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Benefiting from Neglect

Published on February 24th, 2020

Trent Tolbert is a piece of s&*%.  This SOB paid himself more than $36,000 a month at New Beginnings Care LLC, the nursing home business he co-founded in 2011, and drove a company-financed Porsche, according to court documents.  But Tolbery stiffed vendors. The water and the power bills went past due, and state bed taxes weren’t remitted.

Then in December 2015, state inspectors found numerous violations of standards in patient care. Among other findings, inspectors said staff didn’t provide timely patient incontinence care, didn’t prevent avoidable pressure ulcers and failed to administer antibiotics.  Medicaid and Medicare payments were cut off.

Eight nursing homes operated by New Beginnings have closed or will close by the end of March. New Beginnings’ legal team will spend Friday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Chattanooga to try to hang on to the seven nursing homes the business still operates. It calls them “keepers” in court filings, in contrast to two “non-keeper” facilities still due to close and six “closed” facilities.

A home in Youngstown, Ohio, closed Jan. 29 after state inspectors found it was understaffed because workers quit over not being paid. At least seven of the 44 residents wore two layers of adult diapers “saturated” with urine or feces, the inspection found, and residents weren’t being repositioned in bed to prevent skin breakdown, including one who had ulcers on both heels.

One of the issues is a self-serving revolving line of credit that allowed Tolbert to siphon or divert funds away from the care and needs of the residents into his pockets.  New Beginnings owes $2.8 million to Gemino Healthcare Finance for the revolving line of credit. Many chains use lines of credit to hide the siphoning of funds.

Tolbert and New Beginnings’ co-founder, Debbie Jones — who made $24,000 a month and also drove a company-leased Porsche — filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Jan. 22. The duo previously held executive positions at two Chattanooga-area nursing home businesses: Grace Healthcare and Life Care Centers of America.

New Beginnings owes close to $7 million to unsecured creditors, or those without collateral, according to court filings, with the highest amount being $1 million owed to the Bureau of TennCare.  It had $63 million in revenue in 2015, court filings say. But it listed its assets as less than $50,000.

 

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