Former nursing home owners arrested on felony fraud charges

Two owners of a now-defunct New York nursing home were arrested Tuesday for allegedly stealing more than $65,000 from the resident trust account and altering records to cover their tracks.

Ernest Orts, 55, and Ralph P. Reid, 55, were both charged with second-degree grand larceny and first-degree falsifying business records. The men bought Countryside Care Center from a county in New York in 2006, and it was closed six years later.

Orts and Reid allegedly withdrew money from the resident trust account and transferred it to the facility's operating accounts, or in some cases, failed to deposit the money into the trust account in the first place. The men then made false entries and altered business ledgers to cover their tracks, authorities say.

The center closed in 2012 after failing to fix health and safety concerns noted by the state's health department, according to the Daily Star. If convicted, Orts and Reid could face jail time and payment of restitution.

In a separate case, a former nursing home office manager and bookkeeper pleaded guilty this week to stealing funds from five resident trust accounts at Lawrence County Manor in Mount Vernon, MO. Shauna Voskamp, 29, drafted nearly $2,000 in checks made out to herself from the accounts. Lawrence County Manor's administrator told the Joplin Globe that she believe Voskamp either forged her signature on the checks, or had her sign the checks under false pretenses.

Voskamp's thefts were discovered during an investigation by the Medicaid fraud control unit of the Missouri state attorney general's office. Her sentencing hearing is set for May 10.