Former Mrs. Florida Sentenced To Jail For Social Security Fraud
Karyn Turk is a well-known socialite in the Palm Beach area. She was crowned Mrs. Florida in 2016, and parlayed that fame into a job as a conservative political commentator. Now, she is taking on a new role — jailbird.
Why the Former Mrs. Florida Was Sentenced to Jail
This fall, Turk admitted to cashing her mother’s Social Security checks instead of sending them to the nursing home where her now-deceased mother was living in the West Palm Beach suburb of Lake Worth.
The nursing home and a court-appointed guardian accused Turk of using her mother’s Social Security money to lead a lavish lifestyle and promote her dream of appearing on The Real Housewives of Palm Beach.
Turk, however, says she was using the funds to pay for a private caregiver for her mother because she was dissatisfied with the care she was being given. Turk has filed a lawsuit against the nursing home that alleges neglect.
This case is making headlines because Turk is a semi-celebrity, but the scenario is one we see play out far too often.
It’s no secret that South Florida is home to an aging population. We are one of the most popular areas in the country to retire, and a lot of people end up living in nursing homes or assisted living facilities in the greater Miami area. Some of these care centers are great, others are less than stellar, but moving your loved one into one of these facilities, and seeing their health decline, is heart-wrenching.
Seeing your loved one start to fade away can lead you to do things that you may think are right, but that are technically illegal. Withholding payments or refusing to send your loved one’s Social Security checks to the facility they are living in because you are dissatisfied with their care may seem reasonable, but it can get you in a lot of trouble.
Florida law enforcement officials take claims of elder abuse — which includes financial abuse — very seriously. In addition, nursing homes and other long-term care facilities employ armies of lawyers who will sue you in civil court and pressure the government to file criminal charges against you.
Contact Valiente, Carollo and McElligott PLLC If You Have Been Charged with Social Security Fraud
At Valiente, Carollo and McElligott PLLC, we have defended many clients against charges of fraud or theft that were filed after they started cashing their loved one’s Social Security checks. We can help you understand the charges against you, and then help you fight them.
We strongly recommend anyone facing allegations of theft or fraud contact an experienced criminal defense attorney instead of working with an elder law attorney or some other attorney that handles mostly civil cases. Criminal charges are an entirely different ballgame, and you need to be sure that the actions your lawyer is taking on your behalf are not going to make it easier for the government to lock you up. If you are facing criminal charges, or are being threatened with criminal charges, don’t wait. Contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation.
Posted in: White Collar Crimes