Nursing Home Co. Sues Former Execs Indicted In Kickback Scheme

Sep 19, 2017

Indiana-based American Senior Communities is suing its former executives over claims they embezzled millions from the nursing home company in a years-long kickback scheme.

The civil suit follows a major federal money laundering and fraud indictment last fall.

Former American Senior Communities CEO James Burkhart and his COO Daniel Benson were indicted in October 2016 on charges of money laundering and fraud.

They allegedly used shell businesses to overcharge their own company for various services, then pocketed a difference of $16 million.

The jury trial in that criminal case is set to begin Jan. 29, 2018, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Meanwhile, American Senior Communities, or ASC, is seeking its own damages.

“The lawsuit seeks to recover losses and damages ASC sustained by virtue of the actions of Burkhart and the other defendants,” says spokeswoman Sherri Davies in a statement. “ASC expects its complaint will be resolved after the criminal case concludes.”

The civil suit alleges the former executives bought lavish gifts, travel, entertainment and even gold bars with the embezzled funds. It also says they received $3.1 million in improper reimbursements for personal expenses.

Burkhart’s attorney says in a statement her client plans to vigorously defend himself against the claims, and that ASC in fact owes him millions in unpaid compensation.

The company runs 78 nursing homes and four assisted living facilities in Indiana. It says it has 9,000 residents and about 10,000 employees at all of its affiliates.

This story has been updated to include a statement from American Senior Communities.