Three Employees of Long-Term Care Facilities Indicted in Two Separate Elder Abuse Cases

The New Jersey Statehouse and Capitol Building In Trenton

As the Attorney General’s Office and Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor (OIFP) prepare to observe World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin announced three long-term care facility workers – two in Ocean County and one in Camden County – are facing pending criminal charges, including assault on an institutionalized elderly person, stemming from alleged mistreatment of people in their care.

Joseph Robles, 23, of Tuckerton, and Maria Alcantara, 53, of Toms River, were named in a 10-count indictment returned by a State Grand Jury. The defendants pleaded not guilty. In a separate case in Cherry Hill, Simone Goldsboro, 34, of Camden, was indicted by the State Grand Jury on aggravated assault charges.

Robles and Alcantara are suspected of neglect, criminal restraint, and assault of a long-term care facility patient in Ocean County, following an investigation by OIFP’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU).

The investigation found that between January 13 and January 15, 2023, at an Alzheimer’s care facility in Toms River, Robles and Alcantara, both facility employees, allegedly physically restrained and attempted to cause or caused bodily injury to a 93-year-old patient. They also allegedly failed to make required wellness checks, but noted in the patient’s records that she was checked every 30 minutes.

A separate investigation of the Cherry Hill case, involving the conduct of defendant Simone Goldsboro, revealed that Goldsboro allegedly abused the victim, a patient in a residential nursing home where Goldsboro worked. The defendant is alleged to have sprayed the victim’s body and facial area with bleach, causing or attempting to cause serious bodily injury. Goldsboro is also alleged to have purposefully or recklessly injured the victim by roughly undressing her and pulling her hair.

“When we place our loved ones in the care of others, we rightfully expect that they will be treated with compassion, respect, and dignity,” said Attorney General Platkin. “Those placed in care facilities should not have to fear victimization. We have a duty to protect those who cannot protect themselves, and we will advocate for them and prosecute those who exploit and mistreat vulnerable members of our society.”

“We will not allow our elderly to be subjected to criminal abuse. Our loved ones deserve better,” said Interim Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Al Garcia. “Criminal cases like these send a clear message that anyone who would harm and neglect individuals who need and deserve proper care and assistance will be brought to justice.”

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) is an annual initiative commemorated on June 15, when individuals, communities, and organizations join together to shed light on the signs and the forms of elder abuse.

An estimated one in six people aged 60 or older are subjected to some type of abuse, including psychological abuse, physical abuse, financial abuse, sexual abuse, and other forms of neglect. The abuse can often remain hidden because the victims are too afraid or embarrassed to seek help.

This year to mark World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office will be hosting a “WEAAD Awareness Walk” this weekend to spread awareness about the potential signs of abuse and the impact elder abuse has on victims. Scheduled for June 15, 2024, weather permitting, from 9 a.m. to noon on the Cooper River Track at Cooper River Park in Pennsauken, the one-mile “fun walk” is designed to advance elder justice and to raise multi-generational awareness of elder abuse among youth, families, and older adults. Local agencies will showcase resources and programming that support seniors during the event, which will include music and giveaways.

Anyone interested in attending can register by visiting https://www.njoag.gov/weaad/.

If you see or suspect elder abuse, please report it to the Elder Abuse, Neglect, and Financial Exploitation hotline at 609-292-1272.

New Jersey MFCU’s total funding for federal fiscal year (FY) 2024 is $12,133,805. Of that total, 75 percent, or $9,100,356, is awarded under a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The remaining 25 percent, totaling $3,033,449 for FY 2024, is funded by the State of New Jersey.

OIFP’s mission includes coordination of all anti-insurance fraud activities statewide, and OIFP’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit specifically protects Medicaid beneficiaries and the Medicaid Program from fraud, waste, and abuse. If you are concerned about insurance cheating and have information about a fraud, OIFP wants to hear from you. You can report fraud anonymously by calling the toll-free hotline at 1-877-55-FRAUD, or visiting www.NJInsurancefraud.org. To report Medicaid Fraud, please email NJMFCU@njdcj.org or call 609-292-1272. State regulations permit a reward to be paid to eligible persons who provide information that leads to an arrest, prosecution, and conviction for insurance fraud.

 

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