Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General Conway Announces Guilty Plea of Former Administrator of Golden Years Rest Home

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, November 01, 2011  
Revision Date:  Wednesday, November 02, 2011 
  (Modified 4th paragraph to accurately report who received the initial complaint in 2009.)  
Contact Information:  Shelley Catharine Johnson
Deputy Communications Director
502-696-5659 (office)

Attorney General Jack Conway and his Office of Special Prosecutions today announced the guilty plea of the former administrator of Golden Years Rest Home, a non-profit (501C-3) personal care home in Jenkins, Ky., to charges of theft, exploitation of a vulnerable adult and income tax fraud. Sixty-nine year old James F. Tackett 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.

"While Mr. Tackett was living a lavish lifestyle, the residents at Golden Years were suffering and his personal care home was falling into disrepair and financial ruin," General Conway said. "I appreciate the hard work of my investigators and prosecutors who worked tirelessly to protect the health and safety of Golden Year's residents and see that justice was served in this tragic case."

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 pled 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.

Golden Years is now closed and its residents have all been moved to alternate facilities. Meanwhile, General Conway's Office of Special Prosecutions is handling an indictment against Jonah Tackett, the most recent administrator of Golden Years and the grandson of James Tackett. Tackett was indicted in July 2011 on charges of bribing a witness and tampering with a witness. A pre-trial conference is set for December 7, 2011 in Letcher Circuit Court.

James F. Tackett, 68
James F. Tackett, 68