Seven nursing home residents in South Carolina will not be forced to return to their group homes after a family court judge ruled that they should remain in the emergency protective custody of the state.
Judge Gwen Smalls ruled on Tuesday that there is sufficient probable cause for the South Carolina Department of Social Services to keep the seven in its custody due to the “horrendous” conditions found at their group homes, which were operated by Mitchell Smith.
Smith was arrested for posing as a social worker and exploiting vulnerable adults. He is currently in jail on $100,000 bond awaiting a November 17 hearing on those charges.
Investigator Steve Narewski said Smith allegedly visited Veterans Administration hospitals posing as a social worker to try to attract clients to his nursing homes.
Residents at all of Smith’s homes would turn over their VA or Social Security benefits to him each month.
According to investigators, however, Smith allegedly failed to provide adequate care to residents and failed to maintain sanitary conditions at his group homes.