Rabbi Zvi Feiner Accused of Nursing Home Ponzi Scheme

Rabbi accused of nursing home Ponzi scheme ordered to pay $13M to investor

A North Shore rabbi has been ordered to pay $13 million in his ongoing legal battle over an alleged real estate Ponzi scheme that bilked investors out of more than $35 million.

Zvi Feiner, rabbi of an Orthodox Jewish Congregation in Skokie and head of the Feiner Investment Corporation, stands accused of using his status in the Jewish community to entice investment into nursing homes, which he would acquire and ultimately sell without paying back investors.

His alleged victims include a 90-year-old Holocaust survivor, a group of Jewish day school teachers that lost their life savings in the scheme, and a fellow Orthodox Jewish rabbi and businessman.

Rabbi Sidney Glenner invested more than $25 million in six loans to Feiner’s real estate companies between 2013 and 2015. The money was to be used to invest in nursing and retirement homes, with Feiner offering up as collateral his existing real estate holdings, according to court records.

At the same time Glenner made the loans, Feiner’s businesses began to falter. By 2014, a lien was placed on all of Feiner’s assets by a different investor, complicating Glenner’s investments and his efforts to be repaid.

When Glenner’s loan payments came due, Feiner said he could not pay due to “financial stress,” court documents show. Instead, he offered up various properties. But he already had sold some of the properties, and the value of the collateral is disputed by the two parties, according to court documents.

For example, Glenner in 2013 made a $3.8 million loan to Feiner for a nursing home investment in Downstate Decatur. The Decatur venture is also the subject of other lawsuits against Feiner, in which investors claimed the rabbi would make regular disbursements to investors before abruptly stopping.

Feiner told investors the nursing home’s operator was not paying rent and so he was forced to turn the property over to a lender. Local news reports, however, allege Feiner stopped paying the bills for the facility, causing its operator to close its doors. While the nursing home was open, Feiner borrowed from the facility and never paid it back, according to a previous lawsuit.

Eventually, the building that housed the nursing home was turned over to Glenner. The property was valued at $500,000, but Glenner had to pay $450,000 in unpaid real estate and payroll taxes, court records claim, leaving an the outstanding loan payment at $3.75 million.

In another case, Glenner loaned Feiner $7 million, and Feiner offered up four properties as collateral. When Feiner didn’t make payments on the loan, Glenner sought to take over the properties used as collateral — except Feiner had already sold two of them, according to court records.

In 2017, Glenner sought arbitration against Feiner in the Jewish Ecclesiastical Court of the Chicago Rabbinical Council. The court ordered Feiner to pay $13.2 million in the case. Now, lawyers for Glenner are asking the Cook County Circuit Court to confirm the Rabbinical Court’s ruling.

Feiner could not immediately be reached for comment.

This is at least the fourth lawsuit filed against Feiner involving his nursing home investment enterprise.

In November, the Cohen family of Chicago sued Feiner in federal court, saying he took more than $2 million in investments and never repaid them. One of those investments involves the Decatur nursing home. The family also invested in a South Holland retirement home that Feiner eventually sold for a profit of $3.6 million, which he did not share with investors, the suit alleges.

Earlier this year, a group of investors sued Feiner, saying they invested $15.5 million in his nursing home companies and were never repaid. In September 2017, a federal suit was filed against Feiner, with investors saying the rabbi’s failure to pay them for joint ventures he sold constituted a violation of the RICO Act.

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Holding Nursing Home Owners Accountable for Compliance Violations and Deplorable Care

Ortt backing package of bills aimed at greater accountability of nursing home owners

When the new legislative session begins in Albany in January, State Senator Robert Ortt will be submitting two bills – and putting his support behind an already forwarded piece of legislation – that supporters say will hold owners of nursing more homes accountable for compliance violations.

Ortt, a Republican whose district covers the northern counties of Western New York, wants to create unscheduled inspections of nursing homes and under one of his two bills, 40 percent of those surprise visits would come outside regular business hours, including nights, weekends and even holidays.

Kelly Bentley, whose grandmother resides in a nursing home, speaks of some of the problems including injuries her loved one has suffered in her residence. Standing with her and listening at the podium is State Senator Robert Ortt, who is pushing for a series of bills in 2019 that he says will hold owners of non-compliant nursing homes more accountable.
CREDIT MICHAEL MROZIAK, WBFO

 

Under the current rules, facilities are given advance warning of a pending visit which, Ortt points out, gives many the opportunity to make the adjustments which keep them in good graces while the inspectors are watching.

“Even myself, when I went to a facility, naturally we told them we were coming,” said Ortt, whose committee positions includes chairing the Senate’s Mental Health and Devrelopmental [sic] Disabilities Committee. “I was told after the visit – and I’ve gone through a couple – by residents and family members who called my office, and pleaded that I not tell anybody that they called… they said ‘what you saw yesterday was not how it normally is.'”

The second of Ortt’s pending submissions will prevent any owners of nursing homes found with violations to acquire more properties until they’re rectified, after which there would be a two-year probationary period after the issues are resolved.

Supporting Ortt’s legislation is Kelly Bentley, who chairs the Family Council of the Villages of Orleans Health and Rehabilitation Center. Her grandmother, Florence Moden, has suffered abuses in her nursing home, according to Bentley, most recently as early December. Despite the family’s complaints, she says, the problems have not been addressed.

“This is going to protect them,” she said. “This is our future, our fate. Im sorry, but we have to have some changes in Albany that are going to come back and ensure that we as family members, who have entrusted someone to care for our loved ones, that they’re actually going to receive that.”

He is also throwing his support behind a proposal submitted this past May by outgoing State Senator Kemp Hannon that gives the New York State Department of Health more powers to fine violators. It would also require utilizing independent quality monitors, approved by the DOH, to directly supervise homes found to be non-compliant to ensure violations are addressed and fixed.

“Right now, there’s a nursing home that’s failing. They have to come up with a corrective action plan. Who makes sure that they do that?” Ortt asked. “Right now, I guess really the answer is we don’t know. We hope that they comply. If they don’t, maybe we get a complaint or call, but there’s no one on site to hold the feet to the fire of the facility.”

Hannon, the original sponsor of the bill which includes independent quality monitors, was defeated in the November elections and will leave office after nearly three decades. Ortt, who is certain to lose his chair position in the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee when Democrats assume the majority in January, acknowledged the challenge of forwarding his bills under new leadership. 

He’s hopeful, though, that his legislation will gain the support needed to be forwarded to Andrew Cuomo’s desk later in 2019. 

To read the remainder of the article click, here.

 

Ohio Court Ruling Favoring Surviving Spouse as Against Nursing Home

Local nursing-home owner, state association appeal Supreme Court decision

Lawyers for the owners of Carlisle Manor appealed a Ohio Supreme Court decision in a case over billing surviving spouses for bills left by loved ones who have died. STAFF/LAWRENCE BUDD

 

The Ohio Health Care Association is urging the Ohio Supreme Court to reconsider a decision seen by some as relief for surviving spouses in the state facing bills for the care of deceased loved ones.

On Dec. 12, the state’s high court ruled 5-2 that Embassy Healthcare should have filed a claim with the estate of a Warren County widow’s husband before pursuing payment from her for his care under Ohio’s “necessaries” statute.

The decision reversed an appeals court ruling favoring the health-care provider.

RELATED: Advocates say Warren County case a big win for Ohio seniors

Advocates for seniors said the ruling would have far-reaching implications for surviving spouses facing bills for the care of loved ones who have died.

In urging reconsideration, a lawyer representing the owner of the nursing home, Carlisle Manor in Warren County, questioned the implications of the ruling for other senior health-care providers.

“Must they follow this case and engage in the futile act (as the dissent rightly notes) of opening an estate (likely naming the creditor as administrator), present the claim to the administrator, and have that claim denied by the self-same creditor for insufficient assets?” Susan Audey, the lawyer filing for Embassy Healthcare, asked in a motion to reconsider and clarify the decision.

“The unintended consequence to loved ones of requiring this expedited inquiry so soon after the death to preserve a creditor’s claims appears harsh, stressful, and unfair to the bereaved survivors,” Audey added in her Dec. 21 motion for reconsideration and clarification.

RELATED: Paying dead spouse’s bills at issue in Ohio Supreme Court case

On Christmas Eve, the health care association, representing 1,000 nursing homes, assisted living center and service providers, filed the brief in support of the motion.

“The Court’s decision creates an ambiguity that will lead to further confusion,” lawyer David Brown said.

The case stems from a lawsuit originally filed by Embassy, the nursing-home owner, against widow Cora Sue Bell in Franklin Municipal Court over bills owed for care of her husband, Robert, who had died.

RELATED: Warren County widow winds nursing home fight over dead spouse’s bills

In filings urging the state’s high court to rethink their decision and its implications, Brown and Audey point to a 1990 ruling.

In 1990, in Ohio State University Hospital v. Kinkaid, the court “found no such requirement in a case where a health care provider-creditor, not unlike Embassy Healthcare here, sought payment for unpaid medical-care necessaries from a spouse after the decedent’s death and after the time for presenting claims to an estate expired,” Audey said in her motion.

Bell’s lawyer and those who filed briefs in support of her Ohio Supreme Court appeal have until Monday to argue against reconsideration.

A lawyer with one of the groups backing Bell’s case, the Legal Aid Society of Columbus, said he wasn’t surprised.

“Anytime a corporation loses at the Supreme Court level, it’s probably not a bad idea to file for reconsideration,” Scott Turguson said. “There’s a lot of money involved.”

Turguson was unsure if he or others who supported the appeal by Pro Seniors, a senior advocacy group in Cincinnati, would file responses.

He expressed confidence that the decision would stand, while pointing out two new Supreme Court justices would be joining the court in January.

I think it’s very unlikely. Anything’s possible,” Turguson said.

Miriam Sheline, the lawyer behind the successful high-court appeal, said the arguments in the latest motion were nothing new and predict the ruling will stand.

Holding Nursing Home Owners Accountable for the Deplorable Conditions of their Facilities, NY

https://www.whec.com/news/bills-proposed-to-hold-nursing-home-owners-accountable/5193223/

Bills proposed to hold nursing home owners accountable

December 28, 2018 06:25 PM

Following a year-long News10NBC investigation into the horrific conditions some were living in while being patients at Sodus Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, there’s a new push to change state law to help keep people in nursing homes safe.  

News10NBC has been exposing the care and conditions inside Sodus Rehabilitation and Nursing Center after more than a dozen patients and family members stepped forward with horror stories about the physical conditions, food, cleanliness and lack of staffing inside.

Some of the more egregious accounts come from those who were rehabilitation patients and nearly lost limbs, they say, because of inadequate medical care.    

The CEO of the company that owns Sodus Rehabilitation and Nursing Center refused to answer any of News10NBC Investigative Reporter Jennifer Lewke’s questions when she tracked him down at one of his downstate nursing homes.

He asked her to leave the property and then called the police.  

Lewke also went to Albany to find the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Health, Dr. Howard Zucker.

Dr. Zucker’s department is tasked with regularly inspecting nursing homes. “I’ve seen your reports and I’ve been following what you’re doing and our entire team has been on this issue,” he told News10NBC.

But Senator Robert Ortt of Lockport doesn’t think that’s good enough.

“In many cases, these people have nowhere else to go. This is their only spot, their only opportunity and so no matter how bad the service, no matter how terrible the care, they still stay there and the owner still gets paid,” Ortt said at a press conferencing announcing new legislation to strengthen protections.

Ortt’s set of bills would require independent quality monitors to enforce compliance with corrective plans when problems are identified. He also wants at least 40 percent of nursing home inspections to be conducted on nights, weekends and holidays.

Ortt’s legislation, if approved, would also prevent current nursing home owners from buying new facilities while their current properties are facing violations and/or compliance issues.

“Look, I’m all for making money but if you’re going to buy a nursing home and you’re going into that business, you’re going to make money the right way. You’re not going to make it on the backs of our loved ones, on the backs of our seniors with providing them terrible, terrible care,” Ortt added. 

RELATED STORIES

NYS health commissioner reacts to News10NBC investigation into Sodus nursing home

Exclusive: News10NBC tracks down the owner of Sodus nursing home

Outrage grows over conditions inside Sodus nursing home

Families: Loved ones in Sodus nursing home are in imminent danger

Former Sodus nursing home patient: “I would have laid in that bed and died”

GRAPHIC VIDEO WARNING: Horrifying video of medical situation at Sodus nursing home

Are staffing shortages leading to subpar care at Sodus nursing home?

Top 10 Dick Moves of 2018 – One of Ours Made the List… The #1 Spot… and a Philanthropist, No Less

Top 10 Dick Moves of 2018 

Listen, it has been a year. You’d think the dick moves on the national stage would overshadow us but not so. Looking back on 2018, we saw a bevy of folks making classic dick moves — selfishly and flagrantly doing wrong because, well, they could — running the gamut from racism to bad manners with a strong showing in screwing over Humboldt’s flora and fauna. Peruse this year’s cavalcade of bullshit and let us know if we’ve missed somebody.

 

click to enlargeShlomo Rechnitz. - HOLLY HARVEY

HOLLY HARVEYm Shlomo Rechnitz.

1. Just when you thought he’d slunk off our list, Shlomo Rechnitz, the billionaire owner of Brius Healthcare and the four Humboldt skilled nursing facilities that have been chronically understaffed and cited for violations over the years, is back. This time his facilities, which have settled a pair of wrongful death lawsuits out of court, are asking to be exempted from a new state requirement that they provide a minimum of 3.5 hours per day of caregiver staffing for each patient in their care. But hey, it’s just the health and safety of our elders at stake, so why pony up for the absolute legal minimum? Congratulations on this year’s champion dick move, Shlomo.

Jennifer Fumiko Cahill is the arts and features editor at the Journal. Reach her at 442-1400, extension 320, or jennifer@northcoastjournal.com. Follow her on Twitter @JFumikoCahill.

York County, Pleasant Acres Nursing and Rehab Death Investigation –

Pleasant Acres

Autopsy planned as part of Pleasant Acres death investigation, DA and police chief say

 

An investigation continues following the death of a resident at the Pleasant Acres Nursing & Rehabilitation Center.

Springettsbury Township Police Chief Dan Stump and District Attorney Dave Sunday, speaking at a news conference Wednesday afternoon, said there will be an autopsy in order to ensure a thorough investigation.

Nancy Young, 89, died Saturday from complications she suffered after falling Dec. 8.Stump said she had entered another resident’s room. The resident asked her to leave and shut the door behind her. Young then fell, fracturing her hip and wrist.

“No one at Pleasant Acres nursing home is in danger,” Stump said. “This was an isolated incident…There is no evidence to suggest that the death or injuries was intentional.”

The autopsy is scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown to help determine the cause of death, according to the coroner’s office.

Stump said he understands members of the community are concerned, and that’s why he and Sunday were speaking about the incident.

Police were notified when it occurred, Stump said. Officers at that time did not determine anything criminal occurred, but follow-up was required once Young died.

Stump said they are not aware of the two residents having any problems previously. “My heart breaks for the family of Mrs. Young.” It’s bad enough to have a loved one die, but the details of the incident make it harder, he said.

The nursing home, located at 118 Pleasant Acres Road in the township, was a longtime county property. The County of York sold the home to Premier Health Care Management earlier this year for $30.8 million cash.

More: Photos: ‘Amazing public servants’ honored at York County district attorney awards

Both residents have severe dementia, Premier Healthcare Management CEO Lisa Sofia said Wednesday.

York County Coroner Pam Gay ruled the death a homicide, on the basis that the death was “at the hands of another.”  

Altercation 

The altercation between Young and the other resident was not witnessed by anyone. It also was not captured on surveillance video, since there are no cameras in that area of the building for the residents’ privacy, Sofia said.

However, what Sofia believes occurred is based on what was heard by employees and what they saw when they responded to the scene.

Sofia said they believe the altercation began when Young entered the other resident’s room.

More: Photos: Notable York County people lost in 2018

“The staff heard the one resident yell, ‘Get out of my room’ and heard the door slam,” she said. 

The door slam startled Young, which then caused her to fall forward, breaking her wrist and hip, Sofia said.

She said she does not believe the door struck Young.

“If the door would have hit this woman, it would have stopped the door from slamming,” she said. She added that the resident who slammed the door has no recollection or awareness of what occurred.

Sofia said Pleasant Acres notified police and the Pennsylvania Department of Health within two hours of Young’s fall.

Department of Health spokesman Nate Wardle said the agency could not comment, “because an incident report, if filed, and any possible subsequent investigation is confidential.”

Sofia said Premier will conduct a root-cause analysis to “see if there’s anything we can learn from this situation.”

“We are so sorry that this happened to this resident; we feel so awful,” Sofia said. “We also feel awful for the other resident, who had no capacity to conceptualize what happened.

Ruled a homicide

Gay said that her training dictates that when a death is hinged on another individual’s involvement, regardless of intent, then the death should be ruled a homicide.

Specifically, had the resident not been present at the time and had the resident not gotten into an altercation with Young, then Young would most likely still be alive, Gay said.

More: This York County woman is alive today because of Narcan

“It’s death at the hands of another,” Gay said. “If it didn’t involve another person, it would be an accidental death.”

To read the remainder of the article, click here.

 

Protecting our Elderly and Vulnerable, New York, California and Beyond – Time to Start Making Informed Choices in Nursing Care PART I

PROTECTING THE ELDERLY AND MOST VULNERABLE FROM PROFIT OVER CARE

To our Readers:

To this point, we have covered the issues related to Nursing Care in the United States, only to the extent of general coverage, without much editorial opining. ProPublica’s journalists in the following article: How N.Y.’s Biggest For-Profit Nursing Home Group Flourishes Despite a Record of Patient Harm did an exceptional job in their 2015 expose and were, like LostMessiah, sued for their efforts.

A review of Sentosa’s case against the freelance journalists and the current suit against LostMessiah’s founder reveals striking similarities. 

Over the next several months we will be posting information which is currently available on the  US Government website for Nursing Home facilities. https://data.medicare.gov/Nursing-Home-Compare/Ownership/y2hd-n93e/data

We will be posting lists of the nursing homes, their owners and if their owners are LLC’s, we will be posting details of LLC Holdings and we will be cross-referencing those names with reports, like the ProPublica report listed above.

Unless proven otherwise, we believe that if you cannot trace ownership, avoid the nursing home for your parent, loved one or yourself. Absent reason to believe that the listed LLC’s have interests in homes that are known to offer superior care and staff to patient ratios, kindness, decency and compassion, we believe they should be avoided. In the case of elder care and nursing and rehabilitation, there should be accountability. If New York is going to fail in that regard, it is about time that you have a path to help protect yourself and those you love.

We note that if there is a pattern and practice of behavior and treatment within a subset of commonly owned facilities, and that behavior is contrary to good patient care,  than all of the facilities within that ownership structure should be avoided, unless there is reason to believe otherwise.    

We will accept questions at our website gmail account: findinglostmessiah@gmail.com and we ask you to kindly provide any tips you may have or want exposed.

For people who have already gotten in touch with us on this subject, we are pursuing your concerns accordingly.  

FOR FURTHER READING: https://www.carepathways.com/articles/signs-of-elderly-neglect-or-abuse-in-nursing-home.cfm