Assisted Living Facility Closed Down For Owner Posing As Doctor, Horrible Neglect of Residents

The owner and operator of a closed-down assisted living facility was charged Friday with offenses that could lead to prison time.

The 62-year-old owner and operator of the assisted living facility is accused of filing $192,000 in false claims with the Medicaid program, according to the state attorney general. He also practiced medicine without a license and neglected an elderly person in his care, according to an arrest affidavit.

The charging affidavit contains sworn statements from employees at his facility who say the man would examine hurt and bleeding patients and then not seek further medical attention for them. The inquiry that culminated in Thursday's arrest began in May 2008 when a state investigator looking into unfounded abuse complaints at the facility noticed employees and patients calling him "doctor." He is licensed as a certified nursing assistant.

The man filed claims with Medicaid for services that only doctors provide, according to a spokeswoman for the attorney general.

"He was practicing medicine and then filing for reimbursement for the services that he wasn't licensed to provide," the spokeswoman said.

In July 2008, state investigators shuttered his assisted living facility and yanked its license after finding a patient wandering a nearby street, patients with untreated wounds and bedsores, urine-soaked rugs and an inadequate supply of medicines, among other problems.

One woman, whose 91-year-old mother lived there for three years, said she believes her mother was abused by neglect at the owner's hands. After the elderly woman was found wandering, she had to be taken to a nursing home for specialized treatment of infected wounds. It took a year for those wounds to be healed.

"I am angry that my mother went into that facility . . . completely sound in body and within three years had MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) in both legs," she said.

The woman said she was misled into believing the care center was a good place to go because of its new furnishings and attractive front room. She got a reference there when her mother was discharged from an area hospital.

"It was a nice-looking building, but there was no care," she said. For more, read the story.

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Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.


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