The owner of seven Louisiana nursing homes that were evacuated to a warehouse before Hurricane Ida hit has been arrested on charges including cruelty to persons with infirmities and Medicaid fraud, authorities said Wednesday.
Officials with Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry’s office said that Bob Glynn Dean Jr., 68, has been charged in Tangipahoa Parish with eight counts of cruelty to persons with infirmities, five counts of Medicaid fraud and two counts of obstruction of justice.
Authorities said an investigation found that “Dean refused to move his residents out of the warehouse following Hurricane Ida, billed Medicaid for dates his residents were not receiving proper care, and engaged in conduct intended to intimidate or obstruct public health officials and law enforcement.”
Officials said last year that more than 800 people from seven nursing homes were evacuated to a warehouse in Independence in August, days before Hurricane Ida made landfall near Port Fourchon. State health officials said that during checks of the warehouse after the hurricane passed, they found dangerous conditions for evacuated residents, though they said they were unable to conduct a full assessment of the facility.
“(Louisiana Department of Health) team members were subject to intimidation by the owner of the seven nursing facilities,” officials with the health department said in September.
Officials ordered the closure of the nursing homes, in Orleans Parish, Lafourche Parish, Jefferson Parish and Terrebonne Parish. Authorities subsequently revoked the homes’ licenses.
Seven people who were evacuated to the warehouse died, authorities said, including five people whose deaths were deemed to be storm-related.
In a statement released last year, Louisiana Department of Health Secretary Courtney Phillips called the situation in Independence “reprehensible.”
“The lack of regard for these vulnerable residents’ wellbeing is an affront to human dignity,” Louisiana State Health Officer Joseph Kanter said.
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