MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MD - A Rockville man was sentenced to seven years in prison Thursday after being convicted on 19 charges related to the neglect of his 95-year-old neighbor and forging checks in her name, taking over $11,000.
"This is a sentence that holds Mr. Bacon accountable and tells the community that we care about our senior citizens,” said Ramon Korionoff, Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office spokesperson.
Prosecutors said Jason Bacon Jr., 59, ingratiated himself with his neighbor sometime in 2012. She had no known family members and was physically and mentally unable to properly care for herself. The woman told investigators the Bacon began doing day-to-day chores. But they add that as she became more dependent on him, Bacon asked for money for expenses like cab rides, food, and classes at “Home Depot University”. He would also take the woman to the cash checks for large sums of money.
Prosecutors added that over the course of just over a month, Bacon stole the woman’s checks, forged her signature, and took over $11,000 from the woman’s bank account. The woman told investigators no one had permission to sign checks on her behalf.
This whole incident was uncovered when a long-time landscaper of the woman expressed concern about the influence Bacon had over her. This prompted an investigation by Adult Protective Services (APS).
During that investigation, which began in October 2013, the prosecutor said the victim’s home was covered in cat feces and rotting food, while the woman needed hospitalization. The prosecutor added the woman’s feet were rotting and teeth were decaying.
Bacon received several sentences for the different charges, but Judge Marielsa Bernard ordered they be served concurrently.
In her comments during sentencing, Judge Bernard pointed out the discrepancy in the care Bacon gave his own elderly mother and the lack thereof for his neighbor and said he "didn't do squat” and called him a "threat to the community".
Bacon’s lawyer asked the court for a suspended sentence and supervised released.
"Mr. Bacon testified and has always given very consistent statements that he tried to do whatever he could to assist her,” said Tim Clarke, Bacon’s lawyer.
Bacon plans to appeal the sentence.
After the sentencing, the State's Attorney's Office spokesperson pointed to this case as an example for why people need to work together to help protect seniors.
"If you have neighbors or friends or loved ones that are senior citizens, keep an eye out on them. Take a good measure of how they're doing and what they're up to, because unfortuntaely there are scam artists, there are people out there who are trying to take advantage of our senior citizens,” said Korionoff, who added that by 2020, Montgomery County is expected to have over 300,000 residents over the age of 65.