Nursing home owner pleads guilty to fraud in landmark case

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A Louisiana nursing home owner faces up to 37 months in prison after pleading guilty to federal healthcare fraud for misusing $2.4 million in government payments – in the first case of its kind. U.S. Attorney Jim Letten said the case is the first in the country in which a nursing home owner pleaded guilty to federal healthcare fraud for failing to provide care to residents, according to the Associated Press. Melville Borne Jr., 59, of Mandeville, LA, also pleaded guilty to pension fraud.

Borne's company Evangeline Health Care, based in Covington, LA, operates three Louisiana nursing homes in Destrehan, Houma and Natchitoches. Although the nursing homes were inadequately staffed and provided substandard services, Borne allegedly used the homes' funds to pay for his $250,000 annual salary and his $3.9 million estate in Folsom, LA, according to the 53-count indictment.

Borne also used nursing home funds to pay for costs at another company he owns -- Dynastar Development – such as its mortgage, development costs and other expenses, according to the indictment. Borne is scheduled to be sentenced Sept 15.

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