Brius Heathcare, Shlomo Rechnitz and Public Funds – Audit

SY Rechnitz

http://www.times-standard.com/article/NJ/20170628/NEWS/170629883

State to audit nursing home company’s use of public funds

A state committee voted Wednesday to approve an audit of California’s largest nursing home owner, Brius Healthcare Services, and whether the company misused hundreds of millions of dollars in government health care funds to benefit its affiliated businesses.

North Coast Assemblyman Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg) is a member of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee that voted in favor of the audit Wednesday afternoon. He said the Los Angeles-based Brius Healthcare Services has a “very convoluted” system of nursing homes under limited partnerships and has connections with other businesses founded by Brius Healthcare’s CEO Shlomo Rechnitz.

“Brius controls one in 14 [nursing home] beds in California and it is a very convoluted network of limited partnerships and all sorts of other mechanisms out there,” Wood said to the Times-Standard. “Part of this audit is to see if they are all legitimate. … Our feeling is the way they’re doing this is to maximize profits. It’s not about providing high quality care for people.”

Brius’ spokesman Stefan Friedman wrote in a statement to the Times-Standard that Brius representatives were present at the committee hearing today and were in full support of the proposed audit.

“Not only will the audit results prove that Brius has abided by all applicable rules and regulations, it will also show that Brius went well above and beyond its duties and obligations to subsidize the care of California’s most vulnerable,” Friedman said.

Friedman also questioned McGuire’s and Wood’s information, which it states was provided by the National Union of Healthcare Workers. The union has been outspoken in its opposition to Brius Healthcare Services and created a website — briuswatch.org — to scrutinize the company and its CEO Shlomo Rechnitz.

“What is most disturbing though is that legislators McGuire and Wood would also glean their information from ‘newspapers’ and blogs, demonstrating their lack of understanding for the very program they oversee,” Friedman continued. “We urge the community and the media to follow the audit through to its findings.”

Brius Healthcare, which owns five of the six nursing homes in Humboldt County and over 80 nursing homes statewide, received over $500 million in reimbursement funds in 2015 from the MediCal and Medicare government health plan programs, which made up 80 percent of its profits, Wood said.

Wood and his North Coast legislative colleague Sen. Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) said Brius paid out more than $67 million that year to businesses with similar or related ownership for the purchase of services, goods and supplies, and paid more than $46 million to companies established Rechnitz that serve as landlords for their nursing home facilities.

A letter from McGuire and Wood to the state audit committee from earlier this month states that there is evidence that Brius facilities paid inflated prices to some of these business, with some prices exceeding 200 percent of market averages.

The nursing home company has come under fire for alleged patient health care violations, which has led to state entities denying the company’s bids to acquire more nursing homes and has led to multiple wrongful death lawsuits to be filed in Humboldt County in recent months.

“This is absolutely unacceptable especially when the state and federal government is spending $500 million dollars to care for our state’s most vulnerable in Brius facilities,” McGuire said to the Times-Standard on Wednesday. “We need to hold this corporation accountable.”

Brius Healthcare has expressed dissatisfaction with the reimbursement rates it receives from the state for treating MediCal patients.

The company temporarily stopped accepting MediCal patients into its Humboldt County nursing homes in 2015 while it disputed reimbursement rates with the North Coast’s MediCal provider, Partnership HealthPlan of California. Partnership HeathPlan agreed to increase reimbursement rates to Brius and other long-term skilled nursing facilities.

In the latter half of 2016, Brius Healthcare used its plans to close of three Humboldt County nursing homes to pressure Partnership into providing higher reimbursement rates so as to prevent the closures. Brius Healthcare cited low staffing levels as their reasoning for the proposed closure.

“We are confident we can avoid these closures, but we need PHP to start paying its fair share and allow us to attract full-time staff to meet our patients’ needs,” Friedman told the Times-Standard in September.

Partnership declined to increase rates, prompting Brius to announce its intention to cancel its contract with Partnership. However, this announcement was shortly retracted after it became clear that the company would lose reimbursement funds. Brius announced in November that it would only be closing one nursing home — Pacific Rehabilitation and Wellness Center in Eureka — instead of three.

McGuire and Wood said the audit will likely be completed in 2018 and will be made public when it is given to the Legislature. McGuire and Wood said that the findings could result in legislation or, in the worst case scenario, criminal charges filed by the Attorney General’s Office.

To read the remainder of the article click here.

Advertisements

Shlomo Rechnitz Denied Change of Venue in Wrongful Death Suit

shameonshlomo

 

Judge Denies Skilled Nursing Defendants’ Change of Venue Bid

Judge Timothy Cissna denied skilled nursing magnate Shlomo Rechnitz’s request for a change of venue in a wrongful death and elder abuse lawsuit following a short hearing today, rejecting claims that he couldn’t get a fair trial in Humboldt County.

Cissna said the case should be tried locally because it involves a substantial personal injury that occurred in Humboldt County and a recently named defendant lives in the area.

The judge also dismissed arguments made in the change of venue motion that contended “negative news articles” would taint the local jury pool, saying there hadn’t been a showing of “undue prejudice.”

The civil case before the judge — one of three currently pending against Rechnitz and the skilled nursing facilities he owns in Humboldt County — alleges low staffing levels at Seaview Rehabilitation and Wellness Center contributed to the death of Ralph Sorensen. The 76 year old died in January of 2016 from complications related to an infected pressure ulcer.

Seaview, Rechnitz, Brius and administrative services company Rockport are named in the lawsuit. (Read more about the case here.)

After Cissna explained the reasoning for his tentative ruling, he offered attorneys each less than eight minutes to present any further points.

Rechnitz’s attorney James Yee, who appeared by phone, unsuccessfully argued that case law requires the venue be moved to Los Angeles County because that’s where most of the defendants live.

In court filings, the difficulty of traveling to Humboldt County and finding appropriate accommodations for Shlomo Rechnitz’s wife Tamar Rechnitz, who holds a share in the company, were also cited as reasons for the change of venue request.

Those issues were not brought up during the court hearing.

Yee also told the judge that the most recently named defendant was added to the lawsuit as a “doe” in “bad faith” because her name should have been readily attainable and asked Cissna to disregard her Humboldt County residency as a factor in his decision.

Attorney Timothy Needham, who represents Sorensen’s family, told Cissna that Yee was citing an archaic case law in his claims about the naming of the latest defendant, who is the administrator of Seaview.

“The arguments they’re making are over 100 years old and they are just wrong,” Needham said.

Cissna told the attorneys he was following through with his tentative ruling and denied the change of venue motion. The next hearing in the case is set for Sept. 5

To read article in the original format click here.

The Brius Jet Watch – 40,000 Feet

 

http://briuswatch.org/jet-paper/

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.

Shlomo Rechnitz and Brius – Neglecting Patients for Financial Gain

Humboldt_County_Residents_Protest_Brius_Plans_To_Close_Three_Nursing_Homes_2-1

http://briuswatch.org/brius/humboldt-county-brius-home-hit-another-wrongful-death-lawsuit/

Humboldt County Brius home hit another wrongful death lawsuit

A Brius-owned nursing home in Humboldt County evicted a 63-year-old patient suffering from dementia and left him alone in a hotel room where he died four days later, according to a lawsuit filed last month by an attorney for the man’s sister.

Alan Dewey had been living for nearly two years at the Eureka Rehabilitation & Wellness Center, which state regulators fined $160,000 earlier this year for substandard care that stemmed from chronic understaffing. The nursing home also has been named in two other wrongful death lawsuits since November.

Dewey was admitted to the  home in late 2014, according to his complaint filed by Amelia F. Burroughs of the law firm Janssen Malloy LLP. He had suffered a “significant brain injury in 1975 and a stroke, which affected his vision.” He also had “a seizure disorder and multiple complex medical problems.”

On Oct. 14, 2016, the nursing home “deposited” Dewey at the Clarion Hotel in Eureka with his medications, “a half-gallon of milk, instant noodles, and Velveeta macaroni and cheese,” according to the complaint, which described his hotel stay this way:

“Dewey could not see well enough to attend breakfast in the lobby of the hotel; could not see well enough to sort and take his medications appropriately, and could not see well enough to sort and take his medications appropriately, and could not see well enough to use the key card to enter his room or navigate his surroundings.”

He was found dead inside his hotel room on Oct. 18.

At the time that Dewey was allegedly dumped at the hotel, Rechnitz had announced his intention to close the Eureka nursing home and two others in Humboldt County in a move local officials said was a naked ploy to pressure them into once again boosting his reimbursement rates.

Dewey’s sister, Sherri McKenna, told Courthouse News she thinks her brother was discharged as part of Rechnitz’s effort to clear the nursing home given “the onerous requirements for resident transfers.”

The lawsuit names Brius CEO Shlomo Rechnitz, and several of his corporate entities as defendants for wrongful death and dependent adult abuse. “The facts are horrific,” Burroughs told the news outlet. “The corporate entities running the facility made decisions that I believe really hurt (Dewey).”

Burroughs’ firm is also representing the families of Ralph Sorensen and Randy Kruger. They both died after developing Stage IV pressure ulcers that became infected, according to lawsuits that also name Rechnitz among the defendants.

 

Download (PDF, Unknown) – Wrongful Death Lawsuit

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

Lindsay Graham and Shlomo Rechnitz – Ties and Knots

NURSINGHOME_0378

OLD NEWS FINDING NEW MEANING…

 

VIDEO AND PHOTOS: Presidential Candidate Lindsey Graham Gives S.Y. Rechnitz Award For Buying 400 Soldiers Dinner

(Monday, December 14th, 2015 11:10 AM)

 

– See more at: http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/headlines-breaking-stories/369800/video-and-photos-presidential-candidate-lindsey-graham-gives-s-y-rechnitz-award-for-buying-400-soldiers-dinner.html#sthash.z78WMAqh.dpuf

Presidential candidate Senator Lindsey Graham from South Carolina came in especially to present the Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz Award. Marine Sgt. Dustin Waldrep, who recently returned from duty in Afghanistan, accepted the award on behalf of all US servicemen and women.

In his opening remarks, Rabbi Fogelman explained the analogy of the ripple effect of a pebble being thrown into the water. “Shlomo Yehuda quietly performed an act of kindness in Shannon Ireland three months ago on his way to Israel. The ripple effect,” concluded Rabbi Fogelman, “is that because of this act of kindness, we are sitting here in Worcester, Massachusetts on Chanukah, thousands of miles away honoring our serviceman. That is a true example of the ripple effect of sincere act of kindness. We can and must learn to respect and show our gratitude to our protectors. Thank you Shlomo Yehuda .”

 
http://forward.com/news/338378/businessman-eyed-in-brooklyn-fbi-probe-is-scion-of-prominent-orthodox-famil/

Businessman Eyed in Brooklyn FBI Probe Is Scion of Prominent Orthodox Family

Josh Nathan-KazisApril 12, 2016Getty Images

One of the Jewish businessmen at the center of a reported federal corruption investigation rocking New York politics is the scion of a wealthy and politically-connected California Orthodox family, the Forward has learned.

Jona Rechnitz, the 32-year-old real estate developer whose face and name have appeared daily in every New York City tabloid, is the cousin of a controversial ultra-Orthodox nursing home magnate who is a major donor to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He is the son of a former national finance co-chair of Senator Lindsey Graham’s 2016 presidential campaign who is active in right-wing pro-Israel politics.

Jona Rechnitz is under scrutiny for trips, meals and gifts that he and a Brooklyn-based colleague, Jeremy Reichberg, are suspected of giving to high-ranking New York City Police Department officials. Both Rechnitz and Reichberg have close ties to New York City mayor Bill de Blasio. Four members of the NYPD brass have been placed on desk duty in the midst of the probe.

Rechnitz’s family ties to his well-connected father, Robert Rechnitz, and his wealthy cousin, Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz, place his donations to de Blasio in the context of a broader web of political relationships cultivated by members of the Rechnitz family. At a 2013 dinner chaired by his father in Washington, D.C., Jona Rechnitz introduced a speech by Bill Thompson, then de Blasio’s rival in the Democratic mayoral primary, despite eventually backing de Blasio.

“He is an unbelievably charitable person,” said Philip Rosen, a partner at the law firm Weil, Gotshal and Magnes, who specializes in real estate law, said of Rechnitz. “He’s just very motivated to help the Jewish cause.”

 

The Forward reported on April 6 that Reichberg had flaunted his ties to de Blasio to exert influence within the NYPD’s 66th Precinct in the Boro Park neighborhood of Brooklyn. In 2014, Reichberg hosted a fundraiser at his home attended by de Blasio for the mayor’s Campaign for One New York, a controversial outside charity. The dinner raised $35,000.

 

Yet it was Rechnitz who gave more to de Blasio, including $50,000 to the Campaign for One New York, as well as the maximum allowable contribution to his 2013 mayoral campaign. (De Blasio saidApril 8 that he would return Rechnitz’s donatiosn to the campaign.) And his political and social connections go much farther than those of Reichberg, who is a member of an insular Hasidic community in Brooklyn.

 

Jona Rechnitz’s attorney Marc Harris did not respond to a request for comment. He told The New York Times that Rechnitz had not broken any laws.

A former director of acquisitions at the U.S. subsidiary of Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev’s investment firm Africa-Israel LTD, Rechnitz now runs his own real estate firm, called JSR Capital. He is a graduate of Yeshiva University, the modern Orthodox college in Manhattan, and a resident of Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

Rechnitz also appears to be something of a gambler. In 2012, he won $50,000 on a $1,000 bet that the first score of that year’s Super Bowl would be on a safety. Two years later, he won $25,000 more making the same bet. He told reporters that he had donated both wins to charity. In 2013, Rechnitz bet pharmaceutical billionaire Stewart Rahr $100,000 to the charity of the winner’s choice on the result of a Knicks game, and won.

Jona Rechnitz’s father Robert Rechnitz is the former chair of the West Coast region of American Friends of Likud, a U.S. nonprofit that supports Netanyahu’s political party. He chaired the Iron Dome Congressional Tribute, a February 2013 event in Washington, D.C. attended by a large number of U.S. Senators, including Rand Paul, Mark Warner, Pat Roberts, and Jean Shaheen. That was when Jona Rechnitz introduced a speech by Bill Thompson.

Robert Rechnitz declined to speak with the Forward.

 

Rechnitz’s cousin Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz, 44, is a major ultra-Orthodox donor whose nursing homes are facing scrutiny from state and federal regulators in California, according to a June report in the Sacramento Bee. Rechnitz is a major giver to Orthodox yeshivas, and was one of the largest donors to Netanyahu’s reelection campaign in December 2014.

 

The Forward reported in February on rumors that Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz was among the buyers of the muckraking anti-Orthodox website Failed Messiah. The website has essentially stopped publishing since its purchase by mystery buyers in early 2016, leading to suspicions that buyers meant to kill the controversial site.

 

Contact Josh Nathan-Kazis at nathankazis@forward.com or on Twitter, @joshnathankazis.

 

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.

Continue reading