Columbus businessman allegedly steals $200k+ from elderly woman
COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A well-known Columbus businessman made an appearance in recorders court Thursday accused of taking money from the elderly through his home health care business.
The business owner allegedly took hundreds of thousands of dollars from an elderly Columbus woman and detectives say dozens of others could be impacted.
A 79-year old Columbus woman is accusing William Jason Robertson of taking over $200,000 from her over a two year period for home health care services.
The problem police say is that Robertson has never been licensed to operate a home health care business.
Sergeant Windy Thornton with the Columbus Police Department says that's considered theft.
Robertson's business is known as First Choice Home Healthcare.
Robertson makes frequent appearances around town about his experience being one of more than 200 orphans brought to Columbus from Saigon in the mid 70's.
He also has a book on Amazon about his experience.
Although Robertson was booked into the Muscogee County Jail and is being charged, some licensed nurses and sitters employed by Robertson like Tina Abroquah say they fully support him.
"I'm for him will always be 100 percent for him," Abroquah said. "There's a lot of people that's in this business just to get the money but he's in the business with his heart. You can see it and you can feel it when you meet him. He's not what they're trying to portray him to be he's not that."
At least three of Robertson's employees were in court. All saying they provided around the clock care for the elderly woman.
Although the workers are certified and licensed to care for the elderly, Columbus Detectives Wendy Thornton and Christy Truitt say they must operate under a licensed business.
The elderly woman's niece says she said she found Robertson's company online and thought his business was legitimate.
Robertson is pleading not guilty to three counts of theft by deception and one count of exploitation of the elderly.
He also received a $50,000 bond and is not allowed to do any business within the home healthcare industry.
His case is being bound over to superior court.
As for the elderly woman, she's now staying at local nursing home in Columbus.
Columbus police say she's not the only victim, and Detective Thornton says there are well over 50 other victims.