Nursing home operator bilks system while residents starve
Despite receiving $32.9 million in Medicare/Medicaid payments for resident care between 2004 and 2007, George Dalyn Houser ‘s residents lived and staff worked in rundown, ill-equipped and unsanitary conditions, according to news reports. Food shortages, squalor, leaky roofs and broken air conditioners in the Atlanta-area facilities were the standard, not the exception.
Complaints from residents, families, staff and vendors to the Georgia Department of Human Resources led to an FBI investigation in cooperation with the Office of Inspector General and IRS Criminal Investigation of Houser and his wife, Rhonda Washington Houser, according to an FBI news article.
Houser, owner of three Atlanta nursing homes, recently was convicted of fraud and not paying taxes. His wife pled guilty to misprision of a felony this past December. Evidence presented at trial showed that the services provided to residents were so unsatisfactory that they were called “worthless” by the judge. In addition to the substandard, unlivable conditions, the homes were inadequately staffed and the nursing homes’ suppliers failed to receive payment for their goods and/or services.
While residents were living in filth, starvation and despair, Houser and his wife were buying real estate, planning to build a hotel and enjoyed vacations and other luxuries, according to an Examiner.com report.
All three homes were closed and residents were relocated to other area facilities. Houser’s sentencing will take place in June 2012.