UPDATE | Woman running unlicensed care home apologizes to victims in court

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Monday, Feb. 4, 2019
(News 12 at 6 O’Clock / NBC 26 at 7)

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – News 12 was in the courtroom when Maxine Donaldson changed her plea to “guilty” on more than 25 charges.

"I'd like to take this moment to express my deepest apology," Donaldson said to her victims in court Monday.

With victim's families looking on, Donaldson plead guilty to more than 25 charges of elderly abuse.

“Also I would like to take responsibility of any lack of judgement that I had"

She was first arrested in 2017 and admits to stealing around $25,000 from one man’s father, Fred Jones. He was in the courtroom Monday.

"As a result of that the state came in and did close down her personal care home, Shavonna's personal care home," said Assistant District Attorney Amanda Pennington. She’s talking about Shavonna’s Place of Care.

But after closing that home investigators found out she was still taking care of the elderly, working out of another one.

"They found that she was actually operating a second personal care home that was unlicensed, and that she had victims in that home she was siphoning money from as well."

The DA's office says there are four victims in Donaldson's case.

"What's really important to us is making sure that those victims are protected and to the extent that we can get them restitution and make them whole from that money they worked their whole lives for."

In this case, they got just that. Donaldson has to pay Fred Jones $25,000, and another victim $9,000. She won’t be walking free any time soon, either.

The judge sentenced her to 15 years behind bars and 5 years of probation. One of the victims in Donaldson's case was her fiancé’s brother, Henry Grant.

The state dismissed the counts involving Grant as part of the plea agreement.

11:05 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Maxine Donaldson went before a judge Monday for a change in plea hearing.

Donaldson pleaded guilty to abusing the elderly, exploitation of elderly, operating unlicensed personal care home.

Donaldson spoke in court Monday, apologizing to her victim.

Back n February 2018, Donalson failed to provide a qualified caregiver for an elderly man and a disabled adult living in her unlicensed personal care home on Belair Rd.

Donaldson was sentenced to 15 years behind bars with an additional five years of probation.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- An Augusta caregiver is facing 26 criminal charges after investigators say she neglected and exploited elderly people in her unlicensed personal care home for years.

Investigators say on February 6, 2018 Maxine Donalson failed to provide a qualified caregiver for an elderly man and a disabled adult living in her unlicensed personal care home on Belair Rd.

Investigators say Donaldson was using the disabled man as the caregiver for the elderly man living in the home she operated.

The indictment alleges Donaldson moved an elderly man and a disabled adult from a licensed personal care home into an unlicensed home she operated and then began charging them for personal care services.

One of the people Donaldson is accused of neglecting and exploiting told investigators she transfered his money into her personal checking account, personal secure credit card and made cash withdrawals for two years.

Indictments allege Donaldson was taking the money out of her elderly patients account from May 2016 to Jan. 2018.

A grand jury formally charged Maxine Donaldson with two counts of neglect of a disabled person, 19 counts of exploitation of a disabled adult or elder person and one felony count of operating an unlicensed personal care home.

This isn't the first time Donaldson has got in trouble for allegedly operating an unlicensed personal care home. Donaldson was charged in 2017 with exploiting an elderly person.

Indictments allege between Oct. 2016 and July 24, 2016 Donaldson exploited a man diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Donaldson allegedly had the victim agree to add her on to his bank account and used his financial resources for her benefit.

That case has still not been closed.

Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- A woman is facing three counts of exploitation of a disabled adult and one count of neglect. Maxine Donaldson was arrested after an investigation by the Augusta CAVE Unit.

The CAVE Unit is a specialized task force made up of several city agencies that investigate Crimes Against the Vulnerable and Elderly.

Investigators say it all started when Donaldson was seen pushing a disabled person in a wheelchair into a courthouse on Monday (Feb. 5).

Donaldson admitted to investigators that the Belair home where she was caring for the person was not yet licensed. The following day, investigators made a follow-up visit to the unlicensed Belair location only to find that the disabled adult who Donaldson was seen with the day before, was left in the care of another disabled adult.

Donaldson was said to be across the street of that facility caring for another disabled adult in another building. Investigators say that Donaldson was attempting to bypass the State Licensing System to open another home by using the name of her daughter and another disabled adult in her care.

Two of the victims that Donaldson was caring for were said to have been from the home that she used to own at Shavonnah’s on Fairview Avenue. Those two victims were placed into the unlicensed Belair home when her PCH license was revoked in 2017. Investigators also found that prior to residing at Shavonnah’s they were transferred into Randy Gaitor’s care.

Gaitor was an owner of an unlicensed care home and was recently arrested by CAVE. Three disabled people were found to be in need of care after a deputy had found one of the disabled adults wandering the streets.

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