NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A man hired by the city of Nashville to take care of some of Metro's most frail senior citizens is now accused of stealing their money and yours.
Michael Hampton was arrested over the weekend, along with a former business partner, on theft charges stemming from their time running the city's assisted living facility in Bordeaux.
NewsChannel 5 Investigates first exposed problems at the Knowles Home more than two years ago. That eventually prompted a Metro audit and the DA's own investigation, which led to these charges.
Hampton had a contract with the city to run Autumn Hills, which is now known as the Knowles Home. Prosecutors say not only did he steal from the elderly men and women who lived there, but he exploited these vulnerable seniors as well.
Hampton waved and repeatedly gave a thumbs up to our camera Saturday afternoon as he left jail, facing two counts of theft and 44 counts of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a vulnerable adult.
"Why would they do us people like that?" Edith Black asked.
She and Charles Corley are two of his alleged victims. Both are longtime residents of what was known under Hampton's management as the Autumn Hills Assisted Living facility.
Almost five years ago, Metro gave Hampton, a longtime city insider and developer, a complex land and development deal that included managing the city-owned home. Now, prosecutors allege he misused thousands of dollars that Metro gave him to run the place. The lengthy indictment also accuses Hampton of raiding the residents' trust accounts, which was the residents' own personal money.
"Lord, I tell you I never was so shocked. I didn't think people could do this place like that, " Black told NewsChannel 5 Investigates.
She is 85. Corley is 70 and has suffered several strokes.
They trusted Hampton with their money.
"Do you know how much you should have in your account?" NewsChannel 5 Investigates asked Black.
She shook her head no.
Corley told us the same thing.
But a Metro audit last year found that, from all of the residents' accounts, more than $127,000 was missing.
"He got my money and they got him? Good." Corley said.
"Does it make you angry that he took your money?" we asked him.
"Yeah," Corley replied.
Hampton said nothing and refused to answer our questions as he left jail, but the charges he now faces confirm what we first uncovered and began reporting back in September of 2016, including unpaid bills, alleged misspending, and questionable business practices.
Hampton brought in longtime Nashville businessman Sam Latham to be the face of the facility after we began raising questions about what was going on at Autumn Hills, and now Latham is also charged with theft for allegedly taking money from the residents' accounts.
"They was selfish," Edith Black suggested.
And now, she has just one question for the pair. "Why did you do this to us? Why?"
We asked Black if Hampton and Latham are convicted, how long should they should spend in jail.
She said, "The rest of their lives."
Both men bonded out of jail over the weekend.
The city cut ties with them early last year and called off the land deal amid the growing concerns about the management of Autumn Hills.
To learn more about NewsChannel 5 Investigates reporting on Autumn Hills: