SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Four years after placing South Dakota nursing home people at risk and taking staff insurance rates, but not applying them to their procedures, the condition is ultimately getting some motion towards Skyline Health care and its entrepreneurs, Joseph and Rosie Schwartz. Joseph Schwartz is now dealing with federal expenses involving 95 wellness care and rehabilitation services in eleven states, at the time owned by Skyline.
KELOLAND Investigates brought you the Skyline aged treatment crisis in Could of 2018 and then exposed the way staff were betrayed by the company in 2019. Now, KELOLAND Investigates shows you a new lawsuit is unveiling how the nursing house empire arrived crashing down in South Dakota and when the state was alerted about all of the issues, which raises the dilemma, what took so extensive?
In the very last few months, the household of cards has arrive crashing down on Joseph Schwartz. The New Yorker is accused of a litany of rates involving nursing residences listed here in South Dakota and throughout the nation. People prices array from failing to shell out practically $30 million in payroll and unemployment taxes for the now-defunct Skyline Healthcare to tens of millions in Medicaid fraud in Arkansas. Tonight KELOLAND Information outlines a new civil lawsuit submitted by the point out of South Dakota and we hear from all those concerned in a separate civil lawsuit that has dragged on for many years.
Now that Joseph Schwartz is facing federal charges, states are staking assert to income they say they are owed by Skyline Health care, which includes South Dakota. As KELOLAND Investigates documented in 2018, these 19 aged treatment services across the state had been in problems below Skyline.
In the lawsuit filed by the Condition of South Dakota and Lawyer Basic Jason Ravnsborg,
Debbie Menzenberg who served as the Vice President of Functions for the business in 2018, despatched the adhering to desperate electronic mail to the South Dakota Section of Health with a cryptic warning of citizens currently being place at hazard:
4 days later, KELOLAND Investigates reported on the problem and the state placed the Skyline households into receivership. They had been at some point acquired by new owners.
In accordance to the new South Dakota civil accommodate: Skyline submitted statements purportedly for the price of resident treatment to South Dakota Medicaid. Skyline then failed to pay out other suppliers, distributors, and suppliers, and Skyline as a substitute diverted at minimum some Medicaid resources to other sources and which is a violation of state legislation.
It was not until eventually previous spring March 11, 2021 that South Dakota’s Medicaid Fraud Regulate Device (“MFCU”) sent a subpoena and written ask for for records…. to Joseph Schwartz… along with 6 attorneys. The asked for data have been to be provided by April 14 or 2021, but they have never ever been received.
Court paperwork clearly show that the South Dakota Lawyer General’s business office was contacted back in 2018, by Skyline personnel who noted their insurance policies rates had been taken from their paychecks, but in no way paid.
More than a calendar year later on, after authorities experienced accomplished nothing at all, previous staff members came to KELOLAND Investigates with the tale.
“They’re getting money that we imagine is likely towards an insurance policy plan, or quality and they’re letting us to get these services, and then at the close of the day, none of it was coated,” Nursing Property Administrator Charles Johnson stated.
A person of individuals former South Dakota workers is Theresa Dante, who is now a plaintiff in the federal class-action lawsuit on behalf of all Skyline workforce across the country.
“I genuinely want to do a very good position of symbolizing the South Dakota previous employees of Skyline Healthcare. I want to have our tale heard and I definitely, truly want to make certain this doesn’t happen yet again to any individual. There ended up so a lot of great men and women working in that nursing dwelling. The residents experienced, the condition suffered. It was just unimaginable what had happened.”
Theresa Dante, Former South Dakota Skyline Employee
That lawsuit has dragged as a result of the courts for two a long time now.
“Mr. Schwartz is notorious, at least in my thoughts, for evading services. He travels routinely in and out of the state and is complicated to pin down. We eventually did get him served, but notwithstanding service, he has not responded to the criticism,” Legal professional Matthew Stone claimed.
That has resulted in a default judgment against Schwartz in the course action go well with and now with so quite a few states submitting prison or civil expenses and trying to get damages, Stone wants to make sure something is still left for the often bare minimum-wage workers who were being stuck with 10 of hundreds of bucks in medical charges when their insurance wasn’t compensated by Skyline.
“We want to secure our class users, to make guaranteed there are some property still left in excess of for them to recover damages. Our class associates of members of the class they symbolize have authentic damage. They underwent critical professional medical procedures and are confronted with great professional medical charges. And we are likely to make certain there are assets to protect all those in the function there is a judgment,” Stone said.
In the meantime, South Dakota’s civil match involves allegations of deceit, misleading trade procedures, and violating state guidelines. In accordance to the Lawyer General’s business office, Skyline owes South Dakota far more than $50,000 in unpaid work taxes and might owe more than $115,000.
Plus the condition seeks payment of up to three situations the sum of damages sustained, like investigation and court docket expenses, and payment of $2,000 for each individual wrong or fraudulent declare made by Schwartz.
Advocates for those hurt in the Skyline collapse say states had been caught off guard and that Schwartz took gain of loopholes that need to now be closed.
“I genuinely want to make sure they shore up the market and weed out these items right before they happen once again and make it a safer market for the residents and personnel alike,” Dante said.
“I think that calls for a increased level of regulation. There requires to be a lot more oversight. These are the most susceptible customers of our society and they’re only still left to the units of people like Mr. Schwartz,” Stone stated.
Though some states have created adjustments, these types of as Kansas, which now needs a whole lot additional financial info from people today who use for licenses to operate nursing properties, South Dakota has not created any changes in response to the Skyline problem. We also questioned the lawyer general’s business why it took so prolonged to file a lawsuit and why no legal costs have been submitted in South Dakota and obtained certainly no response to our questions.
Our makes an attempt to speak to Joseph Schwartz have been unsuccessful.