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Attorney General of Virginia

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Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring
Attorney General

202 North Ninth Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219


For media inquiries only, contact:  
Charlotte Gomer, Director of Communication
Phone: (804)786-1022 
Mobile: (804) 512-2552
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~ Amber Nelson of Mendota, VA has pled guilty to one felony count of abuse and neglect of an incapacitated adult, will serve 18 months and pay more than $19,000 in restitution ~

ABINGDON, VA – Attorney General Mark R. Herring and Washington County Commonwealth’s Attorney Josh Cumbow have announced that Amber Nelson of Mendota, Virginia has been sentenced to 18 months after pleading guilty in Washington County Circuit Court to one count of abuse and neglect of an incapacitated adult.


“Individuals who take advantage of Virginians who are incapacitated or cannot defend themselves must be held accountable for the harm that they have caused,” said Attorney General Herring. “I want to thank my Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, as well as our partners in Washington County for their hard work and dedication to this case and bringing justice to the victim.”


“I will not tolerate elder abuse and will prosecute it whenever evidence warrants it. My office is proud to do our part to get justice for this victim,” said Washington County Commonwealth’s Attorney Joshua S. Cumbow.


According to court documents, Nelson was a paid personal care services attendant for the victim through the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance’s Commonwealth Coordinated Care Plus Waiver Program. Personal care services attendants perform basic health-related services, such as helping with activities of daily living essential to health in the home. Specifically, personal care services include assistance with personal hygiene, nutritional support, and the environmental maintenance necessary for Virginians to remain in their own homes or communities.


Washington County Department of Social Services removed the victim from Nelson’s care in September 2019. While in Nelson’s care, the victim was subjected to filthy conditions, was not fed properly, bathed, or given medications. When the victim was removed, they had a large cancerous mass on their head and weighed only 65 pounds. On October 15, 2019, Nelson was arrested and charged by the Washington County Sherriff’s Department.


On October 26, 2020, Nelson pled guilty without an agreement to felony abuse and neglect of an incapacitated adult. On March 29, 2021 Nelson was sentenced to ten years, with all but 18 months suspended. Nelson was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $19,243.72 to the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services. Nelson was taken directly into custody immediately after sentencing.


The investigation of the case was conducted by Attorney General Herring’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, the Washington County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, the Washington County Department of Social Services.


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