FBI Hits Nursing Home With Search Warrants

by Marjie Lundstrom, The Sacramento Bee



California’s largest nursing home owner is facing a new round of government scrutiny as the FBI served search warrants last week at his Riverside facility, and two more of his former top administrators have been charged criminally by the state attorney general’s office.

FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller confirmed Saturday that FBI agents executed search warrants “seeking evidence in relation to alleged criminal activity” at a 99-bed facility in Riverside owned by nursing home magnate Shlomo Rechnitz.

Eimiller said she could not comment on the exact nature of the federal probe because the affidavit in support of the warrants is under seal. However, the FBI spokeswoman said it was her understanding that agents took documents, and that “patients were not removed or even disturbed” during Thursday’s raid at the Alta Vista Healthcare & Wellness Centre.

The latest investigations shine the spotlight again on Rechnitz, a 44-year-old Los Angeles entrepreneur whose facilities have been the focus of multiple local, state and federal probes, along with stepped-up scrutiny by health officials.

His stable of nursing homes in California has expanded rapidly in the last decade, giving him control of about 1 in every 14 skilled nursing beds in the state, according to a Bee investigation. With an estimated 80 homes under his control, Rechnitz has widespread influence on the quality of care being delivered in skilled nursing facilities, which serve some of the state’s most vulnerable residents.

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