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A former health care provider indicted for stealing from a DeKalb County client has entered a guilty plea. During court proceedings on Thursday, 30-year-old Kimalika Smith pleaded guilty to two counts of Exploitation of an Elder Person in connection with financial crimes, totaling nearly $30,000, against James Harte, who was 81-years-old at the time of the crime.
The victim, now deceased, hired Defendant Smith to care for him following a stroke. Shortly after she began working for him, Defendant Smith established online access to the victim’s credit card accounts. Between September 2014 and May 2015, Smith made dozens of unauthorized charges on the victim’s credit cards, and obtained cash without permission while purchasing groceries for the victim. Mr. Harte eventually became suspicious and turned to relatives for help. Defendant Smith was arrested in June 2015 and later indicted.
Following her guilty plea before DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Gail Flake, Defendant Smith was sentenced under the first offender act to ten years to serve one with the balance on probation. She was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $26,490.89. According to the terms of her plea agreement, Smith is prohibited from working with elder or disabled adults. She has surrendered her license as a certified nurse assistant.
The case was prosecuted by Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Jeanne Canavan assigned to the Elder Exploitation Unit, with assistance from DA Investigator Charles Maupin. Detective A. Vots of the Decatur Police Department led the initial investigation.