Friday, May 15, 2015

Batavia Nursing Home owner faces charges in Mohawk Valley case

By Paul Mrozek 
The owner of Batavia Nursing Home pleaded not guilty last week to a violation of health laws at another skilled nursing facility of which he is part owner, Mohawk Valley Nursing Home in Ilion, N.Y.

Gerald “Jerry” Wood III, 30, of Dix Hills also allegedly tried to cover up the violations at the Mohawk Valley facility, according to the office of State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

Wood purchased Batavia Nursing Home for $2,525,000 in 2013, while the 62-bed facility was in bankruptcy court. The defendant owns multiple nursing homes throughout the state.

Wood appeared May 7 in Herkimer County Court to answer charges in connection with the Mohawk Valley skilled nursing facility. The allegations are that Wood and three other owners or senior administrators of Mohawk Valley Nursing Home suppressed and covered up two medical incidents that occurred in May 2013.

The indictment alleges that a patient with severe dementia committed unlawful sexual conduct against another resident and that the incident occurred in an unsupervised dining room. A second charge in the indictment is that a serious medication error went undetected for several days.

Wood also allegedly eavesdropped on state investigators as they interviewed a nursing home employee.

Wood pleaded not guilty to four charges, two counts of willful violation of health laws, one count of eavesdropping and one count of fifth-degree conspiracy.

A call to Batavia Nursing Home Tuesday was referred to Gerald Wood III’s attorney, Richard Harrow of Albany. Harrow could not be reached to comment Tuesday.

The press office of the state Department of Health could also not be reached to comment.

The indictment filed in Herkimer County Court includes a total of 45 counts against the four defendants. One of Wood’s relatives, Justin Wood, 29, of Dix Hills, also a part-owner of the Mohawk Valley business and its technical manager, was charged with fifth-degree conspiracy.

Justin Wood and his co-defendants also allegedly destroyed electronic evidence of the two medical incidents.

The maximum penalty for the felonies the defendants face, eavesdropping, falsifying business records and tampering with physical evidence, is 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison. The maximum sentence on the misdemeanor charges of willful violation of the health law, criminal possession of a forged instrument, forgery and conspiracy is one year in jail.

An ironic development concerning Batavia Nursing Home is that Marc Korn, its former owner,  faces criminal charges in federal court in Buffalo. Korn, 58, owned Batavia Nursing Home when the business filed for bankruptcy in 2011.

A federal grand jury indicted Korn last month. He allegedly lied to FBI investigators and concealed assets from his creditors, including a life insurance policy transferred to another individual.

Charges against Korn include wire fraud, bank fraud, failure to pay employment taxes and making false statements to law enforcement, according to the office of U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr.

The state Department of Health, in response to numerous problems at Batavia Nursing Home when Korn owned it, appointed an administrator in 2012 to run the facility. One of the issues at the nursing home prior to the bankruptcy filing was bounced employee paychecks.

Korn’s trial is slated to start May 20 in U.S. District Court in Buffalo.

Full Article & Source:
Batavia Nursing Home owner faces charges in Mohawk Valley case

1 comment:

Betty said...

The resources nursing home owners have is amazing.