had an interesting article on CareOne, LLC which owns and operates dozens of nursing homes in New Jersey.  There have been multiple lawsuits and allegations of kickbacks, theft and sexually improper behavior between the executives.

Straus formed CareOne in 1999, and now has 29 facilities across New Jersey.  Through affiliates, it owns and operates another 37 facilities in eight states. The company is ranked 13th in the nation, by the number of nursing homes, and is one of the two largest in New Jersey, according to National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry (NIC), a Maryland-based research company.  Straus co-founded a Medicare managed care company, Aveta. CareOne is one of several of Straus companies, including a real estate management company and a pharmacy serving 27,000 patients a day, which together have revenue of about $1.2 billion and 15,000 employees.

CareOne and two related companies have accused William G. Burris Jr., a former executive vice president of construction and development, of conspiring to "convert, steal and embezzle millions of dollars." CareOne claims that Burris inflated vendor contracts in return for kickbacks, along with co-defendants that include his wife, his sister, another CareOne executive and five CareOne vendors.

Burris claims that the company wrongly fired him in retaliation for his effort to stop a pattern of sexual improprieties against female employees allegedly committed by CareOne owner Daniel E. Straus.  Burris alleges that at CareOne Straus pursued "romantic and physical relationships with female employees and tolerated similar conduct by others." It cites a 2006 suit filed by an employee who claimed that Straus created a sexually hostile environment at the company.  Burris alleges that CareOne fired him after he expressed concern to a corporate counsel about the claim by a female assistant that Straus had sexually harassed her in a restaurant.

The termination enabled the company to deny him the right to two ownership stakes in the company. One was a 0.8 percent share, which was worth about $3-6 million. The other was an interest held by his wife. Burris wants the court to restore his rights to both ownership stakes.

The company wants the court to rule that Burris’ termination severed his ownership rights and that his wife’s interest was never vested. The company also is seeking damages from Burris, and wants a full accounting and return of all money he obtained in his "wrongful conduct." The racketeering suit seeks compensation and triple damages for Burris’ conduct.


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