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Hair Stylist Arrested for Allegedly Exploiting Senior Citizens in Snellville

Helen Cathy Chatham, who had an on-site beauty salon at a Snellville nursing home, was arrested on exploitation of disabled adult charges.

Snellville Patch has learned that Helen Cathy Chatham, a 58-year-old hair stylist from Lawrenceville, has been arrested in connection to exploiting nursing home residents by signing off on payment papers that say she performed salon services.

According to police reports, officers were called first to Scepter Nursing and Assisted Living, located at 3000 Lenora Church Road in Snellville, on Feb. 12. The home's auditor said at least four patients' records indicated that the on-site hairstylist, Chatham, had been taking funds from residents without doing any services.

Officers arrived again the next day to conduct more interviews with witnesses and residents. According to the managers and caregivers who work directly with the affected victims, they had not seen their patients go to the on-site beauty shop, and Chatham hadn't come to see them in their rooms, either. Many of the workers said the patients either wash their own hair or have their family members do it.

One victim, who had been losing her hair and wears wigs, told police that she had never gotten her hair done by Chatham.

Police also spoke with two other members of the staff. They said Chatham asked them on multiple occasions to sign as a witness for her on her invoices. The home's policy states that if a resident is not able to sign for themselves, it is common practice for the patient to simply mark an X in the presence of two witnesses.

One of the staff members said he witnessed two wigs drying once, but has never seen any services rendered for any of the victims. The other employee said Chatham would often ask him to sign something, and he admitted that he rarely knew what he was witnessing. He told officers that he trusted the woman and took "her word."

On Feb. 25, Helen Cathy Chatham was arrested and charged with exploitation of disabled adults. The police report notes that there could be more victims. If you feel that you or a loved one have been exploited by this person or others, contact Snellville Police. 

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The information in this article is based solely on police incident reports provided on request.

Jeanie Kirksey March 01, 2013 at 12:32 PM
My husband was there recently for 4 months luckily he did not meet this woman to my knowledge! She should be ashamed of herself! As a wife to a disabled viet nam vet and a mom to a special needs child I have no tolerance for people who take advantage of the disadvantage!
Darla Dixon March 02, 2013 at 04:12 AM
I think this kind of thing goes on a lot in senior communities (I'm not saying that it's right, not at all), but if you have a relative or friend in a senior community, let them know that this kind of thing goes on. For example, my mother lives in a senior neighborhood, and the cleaning crew is supposed to come on Thursdays. Many times they do not come and clean, and we're going to check with the office to make sure the community isn't being charged for services the cleaners say they are doing but they aren't showing up. Maybe everything is fine, and if it's fine it's fine -- no harm done, but if they ARE taking advantage, it's the seniors paying the price in higher fees to live where they live when the services are all-inclusive.

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