Why are the Rabbis not Returning Donations?

LostMessiah and our contributors, April 14, 2016

“SICKENING “SHANDA” FOR THE “YIDDEN”

Anyone notice how all the politicians rush to publicly return all of this dirty corrupt money but never a word from all the Mosdos who take filthy gelt from crooks like Rechnitz, and yes his cousin Rechnitz too, year in and year out, and there is never a Rabbi who demands that the money be returned but rather, the buildings are adorned with these crooks’ names.”

 

We received the above from a commenter to our posts. For kicks we decided to do a Google Search. We used a number of search terms and combinations to see if we could find an instance of a Rabbi demanding that donations from seemingly shady donors be returned. Sadly, we could not find one. Obviously, there were dozens of results when we added the word “politicians” to the search.

But, what we did not expect was to come across the following post from November of 2014 by FailedMessiah. We noticed that the article seemed odd relative to many other posts on the same subject (see highlighted sentence in **red). It seemed as if it had been edited after-the-fact and not just updated. It felt like a re-write which prompted us to do some follow up.

We discovered that since the writing of the FailedMessiah article (partially posted below), the problems with nursing homes and care facilities owned or operated by Shlomo Rechnitz (cousin to Jona Rechnitz) have continued. We note that what appears to be either an attempt to excuse the substandard care at his facilities or to exonerate Shlomo Rechnitz  from responsibility for it was tested by time and failed.

We further postulate that the only thing that has changed are the tactics used to deal with the problems. Rather than take responsibility for the problems and fix them, facility owners and operators have opted instead to file for bankruptcy.

Fortuitously, in the same set of searches and the links that followed, we were directed to an article by a law firm indicating that nursing home owners are avoiding lawsuits by declaring bankruptcy, effective quashing any further need to investigate and avoiding accountability. 

In a piece entitled “Are Nursing Homes Filing for Bankruptcy for the Wrong Reasons,” Kimmel Carter, a law firm cites both the Sacramento Bee articles, the Wall Street Journal and a New York Times article related to the same subject. 

A Troubling Pattern of Bankruptcy Filings

A string of nursing home chains have recently filed for bankruptcy, not because they are unprofitable or in debt, but rather as a way to avoid impending lawsuits, brought on primarily by elderly residents who have experienced neglect in a nursing home’s care.

These lawsuits are on the rise, and it is no wonder: according to one 2014 study, one in three patients who leave hospitals to go to long-term nursing facilities are harmed in their treatment at their new homes.

“Nursing home residents all over the country are suffering from injuries and are seeing their health decline due to neglect on the part of nursing home staff and leadership,” says Kimmel Carter Managing Partner Lawrance Kimmel, who has significant experience representing nursing home neglect victims and their families.

Several types of neglect may lead to injury and other health issues, Kimmel says, from neglect of basic needs, including food and water, to a lack of proper medical attention or medication for bed sores, infections and other conditions.

Since legal actions are halted when a company files for bankruptcy, doing so is one way that some nursing home management companies are dodging their accountability for incidences of inadequate care.

The group of nursing home management companies that have seemingly sought bankruptcy for this reason includes the Country Villa chain, which operated 19 facilities throughout California before its legal troubles began. Facing seven class action lawsuits, including two alleging improper patient care and one related to medications, Country Villa filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March, 2014. While the company did have issues related to its cash flow, Country Villa’s chief executive admitted that his employer’s legal problems were the primary reason for the filing, The Wall Street Journal reported.

See also :“Facing Suits, a Nursing Home in California Seeks Bankruptcy”.

Whether or not our commenter thought that his statement about returns of dirty money contributions would tangentially lead us here or not, is up for discussion. Given the mixed reviews of Shlomo Rechnitz by other contributors of our comments section, we think the resulting findings of our searches might be apropos. In Yiddish parlance, perhaps this was “Beshert”

If Shlomo Rechnitz’s companies are declaring bankruptcy to avoid paying restitution to harmed families or to escape scrutiny by regulators and attorneys then he epitomizes the  Shanda described by our commenter.

We leave it to our contributors and commenters to ponder.   

SHLOMO RECHNITZ AND FAILEDMESSIAH

“Report: Haredi Mega Donor Shlomo Rechnitz Hides Ownership Of Troubled Nursing Homes – But Does He, Really?

“Rechnitz’s homes have been the target of more complaints and federal deficiencies per bed than most other large chains in California, and Rechnitz sets up his corporate structure to hide who the homes’ actual owner – Rechnitz – actually is. Update – But so do other nursing homes not owned by Rechnitz, and Rechnitz takes over troubled, failing nursing homes with many deficiencies and tries to fix them, which likely accounts for the large number of deficiencies his homes have.”

***Please see the update at the end of this post for information that appears to clear Rechnitz of these allegations.

The Sacremento Bee has new a three-part series on problems with California nursing homes.

Part 2 deals with issues of hiding nursing home ownership.

Featured prominently (and usually poorly) in the report are several members of the Jewish community – including one of the haredi world’s largest donors and wealthiest members, Shlomo Reichnitz, the son-in-law of the pedophile-protecting haredi gadol (senior rabbinic leader) Rabbi Yisroel Belsky, the rosh yeshiva of Toah Vodaas in Brooklyn.

What follows is part 2 of that series. Read part 1 here. Part 3 will be published tomorrow here.

Second of three parts.

Marisa Conover of Fair Oaks built her career dealing with complicated people and problems. As a former executive with CBS Records International, she handled worldwide distribution of video and merchandising for such artists as Michael Jackson, Barbra Streisand and The Rolling Stones.

Then she encountered a challenge closer to home.

Conover believes that questionable care at a Roseville nursing home – and the injection of a powerful antipsychotic drug – contributed to the death of her mother in December 2012. Genine Zizzo, a 5-foot-1 widow who had lived in the same Orangevale home for 50 years, died at age 82 following a 10-day stay at Roseville Point Health & Wellness Center.

Conover filed a complaint with the state through a Sacramento-based advocacy group. She researched the controversial use of “chemical restraints” in nursing homes to subdue and control patients. She gathered her mother’s medical records and coroner’s reports, highlighting in yellow the apparent inconsistencies and contradictions.

But when Conover began poking around the Internet to research the ownership history of Roseville Point, she hit a wall.

Despite her business acumen, she gleaned surprisingly little about the individuals behind the 98-bed nursing home on Sunrise Avenue.

“Who are these people?” asked Conover, 56, nearly two years after her mother’s death.

Conover had bumped up against one of the most complicated ownership groups in the state.

As it turns out, Roseville Point is part of Shlomo Rechnitz’s expanding universe of homes across California.

Rechnitz, a 43-year-old Los Angeles entrepreneur, has rapidly become the state’s largest nursing-home owner with about 75 facilities from San Diego to Los Angeles to Roseville to Eureka. His homes have been the target of more complaints and federal deficiencies per bed than most other large chains in California, according to a Sacramento Bee investigation.

Consumers would be hard-pressed to know that – or even to link Rechnitz to any particular nursing home using the state’s website. Some of the state’s leading elder-care advocates said they had never heard of Rechnitz or his principal company, Brius Healthcare Services.

Rechnitz’s history in California is a case study in the evolving nature of nursing-home ownership, and the complexity of the industry’s corporate structures. As private investment groups scoop up an ever-larger share of the nation’s skilled-nursing care market, it has become increasingly difficult to decipher who owns the nation’s largest chains.

Elder-care advocates will tell you this is no accident: A convoluted ownership structure, they say, is a way for owners to hide assets and shield themselves from civil and criminal liability when patients are abused or neglected in their care. Confusing lines of ownership also make it harder for regulators to detect worrisome patterns of care among facilities within a chain.

Congress felt so strongly about improving nursing-home transparency that the Affordable Care Act now includes strict new reporting requirements for owners. But the government’s ability to untangle the ownership web has been slow and inconsistent.

A 1997 California law requires state officials to make detailed ownership information publicly available, but the state’s health facilities website continues to provide scant and often misleading information.

In the absence of complete government databases, The Bee spent several months sifting through federal and state records to piece together ownership structures for California’s 25 largest skilled-nursing-home chains. Among the findings:

▪ Company structures can be extraordinarily elaborate. Rechnitz has crafted a network of nearly 80 separate entities that oversee 54 nursing homes up and down the state; he recently acquired 19 more facilities in a bankruptcy case. Another large player, Longwood Management Corp., has built a different corporation for each of its 32 homes. The corporations have names like Tzippy Care Inc. and SGV Healthcare Inc. that are difficult for consumers to link without poring through public records.

▪ Many nursing-home chains create management companies to provide administrative services to their homes. Owners say the model creates efficiencies. Critics, including a Glendale lawyer who has filed suit over the practice, contend it’s a ploy to skim off nursing-home revenues to line investors’ pockets.

▪ Ten of the 25 largest chains in the state make it hard for consumers to see what facilities they own. In addition to their complicated business structures, the large chains of Brius, Plum Healthcare Group, Country Villa Health Services and Sun Mar Health Care have no websites. Other large ownership groups, including Longwood Management and North American Health Care Inc., offer bare-bones websites with no specific facility information.”

To read the entire article click, here.

 

California Advocates for Nursing Care Reform – Unmasked: How California’s Largest Nursing Home Chains Perform 

The Sacramento Bee published a groundbreaking series of articles this week on who owns California nursing homes and why it matters to people who need nursing home care. The sweeping three-part series by Marjie Lundstrom and Phillip Reese identifies and examines the performance of California’s 25 largest nursing home chains, exposes some of the people behind them and questions why they are so poorly regulated.

Part 1 is a data-driven examination of how the largest nursing home chains are performing. Using public data, the Sac Bee rated each of the 25 largest chains, giving lowest marks to the following: LifeHouse Health Services, EmpRes Healthcare Management LLC, Genesis HealthCare Corp., Mariner Health Care, and Brius Healthcare Services/Shlomo Rechnitz.
Read Part 1: Unmasked: How California’s Nursing Homes Perform

Part 2 examines the great lengths nursing home companies go to disguise what facilities they own and their business relationships. As part of its coverage, The Sac Bee launched a statewide database on California nursing homes that identifies which facilities are owned by chains and the name of the chain for each facility.
Read Part 2: Unmasked: Who Owns California Nursing Homes

Part 3 describes the Department of Public Health’s total failure to measure quality of care throughout a nursing home chain and to give complete and accurate information on nursing home ownership on its consumer information website. A Sac Bee editorial following the series summed up the situation: People who enforce the rules fail on the most basic level – helping people understand which chains operate safe and humane facilities, and which aren’t acceptable.
Read Part 3: California falls short in disclosing nursing-home ownership

Sacramento Bee Articles:,

Untangling Shlomo Rechnitz’s nursing home empire, November 2014

California’s largest nursing home owner under fire from government regulators

 

Recent articles regarding California nursing homes owned or operated by Shlomo Rechnitz:

For example the Sierra Star reported in June of 2015:

Violations amassing for owner of nursing homes

In October of 2015 Luke Ford wrote in a blog:

FBI Raids Riverside Nursing Home as California Targets Shlomo Rechnitz

 

In June of 2015 it was reported:

Budget cuts create intolerable conditions in California nursing homes

Additional sources:

Councilman will return donations form man at center of federal probe

Espaillat will return money

Brooklyn, NY – NYC Mayor: No Donations To Be Accepted By Men Named In FBI Investigation

 

8 thoughts on “Why are the Rabbis not Returning Donations?

  1. Even their name says it all. Allure, as in a false presence intended to draw someone in without an honest intention.

    There are several things the AG’s office is looking into which could clawback the money and undo the deal. The problem will be collecting any money from them because by now it has all been converted to cash and diamonds.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Many people know where the bodies are buried with Moishe Klein’s nursing homes. Mark Appel was the chairman who resigned because he knew of fraud allegations and wanted no part of it. Klein is a nephew of Bergman from the original nursing home scandals.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Greenwald was Moishe Klein’s partner in NSG (and nephew of Ronnie). Klein executed a coup using his family member on the board and kicked Greenwald out and stole his equity. Greenwald went to the FBI and IRS to report everything he knew. which was a lot since he was involved with the business for 20+ years. hat in turn caused major problems for Rav Klein who was in Israel at the time and was afraid to come back to NY. Moishe Klein is a low life like the rest of them.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. just so interesting that Rechnitz in California knows how to make a profit out of nursing homes …which in part (may or rather likely) comes from substandard care and neglect…

    in NY the profit from the nursing home came from a fraudulent (and likely illegal but definitely) unethical and massive chillul Hashem behavior that led to just emptying beds and flipping it to a luxury developer…
    is his cousin in NY involved in that scheme? Remains to be seen but one thing is for certain – someone was trying to beat CA Rechnitz at his own game and seems to have found a shortcut – same end result (huge nursing home profits) without even the bother of complex ownership to hide assets or without the bother of actually treating patients (neglectfully or not)…

    Its clear that the Allure deal needed a nursing home operator to happen – made the deed request look legit – but did the operators of nursing homes really come up with that real estate deal cloaked as a nursing home gone bad by themselves?

    Like

    • Allure was involved in the bidding process for Summit Park in Ramapo, which was won by Shalom Braunstein and his father through a series of companies including Sympatico. It is noteworthy that Sympatico and the other Braunstein entities bid against one another, along with others. Shalom Braunstein’s father is now involved in trying to convince Red Hook to allow him to build a nursing home there. The same parties, Braunstein and his companies, Allure and Zupnik and their companies are involved in bidding on all of these homes, competitively (ha – term used loosely). Many of these places end up the same way, either the buyers can’t get State approvals to operate nursing homes or they never have any intention of opening as a nursing home (which we think is also the case with Braunstein and Summit Park). They bid against each other, and in our view, they price fix on the bids so that they don’t outbid each other, at least not by much. If one fails, the other steps in. With Allure, we think he had that one all planned on Rivington Street. In Summit Park, Allure stepped out of the bidding process along the way. We haven’t found the owners to Northern Services (another bidder), though have tried (could use the help); but these are all parties that to some extent cooperate with each other. The Braunstein father and son pair, in our opinion, wants to be the Rechnitz of the Eastern seaboard and, oddly, Kentucky (we haven’t figured that one out yet). Zupnik’s entities were in the building raided by FBI Agents in Ramapo, 386 Route 59 and 21 Robert Pitt Drive. These guys not only own and operate these nursing homes but have ownership stakes in everything from foodservices to ambulance companies (look up 386 Route 59), to China companies (think dishes) to fabric and linen suppliers (think towels and bed sheets). They have it down to a science. The thing that was troubling to us, with respect to California, is that once bankruptcy is declared, the criminal/civil aspects of the treatment of the patients is quashed. It seems irrelevant. For families, trying to get criminal complaints investigated, they are stymied becomes because the attitude of investigators is that there is no need to pursue a closed nursing home. So, the cycle continues. Frankly, while Shalom Braunstein is less brazen, at least some of his nursing homes operate properly, with Allure and some of the others, the horrifying treatment of the patients is absolutely brazen. The Medicaid fraud involvement is another aspect. When you are preying on elderly and their families, there is so much despair that taking advantage becomes easy, a cake walk. That is the Chillul Hashem, in our view, more than anything else. These people prey on the sick and infirmed and their families. Some of these people, once a nursing facility gets their family members, don’t have the wherewithal to have their family member moved to another facility and negotiating such a move is difficult, if not impossible, in terms of Medicaid/Medicare and financing. It is truly awful. Finally, because so many people in this situation don’t think to check their healthcare related bills, these nursing facilities can charge outrageous prices for services or they can charge for services never provided and the families are none-the-wiser. It is a manipulation and outright lack of morality, in our view. That the men involved (Rechnitz, Braunstein, Zupnik, etc) are ultra-Orthodox in our view makes it hypocrisy on top of everything else. It’s a business of preying on the weak and profiting from the despair of others. Our hope is that eventually all of these men find themselves in jail or in a special place in hell that is hopefully waiting for them.

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      • Northern Services is owned by Moishe Klein, son of Ben Zion Klein, nephew of Reb Menashe Klein. Boro Park. Huge multi million dollar home. Also a shady character par excellence and mean as hell. Was sued by yet another character named Greenwald and then accused of tax fraud. The homes were originally owned by Ronnie Greenwald, deeded to Rav Klein as non profit, transferred to Moishe Klein who makes tons of profit and then screwed everyone over including his uncle the Rov who could not return back to the US for fear of litigation. At least one and maybe more than one board member resigned because of pending fraud charges against them by Greenwald (he went to the FBI). Moishe Klein then stuffed the board with family to avoid further problems.

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      • Once again – thank you for your great new blog!!! as others have said – even better than FM but when (if ever) things slow down please address the formatting issues so it will be easier to keep up…

        And thank you for clarifying 2 points:

        1.”The thing that was troubling to us, with respect to California, is that once bankruptcy is declared, the criminal/civil aspects of the treatment of the patients is quashed.” I dont think the criminal aspect was as clear in the main article-opinion piece although the civil issue was crystal clear.

        2. If Allure already had a horrible reputation as a nursing home operator:
        “with Allure and some of the others, the horrifying treatment of the patients is absolutely brazen. ”
        then the fact that they had the deed restriction lifted so easily is even more troubling…if the city was so inclined as to allow it to be run as a for-profit nursing home, that would obviously have been an attractive allure (pun intended) for any number of nursing home operators – why would they have agreed to one with a bad track record of patient care? Is that aspect of Allure’s history really documented? If so then this deal is even more questionable (on the city side) then it was previously. And it was already very questionable….

        Liked by 1 person

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