James F. Tackett, 69, of Jenkins entered the guilty plea today in Letcher Circuit Court, where he was scheduled to stand trial.
As part of his guilty plea, Tackett admitted he stole more than $300,000 in funds that were to be used for the care of the residents at Golden Years, with more than $60,000 stolen from one resident.He also acknowledged that some of the stolen money had been used to buy personal vehicles for himself, including a GMC Hummer, a Chevrolet Silverado, a Ford F-150, and a Suzuki XL-7. Tackett admitted that he failed to report any of the stolen income on his state income tax returns for a five-year period.
The Attorney General's Department of Criminal Investigations launched an investigation at Golden Years after a complaint was received by a local ombudsman in 2009 that several residents of the personal care home had not received the $250 stimulus check that was sent to most Social Security recipients as part of the American Economic Recovery Act. The Social Security Administration and Department of Revenue also assisted with the investigation. Prosecution of this case is being handled by General Conway’s Office of Special Prosecutions.
Tackett pled guilty last month in U.S. District Court in Pikeville to charges that he committed theft of federal Social Security funds received on behalf of the personal care home residents. He also pleaded guilty in 2009 to physical abuse of a resident of the home.
Tackett faces a penalty of up to 10 years in prison on the state charges. Special Judge Ron Johnson set sentencing for February 23, 2012 at 10 a.m. in Letcher Circuit Court.