The NY Daily News had a great article on the case of nursing home Administrator Ruby Weston.   After years of delays, was justice served?   Ruby Weston operated two "non-profit" nursing homes that were funded by taxpayers’ money in Brooklyn, New York.  Despite the facade of non-profit, Ruby Weston and her family profited from these homes by robbing the facilities of the funds needed to properly care for the residents.

After years of this hoax, her fraudulent and questionable financial dealings were revealed by the press in 2004.  Finally, after charges were brought against her eight years ago, she is finally paying only $871,000 in a settlement. Of this settlement, $821,000 will go to supplement the Marcus Garvey Home and $50,000 will go to paying the state for legal expenses.  Pretty good deal considering she paid herself personal paychecks of upwards of $380,000 in 2009, a bonus of $500,000 after construction of the Ruby Weston Manner in 1995, an annual salary of $500,000 to herself and upwards of $1 million to her son.

“It is inexcusable for someone to profit at the expense of elderly, frail and vulnerable New Yorkers in nursing homes,” Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said.

“I’m glad to hear about the money, but what it comes down to is that residents were cheated for years and years from the care they deserved,” said Richard Mollot, executive director of the Long Term Care Community Coalition and a longtime advocate for nursing home residents. “It’s sad.”

See articles at North Country Gazette and Legal News Line.
 

The Billings Gazette had an article about the guilty plea and sentence of Perry Vandeventer to between four and six years in prison and ordered him to payback only $41,000 in restitution for embezzlement.  Vandeventer was the chief financial officer of Shepherd of the Valley nursing home.  Vandeventer pleaded guilty to one count of obtaining money under false pretenses from Shepherd of the Valley. Vandeventer was blamed for accelerating the financial decline at the nursing home in late 2010 that led to its acquisition by a Minnesota company.

"From his hiring in early 2008 to January 2011, Vandeventer defrauded the nursing home by submitting bogus receipts for contractors who never did any work, obtaining cash advances for travel including trips he didn’t take, and obtaining money for books, education expenses and dues for purposes unrelated to the nursing home’s business, according to court records. He also used nursing home credit cards to pay for a computer, books, meals in Denver restaurants, vehicle repair, fuel, and a personal speeding ticket in Casper Municipal Court, according to court records."

The Boston Globe reported that a federal bankruptcy judge has frozen the assets of a trust benefiting the children of Antonio Giordano, a Rhode Island nursing home executive jailed for conspiracy and embezzlement.  Bankruptcy trustee Charles Pisaturo Jr. argued that the assets should be turned over to Giordano’s bankruptcy estate because he was the beneficial owner at the time he filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. Giordano filed for bankruptcy on Oct. 13, claiming he cannot pay nearly $800,000 he owes to the Internal Revenue Service after admitting in 2006 to taking money from three nursing homes as they defaulted on federally backed mortgages or operated in the red.

 

A former nursing home executive named Antonio Giordano who was jailed for conspiracy and embezzlement has filed for bankruptcy. As a result, the government cannot recover millions of taxpayer dollars that authorities say Antonio Giordano and his associates skimmed from failing nursing homes. The Providence Journal reports that Giordano filed for Chapter 7 protection on Oct. 13. He claims he cannot pay nearly $800,000 he owes to the Internal Revenue Service.

The filing puts on hold a lawsuit accusing Giordano and others of enriching themselves by illegally diverting more than $6 million meant for resident care from two nursing homes.  In 2006, Giordano admitted to skimming money from three nursing homes as they defaulted on federally backed mortgages. 

The Wyoming Star-Trbune reported  the arrest of chief financial officer of the nonprofit Shepherd of the Valley nursing home for stealing nearly $52,000 from it by larceny and obtaining property by false pretenses, according to court records. Perry Vandeventer was charged with two felony counts after a half-year investigation beginning in January, according to the affidavit by Chris Williams of the Casper Police Department.

The discovery of the alleged crimes occurred in January during a financial crisis that threatened to close the state’s largest nursing home in Paradise Valley.  Shepherd of the Valley CEO Jill Hult and the nursing home’s accountant submitted reports to the police about numerous financial discrepancies found during an audit, Williams wrote. Through subsequent interviews and inspections of Vandeventer’s personal finances, Williams found Vandeventer allegedly obtained fraudulent expense reimbursements totaling $23,719.66.

From March 2008 through Jan. 15, 2011, Vandeventer submitted bogus receipts for contractors who never did any work, obtained cash advances for travel including trips he didn’t take, and obtained money for books, education expenses and dues for purposes unrelated to the nursing home’s business, according to the charging document and Williams’ affidavit.

Vandeventer also set up a system for company credit cards that required cash in their accounts before using them, Williams wrote. From July 2008 to Jan. 15, 2009, he used two of the nursing home’s credit cards to buy a computer, books, personal cell phone purchases, meals in Denver restaurants, vehicle repair, and fuel, according to the charging document and Williams’ affidavit.

Vandeventer’s credit card entries included a payment to the Internal Revenue Service and to pay a personal speeding ticket at Casper Municipal Court. He sometimes would seek reimbursements for items he charged on the credit cards. These personal credit card charges amounted to $28,080.05, Williams wrote.

The $52,000 allegedly taken by Vandeventer coincided with six- and seven-figure deficits revealed in the nonprofit facilities IRS Forms 990 from 2006 to 2009 as well as IRS tax liens — a claim on a property to pay a debt — totaling nearly $775,000 filed in August 2010.

Shepherd of the Valley was owned by Luthercare Inc. with a board of directors from local congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. The for-profit Minnesota-based Mission Healthcare bought the nursing home’s assets for about $6.5 million plus $2.25 million to $3 million for its estimated debt.

 

Connecticut’s The Day reported the guilty plea of Serena Sylvia for embezzling more than $53,000 while working as an accounts manager for the now defunct Haven Healthcare nursing homes.  She was only sentenced to 18 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release after pleading guilty to one count of health care fraud and one count of filing a false federal income tax return.

 

Sylvia was employed as a regional accounts receivable manager for Haven Health Care Management LLC, which ran several nursing homes in Connecticut.  Sylvia embezzled more than $53,000 from nursing home resident trust accounts between 2005 and 2008 and failed to pay taxes on the money she stole. She embezzled from residents of Haven nursing homes in Jewett City, Norwich, Waterford and West Haven.

 

U.S. Attorney David B. Fein encouraged individuals who suspect health care fraud to report it by calling the Health Care Fraud Task Force at (203) 785-9270 or 1-800-HHS-TIPS.

 

 

The Des Moines Register had an article about an Iowa nursing home Administrator stealing money from resident’s care.  This is happening at the same time the Iowa Governor is protecting the nursing home industry by cutting state inspectors.  Incredible.

Administrator Gerald Bruening stole $34,769 between September 2005 and August 2008 from Marian Home care facility in Fort Dodge, Iowa.  He used the money for personal expenses and then factored those purchases into the facility’s federal cost reports to justify increased Medicaid funding from the state and federal governments.  He is now finally facing sanctions from the state licensing board.   The Iowa Board of Nursing Home Administrators filed charges against him last month. The move is largely symbolic, as Bruening’s license expired in 2009.

Bruening was convicted of theft and fraudulent practices. He was sentenced last September to only two years of probation.

 

The Norwich Bulletin had an article about Serena Sylvia, the business office manager at Haven Health Care who pleaded guilty to federal embezzlement and income tax return fraud charges related to the theft of trust fund money at local nursing homes. Sylvia embezzled funds from nursing home resident trust fund accounts at Haven Health Center of Jewett City, Haven Health Center of Norwich, Haven Health Center of Waterford and Haven Health Center of Soundview in West Haven.

Sylvia, the regional accounts receivable manager for Haven Health Care Management from 2005 to 2008, admitted taking more than $53,000 from the trust fund accounts and admitted that she did not pay income tax on the money she stole. She faces up to 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000 on the health care fraud count and three years and a fine of up to $100,000 on the false tax return count.

Sylvia’s arrest was part of a larger investigation into fraud at Haven Healthcare, a chain of nursing homes formerly based in Middletown. That investigation has resulted in convictions of Raymond Termini, the former CEO of Haven Healthcare; Fred Dalicandro, the former director of cash management of Haven Healthcare, and Kimberly Boccacio, the former administrator of Haven Health Center of Jewett City.

 

The Pittsburgh Tribune Review had an article about Scott Colver, the owner/operator of nursing homes who agreed to pay $1.1 million to settle a lawsuit that claimed he approved dozens of fraudulent billings, including nearly $500,000 to pay for his Maryland residence.  In the lawsuit, Mid-Atlantic charged Colver engaged in "elaborate and extensive fraud … in order to covertly obtain hundreds of thousands of dollars in payment from his employer."

The settlement states Scott Colver agreed to repay $700,000 "in expenditures that were stolen" from Mid-Atlantic Health Care. He paid another $400,000 to settle claims that he had improperly diverted Mid-Atlantic business to his company.

Colver owns Colonial Senior Living of Western Pennsylvania, which began operating the Village of Pennwood in Wilkinsburg about a year ago.  The settlement and the criminal charges were news to the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, which issued an operating license to Colonial.

Records of the Maryland civil suit show that Colver invoked the Fifth Amendment 88 times when he was deposed by an attorney for Mid-Atlantic on July 1.  Under questioning by Mid-Atlantic attorney Ellen B. Flynn, Colver refused to respond to questions about $460,745 in payments made by the Berlin Nursing and Rehabilitation Center to a company controlled by the man who sold Colver a house for $490,000 in 2005.

Colver invoked his right against self-incrimination when asked about another $227,366 in payments made to a company owned by the former property owner’s girlfriend. The suit charged that he even had the nursing home billed for landscaping services and the purchase of a washer and dryer for his personal residence.

Records show Colver’s license as a nursing home administrator was suspended in Virginia after he was charged with being abusive to a patient and then improperly discharging him. 

 

Savannah Morning News had an article about the embezzlement case involving a mother and son team.  Mary Burroughs and Aaron Brent Burroughs pleaded not guilty in federal court to conspiracy, embezzlement and related charges involving her former employer, Riverview Nursing & Rehabilitation Center. 

The Burroughs are charged in a new indictment in the scheme that government contends benefited Burroughs Heating and Air Conditioning where Aaron Burroughs is general manager.

The prosecutor told U.S. Magistrate Judge G.R. Smith the defendant has violated her release by adding debt without the court’s approval.  Mary Burroughs has been free on a $50,000 pre-trial release bond since June 30, but First Assistant U.S. Attorney James Durham has challenged her release.

Smith allowed Burroughs to remain free, with new admonishments against moving any assets, but scheduled a bond hearing to determine if any violations have occurred. Meanwhile, Aaron Burroughs was allowed to remain free on a $20,000 unsecured bond.

Smith also admonished Burroughs against incurred any new debt or moving assets as a condition of his release.