The owner of the nursing home took the pandemic money, leaving the damaged facilities alone

Splitting the nursing home operation and its building into two corporations is a common practice across the country. In New York, for-profit nursing homes with related real estate companies spent 19% more of their operating revenue on rent in 2020 than for-profit nursing homes leases from unaffiliated companies, KHN found.

Financial records show that the Fulton Commons Care Center, a Long Island nursing home, spent nearly a third of its 2020 revenue on rent, a higher share than all but three other New York facilities. . In a lawsuit filed in December, the attorney general charged that the rent paid to Fulton Commons Realty, the company that owns the East Meadow, New York building, was overstated. Both the housing and real estate companies are owned by Moshe Kalter and his extended family, according to documents filed with the lawsuit.

In 2020, the nursing home paid nearly $10 million in rent to Fulton Realty, but an attorney general’s auditor calculated the property’s cost that year to be less than $6 million. Fulton’s owners and their families have self-funded nearly $16 million over four years from inflated rents, substantial management fees and “no show” jobs for their eight children of Kalter, the attorney general alleges.

James said in a statement: “Rather than honoring their legal obligation to ensure the highest possible quality of life for the residents in their care, the owners of Fulton Commons are accused of maintaining inadequate staff. members so that they can earn more money for their personal benefit.

Raul Tabora Jr. and David Yaffe, Kalter’s attorney, called the lawsuit’s allegations “one-sided” in a written statement to KHN. They say the payments to the kids aren’t for work but because they’re shareholders, and Fulton keeps an average $3 million balance on hand to cover all pressing needs. “The evidence will demonstrate that whenever resources are needed, they are provided by Mr. Kalter,” the lawyers wrote.

Residents’ families told investigators that staff shortages existed long before the pandemic. In an affidavit filed with the lawsuit, Frank Hoerauf Jr. said workers let his father sit in an adult diaper without pants and let his hair grow so long that it covered his eyes. Another time, they left him screaming in pain from a urinary tract infection, he said.

“Fulton Commons seems to be operating as a money-making machine for owners where the care and quality of life for the residents there is very poor,” Hoerauf said.

Another resident, Elena Milack, who lost a leg to diabetes, complained of poor care for years, including having to ring the bell for an hour to get help in the bathroom, according to one resident. affidavit of her daughter. – Legal and medical authorization. “Get me out of here or tell me what you can do to kill yourself,” she texted her son in the summer of 2019. In 2020, she contracted an infection that left her other foot bruised. black.

“All toes are infected,” Milack, a retired law school secretary, texted. “[M]y upper foot is dying and will soon fall off. I hope the good God gets me going before that happens.” She passed away in November 2020.

Kalter said in an affidavit that he never entered his nursing home and did not oversee the quality of care. He testified that he gave full control of the property to the manager and relied on his nephew, who is in control of the home, to interact with the home’s management, according to court filings. judgment.

In his testimony, Kalter said: “I had no idea of ​​anything going on in the nursing home.”

According to affidavits from an auditor for the attorney general’s office, over the course of four years, Kalter deposited nearly $12 million from Fulton into his joint bank account with his wife, Frady.

KHN Data Editor Holly K. Hacker contributed to this report.

Kaiser Health News is a national health policy news service. This is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.


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