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Guardian and Applied Behavioral Analyst Criminally Charged for Treatment of Vulnerable Adult

October 31, 2023

The Attorney General’s Office announced that Kathryn Flynn, 69, of Essex, Vermont, and Yoanna Vaughan, 36, of South Burlington, Vermont, were each arraigned yesterday on charges stemming from the care they provided to a vulnerable adult receiving Medicaid-funded services. The investigation, conducted by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud and Residential Abuse Unit (MFRAU), began after concerns were raised with authorities about the neglect and abuse of a vulnerable adult for whom Ms. Flynn was the guardian.

As a result of MFRAU’s investigation, the Attorney General’s Office has alleged that Ms. Flynn placed extensive and unlawful restrictions on the vulnerable adult’s daily activities. It is further alleged that Ms. Vaughan, who was hired by Ms. Flynn as an Applied Behavioral Analyst to oversee the vulnerable adult’s program of care, was unlicensed and living in another state for months at a time while billing Vermont Medicaid for services.

Ms. Flynn has been charged with two misdemeanor counts of Abuse of a Vulnerable Adult, misdemeanor Unauthorized Practice, misdemeanor Abuse by Unlawful Confinement, misdemeanor Neglect of a Vulnerable Adult, and felony Financial Abuse of a Vulnerable Adult.

Ms. Vaughan has been charged with misdemeanor Unauthorized Practice and felony Medicaid Fraud.

Ms. Flynn and Ms. Vaughan both pleaded not guilty at their arraignments on October 30, 2023, in Vermont Superior Court, Chittenden Criminal Division. The Court, Judge Michael Harris presiding, ordered conditions of release for the defendants which include prohibitions on providing care for vulnerable adults, with certain exceptions.

If you suspect someone is being or has been neglected or abused, contact local law enforcement immediately. Neglect and abuse may also be reported to Adult Protective Services by calling 800-564-1612 and MFRAU at

The Attorney General’s Office emphasizes that individuals charged with a crime are legally presumed innocent until their guilt is proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

MFRAU receives 75 percent of its funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under a grant award totaling $1,229,616 for Federal fiscal year 2024. The remaining 25 percent, totaling $409,870 for FFY 2024, is funded by the State of Vermont.

CONTACT:   Lauren Jandl, Chief of Staff, 802-828-3171