COLUMBIA, MS (WDAM) - A Columbia man has been sentenced to 10 years after pleading guilty to financially exploiting a vulnerable adult.
According to a news release from Attorney General Jim Hood, 40-year-old Thurman Kerry Lucas pleaded guilty to the charges at the end of May.
After becoming the victim's caregiver and assisting with finances in March 2014, Lucas began to withdraw money for personal use. Over a three month period, Lucas took $23,710 without the victim's consent.
In addition to serving 10 years - five suspended and five to serve - Lucas has also been ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $12,000.
"We have a moral obligation and responsibility to protect those who cannot protect themselves," said General Hood. "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."