SNF execs ordered to repay $23 million

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A well-known former nursing executive must repay the federal government $13.8 million for fraudulent business practices. Chief U.S. District Court Judge Mary M. Lisi handed down the ruling for the misuse of loans in Anthony Giordano's Rhode Island facilities on Dec. 3.

The judge also ordered John Montecalvo, a former Giordano associate, to pay more than $7 million in fines. In addition, a business owned by Giordano was fined $2.6 million. 

In 2006, Giordano pleaded guilty to taking money from nursing homes as they went into debt. He spent 2½ years in prison.

The lawsuit was brought by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2009. It charged that Giordano and associates spread the wealth between themselves and Giordano's children, culling more than $6 million from the Mount St. Francis Health Center in Woonsocket, RI, and $1.8 million from the Coventry (RI) Health Center from 2000 to 2003. 

Mount St. Francis defaulted on an $8.3-million mortgage and a $1.1-million loan insured by HUD. It went into receivership in 2006. Hillside closed in 2004; Coventry went into receivership in 2001.

Lisi doubled the damages against Giordano “in order to further Congress' intent of deterring future violations by other individuals who may be tempted to corruptly raid publicly funded projects.” 

Now-retired U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Arthur N. Votolato gave HUD the go-ahead with the lawsuit although Giordano filed for bankruptcy protection in October 2011. 

Votolato indicated Giordano's debt could not be discharged through bankruptcy, and he froze the assets of a trust belonging to his children in February 2012. 

In his request for bankruptcy protection, Giordano said he couldn't pay $8 million the Internal Revenue Service says he owes. The money due is from unpaid unemployment taxes, the IRS said. 

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