Disinvestment means taking advantage and exploiting the Medicare and Medicaid programs to increase personal profits rather than using those funds for the intended purposes of staffing and patient care.
NY Attorney General James sued a nursing home for disinvestment causing unsafe staffing and fraud allowing abuse and neglect for years. The lawsuit against Comprehensive at Orleans LLC doing business as The Villages is for years of financial fraud that resulted in significant resident neglect and harm.
Under law, owners of nursing homes have a “special obligation” to provide a high level of care and quality of life for residents, and to ensure the facility is sufficiently staffed so as to provide that care. The Villages’ reprehensible history of insufficient staffing and low quality of care is directly traceable to the owners’ financial scheme.
Follow the Money
From 2015 through 2021, The Villages received $86.4 million in taxpayer funding. Millions in taxpayer dollars from Medicare and Medicaid, intended to provide quality healthcare to vulnerable residents. Instead, the owners cut staffing to increase their personal profits. By making payments to related entities Telegraph and CHMS, the owners were able to divert at least $18.6 million.
Web of Fraud
The owners wove a complicated web of fraud. They use their ownership stakes in multiple companies to turn The Villages into a profit machine. The Defendants include related entities: The Villages of Orleans LLC; Telegraph Realty LLC (Telegraph) owns the real property; CHMS Group LLC (CHMS) provides management services to The Villages; and ML Kids Holdings LLC (ML Kids) received over $1.5 million in cash transfers from Telegraph.
Also named are individual owners, including the sole official owner of The Villages, his three sons-in law, his daughter-in-law; three undisclosed owners of The Villages; and the owners of Telegraph Realty LLC. Together, these individuals are the “owners.”
Caregivers allow residents to sit in their own urine and feces for hours. Residents suffer preventable malnourishment and dehydration. Neglect allows sepsis, gangrene, and other infections to flourish in avoidable pressure injuries and poor wound care. Chemical restraints and injuries of unknown origin are prevalent.
In January 2021, Attorney General James released a report revealing that nursing homes were ill-equipped and ill-prepared because of unsafe staffing levels and a lack of compliance with infection control protocols.