Lee County Woman Going to Prison and Ordered Full Restitution for Embezzlement of a Vulnerable Adult

April 17, 2017

Attorney General Jim Hood announced today that a Saltillo woman has been sentenced to prison for embezzlement and ordered to pay $162,000 in restitution to the victim.

Dorothy Whaley, 66, appeared before Judge Thomas J. Gardner, III, in Lee County Circuit Court on Wednesday, April 12,  for sentencing on one count of Embezzlement. Judge Gardner sentenced Whaley to 10 years in prison with five of those years suspended, leaving Whaley with five years to serve. She was ordered to pay $1,000 in fines, $200 for investigative costs and $100 to the Mississippi Crime Victim Compensation Fund. Additionally, she must pay full restitution of $162,000 to the victim.

The defendant and her daughter, April Whaley were arrested on February 13, 2014. In addition to the embezzlement count, Dorothy Whaley was charged with exploitation of a vulnerable person. At the time of the crime, Dorothy Whaley was serving as a caretaker for a woman with dementia. An investigation revealed that the mother and daughter exploited the victim in taking approximately $162,000 from the victim’s checking accounts and retirement savings and converting them to their own use. Dorothy Whaley also quitclaimed two of the victim’s properties to herself.  The value of the properties exceeded $200,000.

Dorothy Whaley stood trial in Lee County Circuit Court last November. The trial jury failed to reach a verdict on the exploitation count but Whaley was convicted of embezzlement. Prior to Whaley’s sentencing Wednesday, she voluntarily re-conveyed all the real property, which was the subject of the exploitation count to her victim.

In August 2016, April Whaley entered a guilty plea and was sentenced to serve one year in prison and ordered to pay $33,000 in restitution following her conviction of exploitation of a vulnerable person.

“It is truly tragic when a caretaker, like a parasite, preys on his or her vulnerable charge, and I thank Judge Gardner for sentencing this defendant to pay full restitution, and time to serve in prison,” Attorney General Jim Hood said.  “I encourage family members and friends to thoroughly check the employment background and call the references of anyone hired to provide caregiving services to a vulnerable person.  If you suspect that a neighbor, friend or loved one is being preyed upon by a caregiver or service provider, call my office.”

The case was investigated by Russell Frazier and prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorneys General Robert G. “Bob” Anderson and Lakeita Rox-Love of the Attorney General’s Public Integrity Division/Vulnerable Adults Unit.

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