Former owner of The Brian Center Nursing Home indicted criminally for fraud.

This story just came out this week. Its interesting to our nursing home abuse department because we have an on going civil case for wrongful death against this facility. This article lists the “owner” as “Avi Klien”. However, Mr. Klien, a Florida resident who has his hands in the operations of other nursing home facilities in the southern US is actually a member of a Limited Liability Company that owned the former beleaguered facility. However, if convicted Mr. Klien may not be able to hide behind this corporate protection.
In our case, my client’s mother was simple not given water which shut down her kidneys. Further, she developed a STAGE IV bedsore that became infected. Here is the story via WJHL:

They were paid to care for some of the most vulnerable among us, but a federal indictment accused them of doing just the opposite.

Thursday, four people connected to a nursing home that once operated in Weber City, Virginia were arraigned in court.

A federal grand jury indicted Avi Klein, the owner of the Brian Center Health and Rehabilitation Center. Employees Alicia Dietrich, Charlie Menten, and Vickie Cox were also indicted.

According to the 71 count federal indictment, the four defendants defrauded Medicare and Virginia Medicaid, and took advantage of patients and employees at the Brian Center Health and Rehabilitation Center in Weber City.

The indictment also included scathing allegations that the Brian Center operated without sufficient staff and supplies, that patients were neglected, and that at least one of them died as a result of the neglect.

“Anyone I ever visited there seemed to be well taken care of,” Cathie Sluss, a Scott County resident, told News Channel 11.

That’s the impression many Weber City residents had of the Brian Center. But a 41 page indictment by a federal grand jury alleged quite the opposite.

The document claimed the owners and operators of the nursing home committed health care fraud, taking money from insurance and Medicare for care and services that were not actually provided to patients, continuing to say that violation resulted in serious bodily injury to a number of Brian Center residents.

According to the indictment, a victim identified as Resident 15 was completely dependent on nurses for care. The grand jury claims Resident 15 was not repositioned in bed, or cleaned when soiled from incontinence, developed bed sores, and that Brian Center staff falsified records to hide the lack of care.

Another resident, identified by the indictment as Resident 33, had severe mental retardation, cerebral palsy, and a seizure disorder. Resident 33 was also dependent on nurses.

The document claimed Resident 33 had severe bed sores that were concealed in medical records. The indictment claims those bed sores became infected, the resident got sepsis, and later died from “overwhelming infection.”

A new company now operates in the building where the Brian Center once did business. But people in Weber City said if the allegations are true, what happened there will never be forgotten.

“They need 24/7 care, and if they can’t provide that, if they don’t provide enough help, if they’re understaffed, or for whatever reason, then they don’t need to be doing this,” Sluss said.

Klein, Dietrich, Menten and Cox were arraigned Thursday and released on $10,000 bonds after they all entered not guilty pleas. A jury trial is set for January 5, 2015.

About Michael Large

Michael Large is an attorney with offices in Bristol, Tennessee and Asheville, North Carolina. Michael has been practicing law for twenty five years and concentrates his practice in personal injury and specifically nursing home abuse and neglect. Contact this attorney at [email protected]