Close this search box.

Employee’s Name Taken Off State Misappropriation List

Print Article

JUNE 9, 2003 VOLUME 10, NUMBER 49

Financial exploitation of vulnerable seniors is widespread. The problem even arises in controlled settings like adult care homes and nursing homes. That is why the State of Missouri took some extraordinary steps to try to curb financial abuses in institutional settings.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services maintains a list of facility employees who are known to have taken money from residents, and circulates the list among state agencies and institutions. Nursing facilities are prohibited from hiring any individuals on the Department’s list, so placement on the “employee disqualification list” can effectively end the career of a care provider.

Though maintenance of the list is clearly intended to help reduce the epidemic of exploitation of institutionalized seniors, a Missouri court recently decided that the Department’s interpretation was too broad. The challenge arose from the listing of Beverly Ann Wells, the admissions coordinator of social services at The Williamsburg extended care facility in Columbia, Missouri.

In 1999 Williamsburg resident Chester Riggins, then 91 years old, signed a series of small checks made out to Williamsburg employees. One of those checks, for $100, was to Ms. Wells. Though no one knew of the check to Ms. Wells at the time, it came to light a year later when Mr. Riggins applied for Medicaid.

When confronted, Ms. Wells first denied that she had received any money from Mr. Riggins. She soon acknowledged that she had gotten the check, signed it and deposited it in her own bank account, but she insisted that Mr. Riggins had simply been repaying her for numerous small expenditures she had made for him, and for errands she had run on his behalf.

When the check came to light Ms. Wells was fired from her position at The Williamsburg. The State then decided to put her name on the employee disqualification list, not for misappropriating Mr. Riggins’ money but for failing to report the payment, in writing, as required by state law. Ms. Wells appealed the decision to put her name on the disqualification list.

The Missouri Court of Appeals ruled that the list was supposed to include only individuals who had actually misappropriated residents’ money. The Court refused to permit her inclusion for failure to file a written report of the payment. The Department had not found that Ms. Wells actually misappropriated Mr. Riggins’ funds, so inclusion of her name on the employee disqualification list was not justifiable. Wells v. Dunn, May 20, 2003.

Arizona does not maintain a list like Missouri’s employee disqualification list. Arizona law does require the Attorney General to maintain a public list of individuals who have been sued for elder abuse, but that list is not readily available.

Stay up to date

Subscribe to our Newsletter to get our takes on some of the situations families, seniors, and individuals with disabilities find themselves in. These posts help guide you in the decision making process and point out helpful tips and nuances to take advantage of. Enter your email below to have our entries sent directly to your inbox!

Robert B. Fleming


Robert Fleming is a Fellow of both the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. He has been certified as a Specialist in Estate and Trust Law by the State Bar of Arizona‘s Board of Legal Specialization, and he is also a Certified Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation. Robert has a long history of involvement in local, state and national organizations. He is most proud of his instrumental involvement in the Special Needs Alliance, the premier national organization for lawyers dealing with special needs trusts and planning.

Robert has two adult children, two young grandchildren and a wife of over fifty years. He is devoted to all of them. He is also very fond of Rosalind Franklin (his office companion corgi), and his homebound cat Muninn. He just likes people, their pets and their stories.

Elizabeth N.R. Friman


Elizabeth Noble Rollings Friman is a principal and licensed fiduciary at Fleming & Curti, PLC. Elizabeth enjoys estate planning and helping families navigate trust and probate administrations. She is passionate about the fiduciary work that she performs as a trustee, personal representative, guardian, and conservator. Elizabeth works with CPAs, financial professionals, case managers, and medical providers to tailor solutions to complex family challenges. Elizabeth is often called upon to serve as a neutral party so that families can avoid protracted legal conflict. Elizabeth relies on the expertise of her team at Fleming & Curti, and as the Firm approaches its third decade, she is proud of the culture of care and consideration that the Firm embodies. Finding workable solutions to sensitive and complex family challenges is something that Elizabeth and the Fleming & Curti team do well.

Amy F. Matheson


Amy Farrell Matheson has worked as an attorney at Fleming & Curti since 2006. A member of the Southern Arizona Estate Planning Council, she is primarily responsible for estate planning and probate matters.

Amy graduated from Wellesley College with a double major in political science and English. She is an honors graduate of Suffolk University Law School and has been admitted to practice in Arizona, Massachusetts, New York, and the District of Columbia.

Prior to joining Fleming & Curti, Amy worked for American Public Television in Boston, and with the international trade group at White & Case, LLP, in Washington, D.C.

Amy’s husband, Tom, is an astronomer at NOIRLab and the Head of Time Domain Services, whose main project is ANTARES. Sadly, this does not involve actual time travel. Amy’s twin daughters are high school students; Finn, her Irish Red and White Setter, remains a puppy at heart.

Famous people's wills

Matthew M. Mansour


Matthew is a law clerk who recently earned his law degree from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law. His undergraduate degree is in psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Matthew has had a passion for advocacy in the Tucson community since his time as a law student representative in the Workers’ Rights Clinic. He also has worked in both the Pima County Attorney’s Office and the Pima County Public Defender’s Office. He enjoys playing basketball, caring for his cat, and listening to audiobooks narrated by the authors.