An Arkansas arrest warrant for Medicaid fraud has been issued for the former owner of one of the largest nursing home chains in the country with facilities in 11 states including Nebraska and South Dakota,
Joseph Schwartz faces 8 counts of Medicaid fraud and 2 counts of Arkansas state tax violations for failing to pay taxes withheld from employee paychecks. His attorney says Schwartz will surrender next month and plead Not Guilty.
Schwartz operated New Jersey-based Skyline Health Care, which at its peak owned or operated more than 100 skilled nursing facilities with more than 7,000 patients.
The chain began to suffer serious financial problems in 2015 and by 2018 things had gotten so bad that Nebraska and Pennsylvania assumed control of some Skyline facilities and assigned third parties to run them. South Dakota joined the list in 2019.
Last year, Schwartz was sued in federal court by former employees in Nebraska, South Dakota, Kansas, and Arkansas who claimed they were left without health insurance even though money for it was deducted from their paychecks.
Schwartz leased some of his nursing homes, possibly as many as half, from Golden Living Centers. At the time of Skyline’s collapse in South Dakota, a company spokesman cast much of the blame on Golden Living for the issues in that state.