No Challah Today, a Poway Chabad Rabbi, Millions in Tax Evasion and Fraud, Since the 1980’s, and Chabad did not Know?

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of California

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Former Director of Chabad of Poway and Several Co Defendants Plead Guilty to Multi Million-Dollar Tax Evasion and Fraud

For Further Information, Contact:

Assistant U. S. Attorneys Emily W. Allen (619) 546-9738,
Andrew Young (619) 546-7981, and Oleksandra Johnson (619) 546-9769


SAN DIEGO – Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, former director at Chabad of Poway, and five of his associates pleaded guilty in federal court today and Monday to fraud charges, admitting that they participated in a complex, years-long, multi-million dollar tax-evasion scheme and other financial deceptions involving theft of public money.

According to his plea agreement, while Rabbi Goldstein was director of the Poway synagogue, he received at least $6.2 million in phony contributions to the Chabad and affiliated charities and secretly refunded up to 90 percent of the donations to the “donors.” After Rabbi Goldstein provided these donors with fake receipts, they illegally claimed huge tax deductions for these nonexistent donations, and the rabbi kept about 10 percent – more than half a million dollars over the course of the fraud – for himself. Tax losses to the IRS were more than $1.5 million. At least 20 taxpayers were involved in this and related tax-evasion schemes.

This case was under investigation for more than two years before Rabbi Goldstein was shot and wounded during the April 27, 2019 attack on worshippers at the Chabad. In that case, federal civil rights and hate crimes charges are pending against John T. Earnest of Rancho Peñasquitos.

The rabbi was aware of the investigation at the time of the shooting. FBI and IRS agents had searched his home in October of 2018, and he began cooperating with the investigation shortly after that time.

According to his plea agreement, Rabbi Goldstein has agreed to cooperate with ongoing investigations of uncharged co-conspirators and to forfeit $1 million in proceeds and pay restitution of $2.5 million.

“This case has brought us all a great deal of anguish because of the attack on Chabad of Poway,” said U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer. “But whatever a defendant’s dire personal circumstances, or stature in the community, we will always seek justice, first and foremost. We cannot, and will not, sweep serious criminal conduct under the rug. We cannot look the other way because a perpetrator of crime has suddenly become a victim of crime.”

“This case shows the FBI’s dedication to untangling the web of fraud in a complex, multi-million dollar charitable donation scheme that violated the trust of the Chabad of Poway and defrauded the United States government,” said FBI San Diego Acting Special Agent-in-Charge Omer Meisel. “The FBI is committed to holding those accountable who use their position and stature in the community as a disguise to commit fraud.  All the defendants in this case, including Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, have admitted their guilt in these fraudulent schemes and will no longer be able to use deceit and lies to cheat those who were intended to receive charitable funds and taxpayer dollars.”


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Nursing Home Oversight Failures – Part (how many?) Long Beach, CA Among the Poorest

The patient from Long Beach Healthcare Center was rushed to a hospital in August 2018 with an abdomen so distended from constipation that it looked as if she had “three soccer balls inside of her stomach,” according to state records.

She died 12 days later due to respiratory failure and severe sepsis from a urinary tract infection and pneumonia. A state investigation later found that the staff at Long Beach Healthcare Center made several critical errors, including not properly monitoring the woman’s deteriorating condition and failing to report that she had not had bowel movement for seven days.

The Wrigley-area facility in February was issued a rare “AA” citation—the state’s most serious violation when it’s determined that a nursing home directly caused a resident’s death.

Long Beach Healthcare Center is one of two Long Beach facilities that are named on a federal list of nearly 400 nursing homes across the country with serious ongoing health, safety or sanitary problems.

The list, released this month by U.S. senators, notes facilities with a “persistent record of poor care” that haven’t previously been released to the public, according to a Senate report.

The fact that the list has not been released to the public in previous years undermines the federal commitment to ensure transparency for families struggling to find nursing homes for loved ones and raises questions about why the names of some homes are not disclosed while others are publicly identified, according to two senators who released the report.

“We’ve got to make sure any family member or any potential resident of a nursing home can get this information, not only ahead of time but on an ongoing basis,” said Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., who along with Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., issued the report.

About 1.3 million Americans live in nursing homes; they are cared for in more than 15,700 facilities. The senators’ report noted that problem nursing homes on both lists account for about 3 percent of the total.

In California, which has the country’s largest concentration of nursing homes, 34 facilities were on the list. Overall, California’s nursing homes average about 12.5 health citations, compared to 7.9 nationwide.

Records show that Long Beach Healthcare Center and the other facility on the federal list—Windsor Gardens Convalescent Center of Long Beach—have a history of health citations, according to the Nursing Home Compare website, which is run by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Long Beach Healthcare Center has 39 citations—more than three times the state average. Windsor Gardens has 22 citations, including one from July when a resident was found restrained in bed and soiled with feces and urine.

Both facilities are rated one of out five stars on the federal website, indicating they are “much below average.”

Jon Peralez, an administrator for Windsor Gardens, in a statement said the facility acknowledges that is it on the list and will “continue to make improvements that maintain and improve the quality of care.” A representative of Long Beach Healthcare Center could not be reached for comment.

Michael Connors, a spokesman for California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, said the federal ratings provide only a snapshot of problem facilities because they include only federal sanctions, not state violations recorded by state inspectors.

The problem in California, he said, is much worse.

“There are hundreds of poor-quality nursing homes here in California,” he said. “This list only identifies a handful of them.”

Connors said the problem is due to understaffing, poor oversight and a complicated web of “unscrupulous” companies that are allowed to own chains of nursing homes. Connors said for-profit entities have been able to acquire nursing homes even without state approval.

Records show that Windsor Gardens in Long Beach is owned by Blythe/Windsor Country Park Healthcare Center LLC, while Long Beach Healthcare Center’s owner is listed as Long Beach Healthcare Center LLC.

Problem facilities that have faced multiple sanctions are rarely closed, Connors said.

“The state almost never closes them, in fact not only does it not close them, it allows the operators who are responsible for this poor care to continue to operate and acquire more nursing homes,” he said. “It’s really a troubling system.”

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Rabbi Joel Landau of San Francisco Identity Stolen by Joel Landau of Rivington?

rivington house

Health care firm with ties to Rivington nursing home accused of stealing San Francisco rabbi’s identity

A California rabbi says his identity has been stolen in an apparent effort to promote a controversial health care firm tied to the Rivington House scandal and run by a man of the same name.

Rabbi Joel Landau of San Francisco had his photo and biography used in a series of online posts he says he had nothing to do with — some promoting the Allure Group, run in New York by a different Joel Landau.

Allure is the company that got a deed restriction lifted on the lowest East Side nursing home Rivington House — then sold the building at a huge profit to a condo developer, sparking a series of investigations.

“For some strange reason, someone is using me to blog,” Rabbi Joel Landau said. “Anyone who does a little bit of research on Allure sees that they’re embroiled in some less than savory things.”

City fires official at center of Rivington deed restriction flub

One post published on the Times of Israel website discusses the growth of the healthcare sector, before citing Allure as a company that “managed to position themselves as the best possible alternative for elderly patients, providing them with affordable quality care” and linking to the website of Allure principal Joel Landau.

Posts were also published under Rabbi Landau’s picture about Israel technology and Jewish immigration in Boston, and a Twitter account was created in his name that linked to the various posting.

“None of that is mine,” said Landau. “Absolutely, positively nothing. Zilch.”

“It’s a really bizarre story,” he said.

A call to Allure on Sunday was not returned.


The Brius Jet Watch – 40,000 Feet

The Jet Papers

In February of 2017, the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) published a report (“Misplaced Priorities at 40,000 Feet”) about a luxury jet operated by a Brius-related company for the benefit of Brius’ owner and CEO, Shlomo Rechnitz.

The following are links to many of the source documents used to prepare the report. All of the documents are public records obtained from state and federal government agencies including the Federal Aviation Administration, the California Secretary of State, and the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development.

Brius LLC Gulfstream G-IV Documentation

(1) Aircraft Bill of Sale (AC Form 8050-2) memorializing the purchase of the Gulfstream G-IV jet by SR Administrative Services, LLC. Dated September 20, 2013. Source: Federal Aviation Administration.

(2) Aircraft Registration Application (AC Form 8050-1) submitted by SR Administrative Services, LLC and signed by Shlomo Rechnitz. Dated September 20, 2013. Source: Federal Aviation Administration.

(3) Aircraft Registration Renewal Application (AC Form 8050-1B) submitted by SR Administrative Services, LLC. Dated July 12, 2016. Source: Federal Aviation Administration.

(4) Flight Data covering the period from September 2013 through July 2016, which the FAA provided in electronic “.xls” format. The hyperlinked spreadsheet contains two tabs: (1) “Sheet 1 – modified” and (2) “Sheet 2 – original”. Source: Federal Aviation Administration.

(5) Loan and Security Agreement by and between Compass Bank and SR Administrative Services, LLC signed by Shlomo Rechnitz and detailing a $3.628 million loan for the purchase of the jet. This document also describes the agreement by which SR Administrative Services, LLC leased the jet to SR Capital, LLC. See page 6 and various pages following the initial signature page, including an attachment entitled “Acknowledgment, Grant of Security Interest and Subordination Agreement by SR Capital, LLC.” Dated September 17, 2013. Source: Federal Aviation Administration.

(6) Limited Liability Company Articles of Organization” (Form LLC-1) for “SR Administrative Services, LLC.” Dated June 3, 2013. Source: California Secretary of State.

(7) Limited Liability Company Articles of Organization”(Form LLC-1) for “SR Capital, LLC.” Dated December 28, 2009. Source: California Secretary of State.

(8) Statements of Information” (Form LLC-12) for “SR Administrative Services, LLC. Dated November 9, 2015 and July 12, 2013. Source: California Secretary of State.

(9) Statements of Information” (Form LLC-12) for “SR Capital, LLC. Dated January 28, 2015 and October 6, 2015. Source: California Secretary of State.

(10) Certificate of Status” for “SR Administrative Services, LLC. Dated September 14, 2016. Source: California Secretary of State.

(11) Certificate of Status” for “SR Capital, LLC. Dated September 14, 2016. Source: California Secretary of State.

(12) Certificate of Merger” (Form OBE Merger-1) for“SR Capital, LLC,” signed by Shlomo Rechnitz. Dated December 20, 2012. Source: California Secretary of State.

(13) Excerpt from Medi-Cal Cost Report Describing a Brius Nursing Home’s Transactions with SR Capital, LLC. This two-page excerpt is taken from a recent Medi-Cal Cost Report submitted by one of Brius’ nursing homes, Monterey Healthcare & Wellness Center (Rosemead, CA), to the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD). This excerpt offers an example of the kinds of financial transactions between “SR Capital, LLC” (the corporation that operates the jet) and individual Brius nursing homes. On the second page of the document, Monterey Healthcare & Wellness Center reports it paid $530,382 to SR Capital/YTR Capital during the 12-month period ended December 31, 2015. In addition, it shows that Monterey Healthcare & Wellness Center owed $4,327,952 to “SR Capital, LLC” at the end of 2015. Source: California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development.

(14) Shlomo Rechnitz, SR Capital, LLC and SR Administrative Services, LLC. This notarized document is excerpted from the 54-page “Loan and Security Agreement by and between Compass Bank and SR Administrative Services, LLC,” which is available in its entirety on this page. It is excerpted here in order to document Rechnitz’ role atop SR Capital, LLC and SR Administrative Services, LLC, the corporations that operate and own the jet. For example, Rechnitz signed this notarized document which identifies him as the “CEO” and “Managing Member” of “SR capital, LLC, a California limited liability company, as the sole member and manager of SR ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES, LLC, a California limited liability company…” Multiple additional public records confirm Rechnitz’ positions.

Marisa Conover, her mother, Death by Haldol and Shlomo Rechnitz



Lost Messiah, on behalf of Genine Zizzo and others, May 24, 2016

Genine Zizzo and Death by Haldol:

zizzoMarisa Conover’s mother, Genine Zizzo, entered a the Roosevelt Point nursing care system for what was to have been physical rehabilitation, nothing more. Ms. Conover gave specific instructions to the staff that her mother was not to be chemically restrained.  According to Ms. Conover and investigated by CBSNews (see link below), Zizzo was forcibly held down while she was injected with Haldol despite specific instructions to the contrary. As Ms. Conover tells the story:

“I’m reminded of who Shlomo Rechnitz is every time I visit my Mother’s grave! My petite, 82 year old Mother died in an irreversible vegetative state just days after being forcibly injected with the powerful and dangerous antipsychotic drug Haldol, against her will and against MY orders as her Durable and Medical Durable Power Of Attorney-In-Fact by an unscrupulous Nurse at Shomo Rechnitz’s Roseville Point Health and Wellness center outside of Sacramento, CA. She was only supposed to do a week of physical therapy rehab for a back sprain. My Mother is a featured victim in this ABC News10 Investigative Report on the inappropriate drugging of the Elderly (click on the second screen if you want to view the news story). I will NOT rest until those involved are arrested, charged, prosecuted, convicted and sent to State Prison for what they did to my Mother.”



According to a number of studies, Haldol is used fairly regularly in nursing homes to sedate patients. Federal law prohibits the use of antipsychotics and other psychoactive drugs for the convenience of staff. It’s called a “chemical restraint.” There has to be a documented medical need for the drugs.[NPR.ORG].  While many nursing home chains are guilty of this practice, the facilities in the Shlomo Rechnitz empire currently have the worst ratings. 

The black box warning on Haldol (haloperidol)  reads as follows:


Increased Mortality in Elderly Patients with Dementia-Related Psychosis

Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with antipsychotic drugs are at an increased risk of death. Analyses of seventeen placebo-controlled trials (modal duration of 10 weeks), largely in patients taking atypical antipsychotic drugs, revealed a risk of death in drug-treated patients of between 1.6 to 1.7 times the risk of death in placebo-treated patients. Over the course of a typical 10-week controlled trial, the rate of death in drug-treated patients was about 4.5%, compared to a rate of about 2.6% in the placebo group. Although the causes of death were varied, most of the deaths appeared to be either cardiovascular (e.g., heart failure, sudden death) or infectious (e.g., pneumonia) in nature. Observational studies suggest that, similar to atypical antipsychotic drugs, treatment with conventional antipsychotic drugs may increase mortality. The extent to which the findings of increased mortality in observational studies may be attributed to the antipsychotic drug as opposed to some characteristic(s) of the patients is not clear. HALDOL Injection is not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis (see WARNINGS).

In theory, one would think that it would be the medicine of last resort in psychotic, elderly people and would not be the pharmaceutical of first choice to sedate elderly patients. If the Haldol website it correct, it can kill those on whom it is most used. The black box warnings are a clear indication to a prescribing physician or nurse practitioner that the use of this drug is at his or her own peril.


Similar to the Genine Zizzo case, Czersale Hilton’s mother was admitted into Centinella Skilled Nursing & Wellness Center West in Inglewood in 2014. Five weeks later she was taken to the hospital suffering from pneumonia, dehydration and a body temperature of lower than 80 degrees. The doctors suspected elder neglect.  According to the from, investigative reporter David Goldstein tallied $500 million in Medicare and Medi-Cal money. It was not until Goldstein entered one of the facilities with a hidden camera that the problems with the facility became clearer.  See the article from CBS that follows.

Largest Calif. nursing home chain accused of wrongful death

LOS ANGELES— The owner of California’s largest chain of nursing homes has come under fire, accused of abuse and wrongful deaths.

CBS Los Angeles reports the daughter of a resident of one of their nursing homes has filed a lawsuit, claiming her mother died prematurely as a result of the care she received.

Czersale Hilton’s mother, Geneva, 68, was admitted into Centinela Skilled Nursing & Wellness Centre West in Inglewood in 2014. Five weeks later, she was dead.

“I was shocked. Of course, I was shocked, because the last time I spoke to my mom, she was herself,” Hilton recalled. “I loved my mother with all my heart, and I miss her every day.”

Hilton has sued Centinela West, claiming elder abuse and negligence. According to the lawsuit, her mother “was admitted for rehabilitative care following a hospitalization for chest pains. Her lungs were clear and she was in good condition.”

But five weeks later, she was rushed to a hospital in critical condition, suffering from pneumonia, dehydration and a body temperature of lower than 80 degrees.

According to the lawsuit, doctors suspected elder neglect. “So, something went on there. I am still not clear on what happened over there,” Hilton said.

Goldstein visited Centinela West with a hidden camera. He witnessed a patient moaning, and his producer smelled human waste.

According to the most current 2015 Medicare nursing home profile, Centinela West has an overall rating of 3 out of 5 stars.

But the nursing staffing and health inspection categories both got only 2 stars, something Medicare considers below average.

Centinela West is not the only nursing home with multiple complaints connected to Rechnitz.

“It was like zombies walking around here,” said South Pasadena police chief Art Miller, who described patients at South Pasadena Convalescent Hospital when it used to be owned by Rechnitz.

The federal government decertified it last year, denying its eligibility to get Medicare money. It happened after Courtney Cargill, 57, set herself on fire.

The FBI has also raided two of Rechnitz’s facilities, including the Alta Vista Healthcare & Wellness Center in Riverside. No charges have been filed.

The California attorney general filed involuntary manslaughter charges against the Verdugo Valley Skilled Nursing facility in Montrose and two staff supervisors after a 58-year-old male patient died.

The attorney general tried unsuccessfully to block Rechnitz from owning more nursing homes saying his “continued and repeated refusals to comply with industry laws and regulations was harming the skilled nursing industry.”

Patricia McGinnis with the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform asked: “If that’s the case, why are you giving out more licenses to this company?”

“Under his particular company, we’ve had more closures and more decertifications in such a short period of time than any time that I can think of in the last 30 years,” McGinnis added.

The California Department of Health, which licenses nursing homes, refused a request for an on-camera interview about Rechnitz’s facilities.


One in every 14 beds currently available in California is owned by Shlomo Rechnitz or one of his companies. He is the largest single provider of nursing care. He also has more violations then any other provider. It is true that many of the homes he acquired were already problematic when they merged into his empire. But, little has improved. His “philanthropic endeavors” apparently do not extend to the patients in his care.


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

Key findings:

  • Twenty-five for-profit nursing home chains control about half of the state’s 120,000 licensed nursing home beds;
  • Shlomo Rechnitz, California’s largest nursing home operator, has acquired nearly 75 nursing homes since 2004 – and is connected to 130 businesses tied to his nursing home chain –but neither Rechnitz nor his company, Brius Healthcare, appears anywhere in the Department of Public Health’s licensed facility listing report;
  • Ten of the largest chains in the state make it hard for consumers to see what facilities they own because they do not have websites or offer websites that lack specific facility information;
  • California nursing homes owned by Genesis HealthCare had seven times the state average of complaints of abuse in 2013;
  • Among California’s 10 largest chains, nine fell below state averages in three out of five key staffing measures in 2012;
  • Five chains control about one-fifth of the state’s nursing home beds: Brius/Rechnitz, Longwood Management, Plum Healthcare Group, Smedra/Winter and Windsor.
  • It has been virtually impossible for the public to take a nursing home chain’s performance into account when selecting a nursing home.


Hughes, Rhidian. “Chemical restraint in nursing older people.” Nursing Older People Apr. 2008: 33+. Academic OneFile. Web. 1 Mar. 2014.

Kidder, Samuel W. “The Chemical Restraint Debate.” Geriatric Times 1 May 2002: 40. Academic OneFile. Web. 1 Mar. 2014.

Yu, Chieh-Chen, and Hui-Chi Huang. “Chemical Restraint and Nursing Care in the Intensive Care Unit. [Chinese].” Journal of Nursing 57.6 (2010): 83-88. CINAHL Plus with Full Text. Web. 1 Mar. 2014.

Sacramento Bee: June 13, 2015

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

At the top of the chain: Shlomo Rechnitz, a 43-year-old Los Angeles entrepreneur and philanthropist.

Since 2006, Rechnitz and his primary company, Brius Healthcare Services, have acquired 81 nursing homes up and down the state, many of them through bankruptcy court. His chain has grown so quickly that he now controls about 1 in every 14 nursing home beds in California, giving him an outsized influence on quality of care in the state.

In the past year, multiple alarms have been raised about this relative newcomer to the industry and the care provided in some of his homes. His facilities have become the target of police scrutiny, lawsuits, stiff regulatory fines and state and federal investigations that have uncovered numerous alleged violations.

Nine stories from Rechnitz’s California nursing homes

In 2013-14, these 23 nursing homes owned by Shlomo Rechnitz received a total of 50 serious deficiencies, or problematic conditions graded G or higher by the federal government.

Stories from some of those homes

Alameda Healthcare & Wellness Center

3 serious deficiencies

The facility got one of its serious deficiencies after a female resident lost more than 11 pounds in four months, or 13 percent of her body weight, and inspectors observed that she appeared “thin and frail.” The resident had told staff that the food was too dry and requested extra gravy because of her “swallowing disorder” that caused her to choke more easily. Inspectors found that the dietary aide failed to notify the cook, and the resident’s weight fell to 74.1 pounds.

Gridley Healthcare & Wellness Centre

6 serious deficiencies

Decertified effective Oct. 2 and set for closure. Surveyors identified immediate jeopardy to residents four times in five months. In the first survey, investigators said a patient suffered dehydration and died, while another resident with severe chest pain complained it took staff nine hours to get him an ambulance.

Oakhurst Healthcare & Wellness Centre

4 serious deficiencies

Inspectors issued multiple deficiencies after seven residents and one staff member fell ill from a contagious infection. Surveyors found poor hand-washing by staff, improper cleaning methods and unsanitary handling of linens. The director of staff development stated she had provided infection control training, but investigators found the documents had been taken from Wikipedia – “not recognized as a standard resource for professional infection control practice.”

Pacific Rehabilitation & Wellness Center, Eureka

1 serious deficiency

All 57 residents were found to be in immediate jeopardy when inspectors discovered the facility was using seven portable space heaters in resident care areas. The building’s heating system had been malfunctioning during a cold snap, and space heaters were set on high, posing a fire risk. Inspectors found one space heater in the front lobby beneath a table, near a lighted artificial Christmas tree. Another was inside the nurses’ station between two racks of clinical records.

Presidio Health Care Center, Spring Valley

2 serious deficiencies

The facility got two serious deficiencies because of low food supplies. Inspectors found inadequate food stock to meet daily nutritional needs, or for an emergency. Two refrigerators at the facility contained only a plastic bag with a “grey colored substance” (identified by staff as five pounds of hamburger) and five gallons of milk. The third refrigerator was empty.

Roseville Point Health & Wellness Center

1 serious deficiency

A resident with “moderate dementia” and a “history of self-mutilating behavior” was burned in September 2012 after she helped herself to four cups of coffee in the lobby and spilled them into her lap. The coffee, left out for anyone, was later found to be more than 170 degrees. Inspectors determined the facility failed to provide adequate supervision for the disabled resident to prevent the injuries.

South Pasadena Convalescent Hospital

(Renamed Mission Grove Healthcare & Wellness Centre)

2 serious deficiencies

Decertified effective Jan. 5. The facility got a serious deficiency after a 67-year-old female resident collapsed and died during an inspection. Investigators found that a licensed vocational nurse and certified nursing assistant did not know how to properly administer CPR, and 10 staff members did not respond correctly when asked later about CPR guidelines. The facility received a second serious deficiency after seven mentally ill patients were found to be coming and going without proper assessment. One committed suicide in a nearby neighborhood by lighting herself on fire.

Vernon Healthcare Center, Los Angeles

7 serious deficiencies

This facility had more serious violations in 2013 and 2014 than any other owned by Rechnitz. Key concerns were poor supervision, including one resident who used a motorized wheelchair twice found lying on the ground, injured, outside the facility. The administrator told inspectors that residents leave “all the time and just never return to the facility.” She said the nursing home does nothing to check on their welfare, assuming they “had just gone back to the streets.”

Wish-I-Ah Healthcare & Wellness Centre, Auberry

3 serious deficiencies

Decertified effective Nov. 7. Rechnitz permanently closed the facility late last year. Investigators visiting the home in October called immediate jeopardy in three instances and gave Wish-I-Ah its most severe deficiency for an infection that sickened residents and staff. Surveyors also issued a deficiency over the death of a 75-year-old resident from sepsis after improperly handling her wound dressing. They cited unsanitary conditions in the kitchen, bathrooms and ice machine, as well as improper disposal of raw sewage.

Owner California’s Biggest Nursing Home Chain Shlomo Rechnitz Accused Of Abuse, Neglect

The FBI has also raided two of Rechnitz’s facilities, including the Alta Vista Healthcare & Wellness Center in Riverside. No charges have been filed.

The California attorney general filed involuntary manslaughter charges against the Verdugo Valley Skilled Nursing facility in Montrose and two staff supervisors after a 58-year-old male patient died.

The attorney general tried unsuccessfully to block Rechnitz from owning more nursing homes saying his “continued and repeated refusals to comply with industry laws and regulations was harming the skilled nursing industry.”

Patricia McGinnis with the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform asked: “If that’s the case, why are you giving out more licenses to this company?”

“Under his particular company, we’ve had more closures and more decertifications in such a short period of time than any time that I can think of in the last 30 years,” McGinnis added.

The California Department of Health, which licenses nursing homes, refused a request for an on-camera interview about Rechnitz’s facilities.

After several requests for an on camera interview, a spokesperson for Rechnitz issued a statement: “Mr. Rechnitz has for years been an integral part of providing quality nursing home services to Californians, rescued 59 institutions from insolvency, preserved 6,000 jobs, provides life-aiding services to thousands of Californians.”

The spokesperson said Rechnitz has gone above and beyond what is necessary to deal with the challenges of the industry.

As for Hilton, she is still searching for answers and hopes telling her story will help others. “I didn’t want my mom’s death to be in vain.”

In response to the accusations, the company provided the following statement to CBS Los Angeles:

“No matter how much one sensationalizes a story with foreboding music, hidden cameras and scurrilous charges, the fact remains that Mr. Rechnitz has for years been an integral part of providing quality nursing home services to Californians throughout the state.

Regardless of the accusations of the rapacious plaintiffs bar, the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform and other special interests, the facts are clear:

Mr. Rechnitz has rescued 59 institutions from insolvency, resulting in the continuation of care for more than 6,000 patients and the maintenance of 6,000 jobs.

He currently provides life-aiding services to thousands of Californians; and

He has dealt with any challenges that these homes have faced by going above and beyond what is necessary to meet those challenges.

Any claims to the contrary ignore the facts in favor of the kind of salacious, cheap headlines that do little more than damage someone who is working tirelessly to help a population that is far too often underrepresented.”

See also: