New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a civil lawsuit in late November against the owners of a New York nursing home, alleging they misused more than $18.6 million in government funds for personal gain.
Two similar suits, also blasting providers for allegedly putting profits over patients, followed in quick succession.
The first lawsuit was filed against owners and operators of Comprehensive at Orleans LLC, doing business as The Villages of Orleans Health and Rehabilitation Center, a 120-bed nursing home in upstate New York.
The suit alleges Ephram “Mordy” Lahasky, David Gast and Sam Halper, identified in the complaint as some of the facility’s owners, illegally diverted $18.6 million in Medicare and Medicaid funds, or more than 20% of The Villages’ $86.4 million operating budget between 2015 and 2021, as part of a scheme to increase their personal profits.
As a result of the alleged financial scheme, the attorney general’s office further contends staffing levels and patient care at the facility suffered, leading to physical injuries, hospitalization, and even the death of some residents.
“The abject failure of The Villages and its owners to uphold their duty under the law caused residents to suffer inhumane treatment, neglect and harm,” James said in a news release.
The AG’s lawsuit seeks to remove Gast, Halper and Lahasky from their ownership and managerial roles at The Villages; prohibit the nursing home from admitting any new residents until staffing levels meet appropriate standards; and reimburse the state and federal government for investigation costs.
In December, James brought similar financial fraud cases against two facilities on Long Island: Cold Spring Hills Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation and Fulton Commons Care Center.
Representatives for the targeted nursing homes could not be reached for comment prior to press time.