AG sues East Meadow nursing home over financial fraud, neglect claims
An East Meadow nursing home is being sued by New York state over claims of fraud and abuse.
Attorney General Letitia James says the owners of Fulton Commons Care Center stole over $16 million in Medicare and Medicaid funds.
James also says the fraud left the facility understaffed leading to resident neglect, mistreatment and abuse.
In a statement, the attorney general said in part, "Rather than honor their legal duty to ensure the highest possible quality of life for the residents in their care, the Fulton Commons owners allegedly maintained insufficient staffing so they could take more money for their personal gain."
James provided News 12 with photos showing elderly residents from the facility with bruises and gashes to the face.
Frank Hoerauf Jr. says his family's trust was betrayed when his father Frank Hoerauf Sr. lived at the Fulton Commons Care Center.
One day, Hoerauf Jr. says his father, a retired Nassau County police officer, had a large cut on his face.
"It was a pretty deep gash, it wasn't just a little scratch," Hoerauf Jr said. "And it just missed his eye by probably an inch."
Staff members could not explain the injury, but Hoerauf Jr. believed it was caused by an exposed screw in the dresser.
The lawsuit also claims that patients were left unsupervised for hours and sometimes illegally restrained.
Lonnie Johnson's mother, Lillian, has been living at the East Meadow facility for several years. He says it's clear that the center is understaffed.
"If you called there right now, the phone is probably going to ring for 10 minutes," Johnson said. "There's nobody to answer the phone."
The attorney general's office earlier announced the indictment of a former nurse at the home who was accused of sexually abusing a resident in 2020.
A former director of nursing was also indicted for failing to report the abuse.
Staff members told News 12 that the lawsuit is against the facility's former management and not them.
James wants a health care and a financial monitor to watch over the center and make sure it's being run properly.
Anyone who has relatives in a nursing home and suspects abuse are urged to contact authorities.