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Florida’s Plaza Health comes Under Federal Scrutiny

Plaza Health Network in Florida has made a name for itself in 64 years of service. The nursing home is known as the go-to home for convalescing Jewish elderly and war veterans looking for somewhere peaceful to spend their days. Everything was going fine for the Florida nursing home until a whistleblower filed a case in the Miami federal court alleging the facility of having duped the government of several millions of dollars.

The lawsuit has got the attention of the top brass in the country. The FBI is investigating the scandal along with the Miami US Attorney’s Office. According to nursing home abuse attorneys in Tampa, the civil division of the country’s Department of Justice is also in on the investigation. Some people are wondering why they do not investigate what happened to those incriminating lost IRS files?

A Broken Business Model

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The reason why the major names are all in a flurry is because the whistleblower is none other than Steven Beaujon, the Plaza’s ex-chief financial officer. Beaujon served as the facility’s CFO from September 2002 to February 2012. And he alleges that the organization has been successful in scamming the feds for a massive $130 million. But many people know that number is minute compared to how much money a broken Obamacare website cost the public.

Board Members Hatched Plan to Scam Govt.

According to the lawsuit filed by Beaujon in 2012, the scheme to scam the government was hatched by the Plaza Health’s chief executive William Zubkoff, and the board of directors is supposed to have blessed his plans and given him the go ahead without a second thought. The board at Plaza Health includes the facility’s ex-chairman and a known real estate developer in Miami – Russell Galbut. The scheme included giving secret kickback to dozens of physicians in South Florida, and asking them to refer Medicaid and Medicare patients to Plaza’s nursing centers.

Plaza Health then used these patient records to allegedly submit false claims to Medicaid and Medicare and billed them for therapy and services that were never actually provided. The company’s therapy program, according to Beacon, was run by a former convicted stock swindler. This, say Tampa nursing home abuse attorneys, is completely in violation of federal laws which prohibit payments to doctors for their referrals.

Loans at Low Rates were Obtained with False Documents

The complaint also accuses Zubkoff and the board members of trying to obtain loans from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development at low interest rates by falsely inflating the value of the Plaza Health’s real estate. The investigation is currently pending and there have been no definite conclusions yet. However, Ron Lowy, the current chairman of the Plaza Health center says that the federal agencies have not found any evidence of misconduct and that Beajoun’s complaint is completely without merit.

Waiting for the Fed’s Final Say

Plaza Health’s Russell Galbut is a high profile attorney and builder who is well known in the Miami Beach area. He has been in the business for four decades now and his family members are part of the board at Plaza Health. If proven, this could mean the end of the Plaza Heath care in Florida, but the end result is completely dependent on the result of the federal investigation.