Public Radio from UA Little Rock
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Local & Regional News

Arkansas attorney general pursues charges against nursing home owner

2021-10-27-Rutledge-3188.jpg
Michael Hibblen
/
KUAR News
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, seen here in October, announced Monday that Skyline nursing homes owner Joseph Schwartz is accused of eight counts of Medicaid fraud.

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced Monday that a warrant has been issued for Joseph Schwartz, owner of Skyline nursing homes.

Schwartz is accused of eight counts of Medicaid fraud resulting from the submission of false statements in cost reports and other documentation to the Arkansas Medicaid Program. In 2018, Skyline exaggerated its costs by $6.2 million and received an overpayment of $3.6 million for its eight nursing home facilities in Arkansas.

Schwartz is also charged with failing to pay $2.0 million in income tax withholdings for employees for the time period July 2017 to March 2018.

“These charges come after a 44-month-long investigation into Skyline’s wrongdoings, and I will not sit idly by while anyone defrauds the state and federal government out of millions of dollars to line their own pockets,” said Rutledge. “It’s important for Arkansans to know if they suspect Medicaid Fraud, they should immediately contact my office.”

The eight Medicaid fraud charges resulted from the submission of false statements in cost reports and other documentation to the Arkansas Medicaid Program. The overstated direct care costs presented by Skyline caused illegally inflated rates to be paid at eight Skyline nursing homes in 2018. Skyline exaggerated its costs by $6,285,216 and received an overpayment of $3,610,912 for the eight facilities.

Also, one count of Attempting to Evade or Defeat Taxes resulted from Schwartz withholding $2,012,177 from his Arkansas employees’ paychecks from July 2017 to March 2018, but failing to pay the withheld employee income taxes to the state of Arkansas. Schwartz is also charged with failing to pay income taxes on tens of millions of dollars of gross income in 2018 and 2019.

The case will be prosecuted in cooperation with the Sixth Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley.