Nursing home owner facing $3 million Medicaid bill gets jail time for financial misdeed

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A former nursing home owner who faces criminal charges and allegedly owes millions to Medicaid has been sentenced to 90 days in jail, Iowa officials announced Wednesday.

Prior to closing in February, Faith Ridge Life Center in Malvern, IA, was repeatedly fined by state inspectors for quality of care lapses. Owner Mary Morse-Bolton reportedly had failed to pay the penalties dating back to 2009, court records allege. Her failure to pay triggered an investigation that uncovered more quality issues at the 51-bed nursing home and other facilities owned by 55-year-old Morse-Bolton, as well as substantial Medicaid overpayments and unpaid taxes, the Des Moines Register reported.

As part of the ruling that placed Faith Ridge into receivership prior to its closure, a Polk County District Judge ordered Morse-Bolton not to transfer any of her personal assets, as they could be seized to help pay off tax debt and an alleged $3 million in Medicaid overpayments.

Morse-Bolton subsequently transferred two properties in Nebraska to her husband, John Bolton, for $1 each, according to the Iowa Attorney General's office.

Judge Mary Pat Gunderson held Morse-Bolton and her husband in contempt and sentenced both to 90 days in jail on Tuesday, the AG's office stated. Both have said they will appeal the ruling.

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