitive ability to report the abuse, or because they do not want to get the alleged abuser in trouble.

Resources to help residents learn how to detect, prevent, and report abuse are available here.  

If you are experiencing abuse, neglect, or exploitation or know a District senior or vulnerable adult who is, immediately get help by: 

  • Filing a report with Adult Protective Services (APS) by calling the 24-hour hotline at (202) 541-3950.   
  • Filing a police report with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) by calling the police at (202) 265-9100.   
  • Contacting OAG’s Civil Rights and Elder Justice Section at (202) 727-3807 or