Sentosa, Lawsuits, ProPublica, Filipino Servitude, Elder Abuse, ENOUGH?!

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WHEN IS ENOUGH- ENOUGH?

SENTOSACARE’S ALLEGED ABUSES CONTINUE AS ALLEGED!

In a March 14, 2017 McKnight’s story on the class action complaint filed against SentosaCare for allegedly keeping 350 Filipino nurses in ‘indentured servitude,’ the author adds another example of the abuse of a system intended to protect our frail and vulnerable elderly.

http://www.mcknights.com/news/new-yorks-largest-for-profit-snf-operator-kept-nurses-in-indentured-servitude-lawsuit-claims/article/643845/

Notwithstanding the detailed ProPublica Oct 2015 revelations about PHHPC and SentosaCare’s malfeasance, the Cuomo appointed agency has nonetheless facilitated the licensure of one of the stakeholders of SentosaCare-Benjamin Landa to purchase Briarcliff Manor. Operators of the largest skilled nursing facility consortia in New York State, with repeated articles regarding their treatment of both staff and patients are being permitted to expand.

Benjamin Landa and his gang of merry elder “caregivers” (using the terms loosely and with sarcasm) are suing propublica for reporting:

https://www.propublica.org/article/new-york-for-profit-nursing-home-group-flourishes-despite-patient-harm

In spite of mounting evidence that this group should not be permitted to expand, we have the Public Health and Health Planning Council’s buy with no character/competency issues identified…Page 96

https://www.health.ny.gov/facilities/public_health_and_health_planning_council/meetings/2017-03-22/docs/exhibits.pdf

            Program Summary

            No negative information has been received concerning the character and competence of the above applicants. The proposed operators intend to enter into a contract for accounting services with Sapphire HC Management Care, LLC, which is a related party.

What does it take to be deemed “negative information”? If ending the continuation of the licensure of alleged criminal owner/operators is not a moral imperative question, what is?

Are we not obliged to ask whether it is no mere coincidence that Landa’s partner in SentosaCare, Howard Fensterman, (formerly of the PHHPC), contributed heavily to de Blasio’s first mayoral campaign?

Is it such a small world that he headed up the recruitment of Schumer’s Long Island campaign donations? Is it happenstance that $10,000 was given to Cuomo for his 2018 Campaign?

How many more vulnerable and disabled elderly will our Department of Health allow to be victimized by these same people?

How much money is enough to buy the silence of the very people we elect and hire to protect the most frail and fragile in our rapidly aging community?

How many aides must be subjected to abuse in the workplace, as these Filipino nurses were; or laid off by the thousands, as facilities are churned for real estate profiteering? 

WHEN IS ENOUGH-ENOUGH?

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Lawrence Feigen and Shlomo Rechnitz -buying an ally “in the medical profession”

 

How does a 28-year-old raise more than $1 million for a congressional bid?

http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-justin-fareed-lawrence-feigen-shlomo-rechnitz-ca24-20160602-snap-story.html

In his first run for Congress two years ago, Justin Fareed, a relative newcomer to politics, relied mostly on his own money. He didn’t make it past the primary.

This year, the 28-year-old Republican, a former UCLA Bruins running back, has significantly more money to work with — $1 million.

Most of it — 80% — came from people living outside his Santa Barbara district. And nearly $200,000 has come from donors with ties to two of the state’s largest nursing home operators.

The businessmen, Lawrence Feigen and Shlomo Rechnitz, of L.A.’s Westside, have given the maximum allowed contributions, as have members of their families and their friends and employees.

Operators of skilled nursing facilities have a big stake in congressional decisions on healthcare funding and policy. Those businesses depend on funding from Medicaid and Medicare — and, in California, Medi-Cal – and they are under constant scrutiny by government regulators and inspectors.

Fareed himself is in the medical business; he is vice president of his family’s company, ProBand Sports Industries, which makes devices to treat tennis elbow and other repetitive stress injuries. In his candidate statement on the ballot, he also describes himself as a “third-generation cattle rancher” who understands “the burdensome taxes and regulations coming out of Washington, and the implications it has on small businesses and the agricultural community along the Central Coast.”

The congressional race in Santa Barbara, where Democratic Rep. Lois Capps is retiring, pits Fareed against Democratic Santa Barbara County Supervisor Salud Carbajal, who has raised $1.8 million. The field of five others includes Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider, also a Democrat, and Republican Assemblyman K.H. “Katcho” Achadjian. The top two finishers in June will face off in November.

Feigen’s company SnF Management owns more than 35 long-term nursing facilities in California and Arizona under the name Windsor Healthcare.

Rechnitz owns more than 70 facilities and has been described as the state’s largest nursing home operator. In recent years, state and federal authorities have investigated his companies on charges including elder abuse and involuntary manslaughter.

Feigen and at least 30 of his employees, business associates, friends and family members have together contributed at least $108,000 to Fareed’s congressional campaign. Rechnitz, employees of his businesses and their family members have given at least $74,000.

Federal law caps direct donations to candidates at $2,700 for the primary and $2,700 for the general election.

Feigen donated the maximum amount to Fareed’s campaign. Rechnitz contributed $2,700. Three Feigen family members listed as students in finance disclosures each donated $2,700.

In addition, Feigen, his family’s trust and his company donated $25,000 to New Generation, a pro-Fareed political action committee that has since disbanded. Ramat Medical, where Rechnitz is chief financial officer, donated $10,000. Feigen and his wife also donated $10,000 to another PAC set up to support Fareed.

When asked about his donations, Feigen said he and his family “like people who are honest” and not part of the political establishment. He said he knew Fareed through business connections in the medical sector. Rechnitz, through a representative, declined to speak about his contributions to Fareed’s campaign beyond an emailed statement.

“Mr. Rechnitz is a major, non-denominational, non-partisan donor who last year alone contributed to more than 1,100 institutions,” Rechnitz’s spokesperson Stefan Friedman said in the statement.

At the recent opening of his campaign’s Santa Barbara headquarters, Fareed described Feigen as “a supporter like all of our other supporters for the campaign.”

Fundraising success

Fareed, a onetime Capitol Hill aide to a Kentucky congressman, ran for the Santa Barbara congressional seat in 2014, coming up a few hundred votes short of making it past the top-two primary to challenge Capps, the incumbent. That year, he raised about $190,000 and loaned his campaign $197,000.

Voter registration in the district, which stretches across San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, is almost evenly split between Democrats and Republicans. President Obama won the district by 11 points in 2012, and tea party favorite Chris Mitchum, son of the late actor Robert Mitchum, came close to ousting Capps in 2014.

Around 56% of Fareed contributors this year live outside the district, and they contributed $875,000 of his $1.08 million in donations.

About 77% of the $1.5 million that Fareed’s opponent Carbajal has raised from individual donors comes from inside the Central Coast district.

At least 90 of Fareed’s 490 donors live in West Los Angeles, in the Hancock Park, Fairfax and Mid-Wilshire neighborhoods. Supporters in the 90036 ZIP Code contributed a combined $235,000 to the candidate — nearly 25% of the money Fareed brought in since the campaign began.

Many of those Westside donors have ties to the medical industry, according to donation records filed with the FEC.

Feigen is the co-founder of privately owned SnF Management, which manages a chain of nursing facilities. He is also the chief executive of a medical device company that sells orthotic insoles, according to his company website and LinkedIn page.

Rechnitz’s facilities brought in $62 million in profits in 2013, according to a Sacramento Bee report, citing state figures.

In August, California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris filed involuntary manslaughter charges against one of Rechnitz’s nursing homes, and two of its employees were also charged with dependent adult abuse. Charges against one defendant were dismissed at a hearing last month after she agreed to testify in this case. The charges against the head of nursing and the nursing home remain, and the case is pending. At another Rechnitz-owned facility in Orange County, two former employees were charged with three counts each of elder abuse and failure to report abuse. Their trial is scheduled for July.


For the Record

5:50 p.m., June 2: An earlier version of this article said charges of dependent adult abuse against one defendant were dismissed at a hearing this month. The hearing was in May.


In addition, three Rechnitz-owned facilities repeatedly failed inspections and were eventually decertified by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, an agency spokesman said. Regulatory violations at facilities owned by Rechnitz have led to hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. Rechnitz’s spokesman declined to comment on those cases but said the executive brought “59 nursing homes out of insolvency and currently provides life-saving care to thousands of Californians.”

‘A good guy’

West Hollywood resident Viktor Kogan and his wife each gave $2,700 to Fareed’s campaign in late October.

Asked recently about the contributions, Kogan said he could not recall donating to Fareed, adding that he had never heard of the candidate.

When shown a copy of a federal record noting his contribution, Kogan, 75, said his daughter, Ksenya Kogan, arranged the donation. She also contributed, and listed one of Feigen’s companies, SnF Management, as her employer.

Ksenya Kogan, an attorney, declined to comment about the donations except to say she had met Fareed through friends.

In nearby Hancock Park, Freda Stock gave a total of $5,400 to Fareed, but said she didn’t know anything about the candidate or his campaign. Stock said Feigen has done business with her husband and has been a family friend for “many, many years.”

Fareed’s campaign also has received donations from outside the state, including a $2,700 contribution from Chaim Feigen, a recent graduate of New York University who works for SnF Management and is registered to vote at Lawrence Feigen’s Los Angeles home. Asked about his contribution, he declined to comment.

Other donors interviewed by The Times said they had given money to Fareed’s campaign based on the advice of friends or business associates.

One of those is Denise Wilson, an executive at Ramat Medical, the West Los Angeles medical supply company where Rechnitz is chief executive. Wilson, who gave $2,700, said a group of people that she works with introduced her to Fareed’s campaign.

“They said that he was a good guy,” she said. “I couldn’t give you a definitive answer of his issues or what he stands for. They just said that he was a good, up-and-coming person to support our industry.”

Lawrence Feigen’s brother, Alan, who also works at Ramat Medical and gave $2,700, said he did not know Fareed personally. He said that a client, whom he declined to identify, had asked Ramat Medical employees to support the candidate.

Among other donors, Ken Zelden, a vice president at Harris Office Products in Van Nuys, said he gave Fareed’s campaign $2,700 because he’d “been told he is a good guy.” “I’m looking forward to meeting him,” he said.

At a recent campaign event in Santa Barbara, Fareed said donors from the healthcare industry comprise “a very prominent base of support that we are developing all over the place.”

Please read the article in its original format: http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-justin-fareed

Joel Landau – Allure Group – Shameless Behavior – if What is Claimed is Right

 

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BK nursing home blames Allure Group for resident deaths

http://therealdeal.com/2016/12/22/brooklyn-nursing-home-blames-allure-group-for-death-of-certain-residents/

A Brooklyn nursing home is blaming the Allure Group for the deaths of some of its residents, saying the landlord wrongly forced the residents out.

CABS Nursing Home in Bedford-Stuyvesant filed a lawsuit against Allure, claiming the company forced out residents soon after buying the facility in 2015, the New York Post reported. Allure’s efforts to quickly flip the property, the lawsuit alleges, led to the untimely deaths of some of CABS’ residents. The nursing home also claims that it turned down higher bids for the property because Allure, led by Joel Landau, billed itself as a company with nursing home experience.

An attorney for Allure fired back that the company never agreed “to operate a nursing home for any period of time, much less forever.”

Earlier this month, Allure was hit with another lawsuit related to CABS. Sabr Group claimed that Allure repeatedly fell behind on a $20 million loan and was trying to force the lender to buy the property at a 60 percent markup from an earlier price.

In April, New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued subpoenas after Allure filed demolition plans for the nursing home, with the intention of replacing it with a seven-story, 241-unit rental building.

Allure is also at the center of the Rivington House scandal. The company negotiated to have the deed restriction removed from the Lower East Side property, paving the way for the sale of the nursing home to Slate Property Group and several partners. [NYP]Kathryn Brenzel 

Joel Landau -The Allure of Escaping Millions Richer – Sorry… No Pictures Please

rivington house

Dear Reader:

Joel Landau, through a series of demands and other bullying tactics sent in the form of threatening letters from Wordpress, claimed an array of Copyright violations. The poor little man did not like having his face on our pages. So he had his pictures forcibly removed from our pages and our archives with threat of shutting us down for Copyright Violations. While that makes us kinda want to put a Metadata link to his name and Allure Group on every single one of our pages, so that he and Allure will forever be synonymous with every ill, morally bankrupt and skewed activity referenced on these pages (particularly where healthcare facilities are concerned), we figured that would simply be unproductive. Instead, we are going to publish every article about Landau and Allure. We will publish every piece of information available. Just send it over. We hope that one day someone, more clever than him and his band of merry loophole-finders, figures out a way to make him pay for his reprehensible though remarkably clever behavior. He is another person who manipulates the lives of our most vulnerable citizens for ill-gotten gains. To Joel Landau and Shlomo Rechnitz – L’chaim…

http://therealdeal.com/2016/12/30/city-admits-it-doesnt-have-a-legal-case-against-allure-group-over-rivington-house/

City admits it doesn’t have a legal case against Allure Group over Rivington House

Mayor said law department can’t find “pathway” to seeking restitution from Joel Landau’s firm

The city’s hands may be tied when it comes to seeking restitution for the controversial sale of a Manhattan nursing home to a luxury condo developer.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, who in April vowed to sue Allure Group for flipping the property at 45 Rivington Street, said Thursday that the city’s lawyers “cannot find an actual pathway” to restitution.

“I support anything that would get us further restitution for what happened,” the mayor said at a press conference, Politico reported. “I made very clear my anger at the way the private-sector firm handled things,” he said. However, “So far, our law department cannot find an actual pathway.”

Allure made $72 million when it sold 45 Rivington to Slate Property Group, after convincing the city to lift a deed restriction on the site. The de Blasio administration maintained that Allure did not tell the city it intended to sell the building to a developer while negotiations were taking place. But a report from the Department of Investigations found that reps for Allure told the city in March 2015 that if the deed weren’t lifted, it would consider a conversion of the property to luxury apartments.

Comptroller Scott Stringer also accused Allure of misleading City Hall, but mostly faulted the de Blasio administration for mishandling information at virtually every turn. Allure maintains it did nothing wrong.

The mayor has insisted he was not aware of the deal.

Allure, led by Joel Launda, has maintained it did not lie to the city, but earlier this month, the mayor signed a bill to increase oversight of deed restrictions.

Meanwhile, the city hired two law firms this year to represent it in the Rivington deal, and in campaign finance investigations. The contracts are for more than $10 million, Politico reported. [Politico]E.B. Solomont

Shlomo Rechnitz – the Eureka plead for Poverty – Staggering $1M Loss Claimed but $4.6M Back to Rechnitz’s $3B/year

news1_1mag

“Included in the lease agreement, which was forwarded to the Journal by NUHW staff, is a condition that Rechnitz reinvest $3 million back into infrastructure repairs on the facilities. A check of permits pulled for all five facilities reveals this work has not been done. The company may plead poverty: On paper, Eureka charted a staggering $1 million dollar loss for the 2014-15 fiscal year. But according to these same records, all five companies sent around $4.6 million back to companies associated with their owner, who in 2015 said his income was around $3 billion a year.”

Bluffing 

A billionaire’s high-stakes gamble with patient lives

 

Are the most vulnerable patients in Humboldt County — the disabled and the elderly — better off here than they would be in skilled nursing facilities hundreds of miles away in Redding or Santa Rosa? For the concerned family members and patient advocates who spent the last four months fighting to keep Brius Healthcare from closing three of its five Humboldt facilities, the answer is yes. But news that the company would only close one facility — Pacific Rehabilitation and Wellness Center — might be a bittersweet victory. There is nothing to prevent Brius, which has a virtual monopoly on skilled nursing in Humboldt County, from threatening to once again withhold care. The service these facilities provide — rehabilitation and daily medical assistance — is vital. It is also, according to state and federal audits, substandard, poorly tracked and almost impossible to fix with the system currently in place.

Many of us will not know what a skilled nursing facility is until we have the misfortune of having to use one. This is the case with Jolon Wilson, who was severely injured in a car crash last January and spent several weeks in a Santa Rosa hospital before transferring to a top-rated care home, Broadway Villa, in Sonoma. It was challenging to be away from her family and support network, Wilson said, but she concentrated on getting better. She returned home in March. Shortly thereafter, her mother, Joan Poe, broke an ankle and needed rehabilitation of her own. Wilson assumed that Eureka Rehabilitation and Wellness Center would be similar to the facility in Sonoma. It was not.

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Shlomo Rechnitz – #1 of the Top 10 Bad Actors and Bad Looks…

http://www.northcoastjournal.com/humboldt/top-10-dick-moves/Content?oid=4251355

The North Coast Journal Presents:

Top 10 Dick Moves

The year in bad actors and bad looks

Some ill deeds, large or small, illegal or just plain wrong, go unpunished. This year had its share of shady deals and self-serving choices, not to mention a few jackasses who seemed to do wrong for no damn reason. Here we pay tribute to 10 jerks who made us roll our eyes, curl our lips and pound our desks. These, dear reader, were some dick moves.

….

1. Shlomo Rechnitz

We have a winner. The game of chicken this out-of-area billionaire played with skilled nursing facilities — threatening closure in a bid for more state cash — was a greed-driven dick move that jeopardized some of the most vulnerable members of our community: the elderly he is charged with caring for. F— that guy.

Shlomo Rechnitz, Sing, While the Elderly in Your Care Live in Deplorable Conditions…

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http://comptonherald.com/chronic-abuse-inglewood-centinela-nursing-home/

 

Centinela Skilled Nursing &Wellness Centre in Inglewood under fire again for negligent care of woman who ended up in ICU; numerous others in California owned by Brius Healthcare violated health codes

INGLEWOOD (MNS) — Reva McKissick was admitted into the Centinela Skilled Nursing & Wellness Centre in Inglewood for recuperation and rehabilitation following discharge from Centinela Hospital Medical Center, where she was treated six weeks for a severe body infection.

McKissick (not her real name) was progressing steadily, according to family members (who requested anonymity) until the evening of July 25, when something went terribly wrong.

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