Moss Point caregiver pleads gets prison for exploiting vulnerable person

Patricia Joy Harris
Patricia Joy Harris

Patricia Joy Harris, 32, of Moss Point was sentenced to prison Thursday after the caregiver pleaded guilty to felony exploitation of a vulnerable person and forgery, the Attorney General's Office said.

Harris, while she was a caregiver to a 79-year-old resident at a Lucedale personal care home, wrote 19 fraudulent checks from the woman's bank account and making 49 fraudulent charges to her credit card between April 15 and Sept. 11, 2014, Attorney General Jim Hood said in a press release.

"Taking money from a vulnerable person in our state is reprehensible," Hood said. "If you are caught committing such a crime, you will serve time and pay up."

George County Circuit Judge Kathy King Jackson sentenced Harris to 10 years in state prison for the exploitation charge and five years for forgery, to run concurrently, with five years to serve and five years suspended, followed by five years of post-release supervision.

Jackson also ordered Harris to pay $36,112.76 in restitution, $750 in fines, $500 to the Victims Compensation Fund and court costs.

The case was investigated by Kelly Edgar of the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the George County Sheriff's Department. It was prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Kathy Blackwell Parker.