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Post date: October 26 2006

Cortland County Nursing Home Indicted By Grand Jury

Attorney General Spitzer today announced the indictment and arraignment of the corporation that operates a Cortland County Nursing Home on charges alleging patient neglect and falsifying medical records. The indictment was brought by the same grand jury that previously indicted employees of the home who were captured on surveillance cameras neglecting their patients.

The corporation, Highgate LTC Management LLC, the company that owns and operates the Northwoods Nursing Home, also has interests in five other facilities in Upstate New York. It has now been charged with six counts of Wilful Violation of Health Laws and three counts of Falsifying Business Records in the Second Degree.

The corporation was arraigned in Cortland County Court before the Hon. Julie A. Campbell and the corporation entered a plea of not guilty. Judge Campbell adjourned the case to December 11, 2006 to permit the defendant to file motions.

The charges against Highgate LTC Management LLC arise from an undercover investigation by the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit during which Unit investigators installed a hidden video camera in the room of a comatose patient.

According to the charges filed in this case and in the cases against Highgate's employees, this video surveillance showed numerous instances in which Highgate employees failed to deliver services required by the patient's care plan and numerous instances where those employees nonetheless falsely recorded in the patient's medical records that the services had been given.

The charges against the defendant are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

This matter is being prosecuted by Ralph Tortora III, Syracuse Regional Director the the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. He was assisted in the investigation by Supervising Special Investigator Michael Brady, Senior Special Investigator Patrick Lynch, and Supervising Special Auditor/Investigator Paul DeMartino.