Poor care fuels felony charges

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The former owners of a New York nursing home are headed to court with charges of endangering the welfare of residents.

Joseph Zupnik and Daniel Herman, the owner and manager of the Otsego nursing home, were arraigned May 31 on three counts of first-degree endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person, a felony; two counts of second-degree endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person, a class A misdemeanor; and three counts of willful violation of health laws, an unclassified misdemeanor, according to the New York Attorney General's Office. They were awaiting July court dates at press time.

The AG's office said that when the men took over Focus Otsego in 2014, they cut staff payroll, staffing and other necessary services needed to provide safe and adequate care to more than 200 residents. State surveys cited Immediate Jeopardy findings in 2015 and 2016.

Otsego County sold the nursing home to Focus for $18.5 million in 2014. Centers Health Care later purchased it.

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