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Owner Sentenced for Medicaid Fraud

Published on October 25th, 2017

St. Louis Today reported that Johnnie Mac Sells, owner of Benchmark Healthcare nursing home, who admitted stealing more than $667,000 from Medicaid was sentenced to 41 months in prison, the maximum under federal sentencing guidelines.

Sells spent most of the money on strippers, gambling, pet care and country club fees. He pleaded guilty in April to two counts of health care fraud. Sells will be on supervised probation for three years after his release. He also must pay back the money.

 Conditions got so bad at Benchmark Healthcare in the summer of 2016 that the state needed to rescue 60 residents. A Post-Dispatch investigation later showed how the nursing home became a dirty and dangerous place as Sells, its president, faced a mountain of debt.

“It is incomprehensible to believe he was doing these things knowing full well the residents, the most in need of support and care” were being denied medicines and food and living in a facility in need of maintenance, said Judge John A. Ross.

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