The Profitability of the Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Business and the Herculean Potential for Fraud….
by Lost Messiah, March 18, 2016
In an article posted on a FB site, dedicated to the untold truths of the County of Rockland, comes the following information on the Federal investigation into 386 Route 59 in Airmont and to some extent 21 Robert Pitt Drive in Monsey. Relying on the article, we have done our own research, as well.
Many of the offices of 386 Airmont tell the story of the monumentally profitable Nursing Home and Rehabilitation business; and entities with access to millions of dollars in government funding through Medicare and Medicaid. It sets the stage for an analysis into the open door to expansion and the unbridled financial success of family empires who have narrowed down financial manipulation of the Healthcare and Rehabilitation industry to an art-form.
We note that while common ownership of some of these entities is not obvious and in some cases well hidden, a review of public comments on many of the websites cited in links within the below article indicate that there have been questions raised for years about many of the companies. For example, Regional EMS and Care1EMS (7 and 8 below, both in Suite 300) may be one in the same, renamed to continue operations despite sanctions government sanctions and lawsuits, a rose by another name. M.D.D.C Council and Business Licenses, LLC may have common ownership interests; but the owners of the former company are, so far, elusive. Both companies are located in both of the above buildings raided by the FBI.
We note that at least one business, number 12 below, may no longer be located in that building, and may be completely unrelated, except for investments in, amongst other things, the healthcare industry. We have, however, found nothing to substantiate any relations into that entity or even a hint of wrongdoing.
One can draw their own conclusions about the web of businesses within that building and their connections to one another. Healthcare investors and ambulance/medical transport companies who transport to those businesses; business licensing advisors and business licensing providers; payment systems and bonding companies, and the list goes on. In our opinion, the business are like a museum of related and very creative artists, the subject of which is Healthcare and Medicare/Medicaid manipulation and the craft being financial profitability.
The spider creating that web may be a wolf spider or a redback, one more dangerous than another. Either way, the whole conglomerate, in our view, is both profitable and highly toxic. From our perspective, the entire empire is a tightly woven weave of manipulation of the sick and infirmed and frankly their families, many of whom don’t know enough to even look beyond the here and now of healthcare, nursing care and rehabilitation.
Our own research and the conclusions we raise in our review leave us with a single moral to the story, watch your accounting. If you are placing your family member in any facility owned or operated by any of the entities listed below, be diligent, do research, review bills and keep your wallets closed until you are certain that the accounting is correct. If you are a medicare/Medicaid reviewer, do your due diligence before issuing payments. If you are a member of a community in which a current facility or piece of land is a a target for one of the below investors, be mindful.
We leave you to your own conclusions and of course, await the results of FBI investigations. Ultimately, the results of the FBI investigation will be very telling, but may take time…
Finally and important to note, the article below is incomplete. There are more businesses within that building, not yet analyzed; and there are companies the ownership of which is outside of our current grasp. We invite assistance, research and additional information.
We will follow the story as it progresses….
An Analysis Of One Address Raided By The FBI
On March 16, 2016, Federal Investigators raided 386 Route 59 in Airmont. Amongst those companies located at that address we report the following information from publicly available sources.
Shalom “Shully” Braunstein, a 35% interested party in Sympaticare, who is the face of a current lawsuit against the County of Rockland to receive, amongst other things, a return of his downpayment for the incomplete closing of the purchase of the Summit Park Nursing Home and Hospital Facilities. Braunstein often faces off with a number of other bidders, at least one of them located in the 386 building.
1) Focus Ventures, in Suite 304 is comprised of a conglomerate of different but related companies including the following: Focus Home Care Services, offering “premium quality home care to patients in eastern Pennsylvania”. EMStar Ambulance which provides medical transportation in the tri-state area as well as in Pennsylvania. American Home Medical Equipment Services, which provides medical supplies and deliveries daily, also servicing the tri-State area and Pennsylvania. Focus Rehabilitation and Nursing at Utica, which is a rehabiliation and nursing facility in Utica, New York and then there is one at Otswego, which is a rehabilitation and nursing facility located in Cooperstown. Focus Assisted Living provides assistance to people who need it (unclear the nature of which from the focusventures website.
2) Focus Capital is the financing arm of Focus Ventures. The website of Focus Ventures also lists SpectraCare, which has drug and mental health facilities throughout the country. It’s a full-service consorted effort to obtain financial rights to all aspects of nursing care from all possible angles, all under one umbrella entity.
3) Focus Ventures LLC is a marriage of Madison Gabe Group and Focus LLC
The managing direct/principal of the Focus Family of Companies is Joseph Zupnik
who also works for Sterling Management Group LLC, which amongst others, also invests in troubled Nursing Facilities, including the Valley View Center for Nursing care and Rehabilitation the subject of several contentious articles.
4) Sterling Management Group LLC is also located in the 386 building.
Zupnik is currently starting a foray into healthcare related investments including 7 nursing/rehabilitation facilities in the Albany/Schenectedy/Capital region. Zupnik, like the investors in the troubled Summit Park facility, has faced charges by the CSEA in several of his locations related to alleged underpayment of employees.
Joseph Zupnik (http://www.bizjournals.com/search?q=joseph+zupnik), who already has an ownerhsip stake in EMStar Ambulance is also the CEO of Empire State Ambulance Corporation, also listed in the same building, though according to his HIPAA registration number, the official business address is 84 Route 59, Suite 102.
On the HIPAA forms, Empire State Ambulance Corp also goes by EmStar, though that is not listed on the EmStar website. It is interesting that several years ago the Federal authorities looked into Medicare and Medicaid fraud as it related to ambulances and over-billing patients.
5) Fhcs LLC, (http://www.loopnet.com/…/386-Route-59-Air…/XdT7P9s3w/Tenant/ ), is part of the Focus Ventures Family of companies, according to its website. (http://www.focushomecare.org) The alternate name for the company is Focus Home Care Services. Elisa Zupnik is listed as the Principal and Joshua Herman is administration. Fhcs LLC, as Focus Home Care Services provides home healthcare to areas in and around Northampton, Monroe, Carbon, Lehigh and Bucks Counties in Pennsylvania (http://listings.findthecompany.com/l/…/Fhcs-LLC-in-Airmont-…)
6) Hudson Valley Paramedics (https://www.dandb.com/…/hudsonvalleyparamedics-airmont-ny-6…) is a privately owned ambulance service founded in 2008. The website www.hvmedics.com. According to buzzfile
“Hudson Valley Paramedics is located in Airmont, New York. This organization primarily operates in the Ambulance Service business / industry within the Local & Suburban Transit & Interurban Highway Transportation sector. This organization has been operating for approximately 8 years. Hudson Valley Paramedics is estimated to generate $1.7 million in annual revenues, and employs approximately 26 people at this single location.” The principal and contact person is Koby Tigersthrom.
7) Regional EMS, Suite 300,
is “a small fairly new ambulance & rescue service company in Airmont, New York. It opened in 2010.” The principal is Michael Witkowski, who also appears listed as manager.
8) Care 1Ems is also listed in Suite 300. However, the headquarters on its website, is 38 Route 9, Fishkill, NY (http://www.care1ems.com/). Care1EMS has been cited by the Civilian Board of Contracts for default on contracts
According to a discussion forum in 2013, Care1EMS was suspended either by the DOH or HVREMSCO and was renamed a few times
9) Ellington Capital Group, Suite 403 is also an investor in commercial real estate and senior housing/healthcare properties, as stated on the website. Stephen Gelbtuch, one of the two principals of Ellington is also president of Stonegate Realt LLC
which is also a private investment group
and also invests in healthcare and other related industries, not the least of which are entities which service healthcare facilities.
10) Stonehedge Acquisition Chittenango LLC also does business as Stonehedge Health & Rehabilitation Center.
There are multiple Stonehedge entities, each one apparently incorporated as a special purpose vehicle for the facility it owns. Stonehedge’s managing partner is also Joseph Zupnik. Amongst other things, Stonehedge has been involved in numerous lawsuits including labor suits.
11) Deposit Group LLC, of Suite 200, according to its website
“manages the Securent Bond for residential tenants and ClearDeposit for landlords throughout the United States as alternatives to cash security bonds. The founding principals include veterans of the financial services industry with a collective experience of more than 40 years in surety insurance and credit risk management.” The Facebook Page for Deposit Group LLC lists it as an “Apartment and Condo Building Insurance Broker.”
The Headquarters according to the website
are located in New York City with the Mailing Address being the Airmont address, listed differently above. The two addresses for the company 386 Route 59, Suite 200 and 19 East 65th Street, Suite 9A New York, NY are listed differently on different registrations. The New York City building is owned by Stonehenge Management LLC, which is part of Stonehenge Acquisitions. Stephen Keller, one of the founding principals of Stonehedge is also listed under Steve Keller as part of Stonedge Funding LLC
(http://www.spoke.com/…/steve-keller-3e1429c09e597c1006247555) (see above).
It is possible that this is an error on Spoke.com.
12) Lee Nolan & Korogolian LLC (http://www.leenolan.com/ ) is listed on some sites with a location at 386 Airmont. However, it appears to be located in Saddle Brook and not in Airmont, At the time of writing this article, we were unable to confirm this.
13) Hiko Holdings LLC, listed in Suite 202, was incorporated in 2010. Very little information is available on this company. Hiko Holdings LLC is listed as a “privately held company in Airmont, NY”
14) Classic Replacements Inc., appears to be an online company which buys and sells china, crystal, flatware and other collectibles.
15) Mark1Realty is also located in the Airmont building. Mark1Realty, appears to have agents in Brooklyn and in Lakewood. The first telephone call to their number, listed on signs on Route 45, will arrive at an answering machine. The call back comes from a number in Lakewood or in Brooklyn.
16) Northern Capital Funding, which as of this review has been corrected from our earlier post, is a domestic limited liability company filed with the New York State Department of State (NYSDOS). The DOS ID is 3985193. The initial DOS filing date is 08/16/2010. The business entity is incorporated in the county of ROCKLAND. The jurisdiction is in New York. The address is 386 Rt. 50 Suite 300, Monsey, New York 10962. The ownership of Northern Capital Funding LLC is unclear. There was neither principals nor persons to receive process for this entity.
17) M.D.D.C Council, (http://www.mddccouncil.org/) with one location at the Airmont address and another at a different location investigated by the Feds today, is a business services and consulting company that provides anything and everything to a business. According to the website “owning a business is not enough – you must ensure your business is constantly growing.”
M.D.D.C. appears to be a matchmaker of business services and will provide anything from information regarding business plans to registrations to corporate structure, to financing to investment capital to credit counseling to advertising to listings. According to their website: M.D.D.C “may receive revenue through marketing referrals and advertising” however “they do not officially recommend any particular vendor displayed [therein].” They are a one-stop-shop of the anything-you-need corporate entity but have a series of listed indemnities claiming no liability either for the information or for provided services. M.D.D.C advises that they monitor IP Addresses.
18) Business Licenses, LLC is another of the companies in that building, with a second location at another of the buildings investigated by the Feds is called. According to its website (https://www.businesslicenses.com/) it “offers business license content, software, services and outsourcing that automate and streamline business license compliance for thousands of customers large and small, daily.” The founders of the company are David Polatseck, President and Abe, Brach, Vice President. They “have extensive and illustrious backgrounds in creating software to automate state and local government compliance.” Further according to the website, “In their last venture David and Abe have created the distinguished line in sales tax software known as ZIPsales, Zimcomm, ZIPutil.” Browsing through the website, Business Licenses links to LegalZoom as an online legal resource. They also list a one-stop location for everything from agricultural, building, environmental, health and other. So, the site runs the gamut from food stamps/SNAP program licenses to funeral establishment/mortuary licenses to WIC Registration, Weapons – Guns – Ammo Licenses, to Pharmacy Licenses to Gaming/Gambling Licenses. It would appear that there are very few licenses that Business Licenses, LLC can’t obtain for a new business. Pricing is determined on the telephone and not listed. With regard to Full Service and How it Works is as follows Full Service Includes
– Research to determine your licensing requirements
– Preparation of forms and completion of all paperwork, including attachments, necessary to prepare the applications
– Cutting the checks for the governmental licensing fees
– Submitting the applications to the licensing authorities on your behalf
– Procurement of license certificates
– Electronic imaging of filings, license certificates, checks, and proofs-of-mailings
19) Paymatic Inc (http://paymaticinc.com/about_paymatic.html ) according to their website, “Based in Rockland County, NY, and Upper NJ, PayMatic Payroll Service offers payroll service in all 50 states. PayMatic combines a unique selection of payroll service products with an extraordinary commitment to customer service and satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is our first priority. The key to your satisfaction and peace of mind is our providing you with a quality product delivered in a timely manner. We will maintain the highest levels of courtesy, dedication, and quality in servicing you, our customer. Our products and services will meet all your payroll needs. Our philosophy is simple: valued clients are the motivation for what we do everyday. We focus on your payroll needs rather than profit margins or fees.” Paymatic also offers tax and compliance advise and help, workers compensation, accountants information, all under the heading of payroll solutions. The principal of Paymatic is Yidel Lichter
We will continue to update as more information becomes available.