A Consorted Effort – The Braunstein Empire, the Zupnik Empire… A Healthcare Scheme…Scam…Sham??

nursing-2Healthcare, Rehabilitation and Nursing Care Businesses Web of Inter-Connected Entities

May 18, 2016

An investigation into the Healthcare, Rehabilitation Care and Nursing Care businesses has unraveled webs of inter-connected entities and huge finances. With regard to the Summit Park Hospital and Healthcare Facility, it would appear that Rockland County missed a poison dart by not accepting Allure Group/Allure Healthcare LLC as the acquiring party, evident in new reports regarding the principal in Allure, Joel Landau.

According to Freedom of Information Act requests, the parties that bid on the Summit Park Hospital and Healthcare Facility were:

  1. Allure Group – Allure Healthcare LLC (see articles associated with Allure)
  2. Summit Acquisition Group/ Summit Park Acquisition Group (Braunstein Entity)
  3. Sympaticare – Sympaticare Healthcare (Braunstein Entity)
  4. Northern Riverview Healthcare/Northern Services Group
  5. Bronx Rehabilitation Care/Center for Care LLC
  6. Focus Investment (Zupnik) (See article Associated to FBI Raids at 386 Route 59 in Airmont)

In the case of Summit Park, Sympaticare won the bid, but in actuality, Summit Acquisition Group won the bid as well because they are owned by the same principals. The way in which the Summit Park deal was supposed to unfold, had everything gone as planned, Sympaticare Acquisition Group, would have acquired the real property of the 50 Sanitorium Road, Pomona, New York facility. In the case of Summit Park, the application with the Public Health Planning Council of the State of New York stated “There is a relationship between Sympaticare, LLC and Summit Park Acquisition Group, LLC in that the entities have common membership. According to the Project #’s related to Summit Park, the Purchase and Sale Agreement, entered into on April 16, 2013 or thereabouts was between Sympaticare, LLC (the proposed operator of the residential healthcare facility) and Sympaticare Health, LLC (the proposed hospital operator). The deal was structured in such a way that the hospital operation component was to be subsequently assigned to Sympaticare, LLC and Summit Park Acquisition Group, LLC (who we already know is the proposed real property owner). Additionally Sympaticare, LLC was to have entered into a Purchase and Sale Agreement for the real property interests in the actual facility.

It should be noted that ALL OF THESE ENTITIES ARE PART OF THE BRAUNSTEIN CONSORTIUM. So, whether or not the real property and tangible assets ever actually transferred title would not have mattered because the Braunsteins were interested parties in Sympaticare Acquisition Group and all of the conglomerated entities. The plan, and apparently not unusual, is that there was to have been a lease on the property, the Braunstein’s Sympaticare, LLC would be making payments to the Braunstein’s Acquisition Holdings LLC. Once final approvals were obtained, the lease was to be terminated and the property’s ownership transferred. If for some reason, that could not materialize, it would not really have had any financial implications on the Braunsteins.

Tax implications of the LLC’s notwithstanding, a structure like this represented a win/win for, in this example, the Braunsteins.

But, that’s not where it ends. In addition to ownership interests in the umbrella entity, Sympaticare Acquisition Group, the Braunsteins (and potentially other members of the investor group) also own a stake in or have licensing/service provider contracts with their service providers. They get everything from foodservice to ambulances to medicare/Medicaid collections, to hospital referrals (which are generally done (if done legally) by a numerical grading system) and the list goes on. In the case of Sympaticare, father and son Braunstein are the main principals but also have stakes in service-related entities.

Braunstein:

The Sympaticare deal: Shalom Braunstein was to have 35% and Barry Braunstein 10% making up 45% of Sympaticare, LLC, d/b/a Summit Park Hospital d/b/a Summit Nursing Care Facility. The remaining interests were spread across other “Sympaticare” entities like Sympaticare New Jersey, LLC and Sympaticare Lakewood, LLC, both of which had overlapping membership stakes.

The effort to buy Summit Park went south in September 2015; and since that time, Sully Braunstein has filed a lawsuit against the County for, amongst other things, a return of the deposit, claiming that the fault of the failure to close was not his.

Currently, according to an article dated December 11, 2015, Barry Braunstein (the father of the pair) is also looking to purchase a nursing facility in Red Hook, which is meeting with some community concerns, and with good reason. The name of the entity in that particular endeavor is Oxford Nursing Home. In an article in Cranes, dated December 11, 2015, entitled Nursing home’s $65 million Red Hook site gets community-board nod, while the community board apparently approved what is listed as a $65M Red Hook site, of greatest concern is the fact that the site is in a Flood Zone. That really should be the least of their concerns.

According to Cranes, “The nursing home would have a generator on-site in case residents need to remain in place, and it has worked out agreements with hospitals and other nursing homes to take on patients in the case of an evacuation. It also has a contract with an ambulance company to transport patients in an emergency.”  [http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20151211/REAL_ESTATE/151219958/nursing-homes-65-million-red-hook-site-gets-community-board-nod]

As mentioned above, the ambulance contract comes as no surprise. What would be a surprise is if the Braunsteins don’t have an interest in an ambulance company as part of the Oxford or another conglomerate of businesses associated with the Braunstein empire. Again, a win/win for the Braunsteins.

Unsurprising, the Braunsteins have their hands in the pockets of numerous elderly and infirmed (as distinguished from informed). Barry Braunstein’s LinkedIn profile lists him as administrator of the Laconia Nursing home (http://www.laconianursinghome.com/)  (https://www.linkedin.com/in/barry-braunstein-37942360). The NYS Health Profiles Website (http://profiles.health.ny.gov/nursing_home/view/150669) lists Laconia Nursing Home on 1050 East 230th Street in the Bronx. The government websites list the ownership of the Laconia as Laconia Nursing Home, as follows:

 

More to follow…

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