In connection with the packed, inadequate warehouse where more than 800 of his elderly residents were transferred to survive Hurricane Ida last year, the owner of seven nursing homes in Louisiana was arrested on Wednesday on accusations of fraud and cruelty.
For packing his residents into a facility in the town of Independence, some 70 miles (110 kilometers) northwest of New Orleans, Bob Glynn Dean Jr., 68, had previously lost state licenses and federal funds. Authorities claimed they discovered sick and old bedridden persons there, some of whom were wailing for help and some of them were laying in their own waste, on mattresses on a wet floor.
One doctor claimed that some people had arrived without their medication. In civil lawsuits against Dean’s Corporation, it was claimed that there was not enough food and drink, the warehouse’s toilets overflowed, and the ceiling was leaking.
Dean was being held in Tangipahoa Parish on Wednesday after being accused of Medicaid fraud, treating the elderly and disabled cruelly, and obstructing the court system.
John McClindon, Dean’s lawyer, claimed that Dean was made aware of the arrest warrant earlier this week. Dean, a native of Georgia, took a plane to Louisiana and surrendered on Wednesday. Dean would be freed on a $350,000 bond, according to McClindon.
According to Attorney General Jeff Landry, Dean is accused of billing Medicaid for days when his inmates at the warehouse were not receiving the care they needed, as well as engaging in behavior that was “designed to intimidate or obstruct public health professionals and law enforcement.”
McClindon claimed that because he had not yet seen the complete warrant, he was unable to comment on all of the charges. Nevertheless, he claimed in a brief interview that Bob Dean had not committed any crimes.
The state announced the deaths of seven people who had been moved to the warehouse in the town of Independence in the days following the arrival of Ida on August 29. Five of the fatalities were deemed to be storm-related.
Later, Dean’s seven facilities lost their state licenses. Dean is no longer eligible to receive federal financing, including through Medicare and Medicaid, according to a May announcement from the US Department of Health and Human Services. When the state license revocations were at issue, McLindon informed The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate that Dean was appealing them and, if the appeals were successful, would be restored for the federal programs.
One of the strongest hurricanes to ever hit the United States, Ida slammed ashore in August, knocking out power to the entirety of New Orleans, tearing off roofs, and turning the Mississippi River’s course as it rushed from the coast into a crucial industrial corridor. Ida made landfall with gusts of at least 150 mph (240 kph), making it the first time in recorded history that a state experienced such winds in consecutive years.
State officials reported that the situation at the warehouse where Dean’s residents were taken had rapidly deteriorated throughout the storm. Power-generating generators occasionally failed. At a time when the authorities encouraged social isolation owing to the coronavirus outbreak, residents were living close together. Some people went hours without eating.
In addition to River Palms Nursing and Rehab and Maison Orleans Healthcare Center in New Orleans, Dean also resided in nursing homes in the following parishes: Lafourche Parish’s South Lafourche Nursing and Rehab, Jefferson Parish’s Park Place Healthcare Nursing Home, West Jefferson Health Care Center, and Harvey’s Maison DeVille Nursing Home, and Terrebonne Parish’s Maison DeVille Nursing Home.