(FESTUS, MO.) — The owner of a suburban St. Louis nursing home where 60 residents had to be rescued after food ran out and trash piled up has pleaded guilty to federal charges for stealing $667,000 from Medicaid and spending it on strippers, gambling and other things.
Johnnie Mac Sells, 52, pleaded guilty Wednesday to two counts of health care fraud, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. He could get up to three years in prison when he's sentenced July 25 and he has to pay back what he stole.
The Benchmark Healthcare nursing home in Festus was shut down last summer. Authorities said bills went unpaid, paychecks bounced, trash piled up and food deliveries stopped.
Missouri health officials in July sought to put Benchmark into emergency receivership. They backed down when food deliveries resumed, but an August follow-up visit found that four residents were not getting medicines they needed for congestive heart failure, epilepsy and schizophrenia because pharmacy bills hadn't been paid.
The state closed the nursing home in September http://time.com/4748553/johnnie-mac-sells-medicaid-st-louis/