An owner and operator of four personal care homes that provided “appalling” care reached a $700,000 settlement agreement whereby she agreed never to operate any such facility. Following the closing of the last of her four personal care facilities, the owner reached a settlement that is merely a drop in the bucket for the multimillionaire, especially considering the severity of the allegations.
The owner and her managers were accused of horrible treatment while siphoning federal assistance funds designed for residents for their own personal use, including social security, disability, and veterans benefits. U.S. attorneys alleged that the owner’s facilities were unsanitary, structurally unsafe, provided insufficient food, nutrition, clothing and bedding. Where residents were ill and needed medical assistance, the facility’s staff failed to respond or even call for medical assistance. Furthermore, the facilities were chronically understaffed, including one home that was cited twice in three months for not having enough staff to provide at least one hour of personal care per day to its mobile residents.
The settlement in this case appears to be well short of many expectations given the atrocious care and the apparent ill-gotten wealth of the owner. She has a portfolio of multimillion-dollar homes in several states, an aircraft, and is currently renovating a gated estate, allegedly using funds that were obtained by virtue of providing substandard care. Unfortunately, this demonstrates the lack of oversight in many states where, for example, 75% of personal care facilities are operating without a license.