JONESBORO — A man who was at the center of financial problems that eventually resulted in closing a nursing home in Jonesboro and state takeover of another in Trumann has been arrested, following an investigation by the state Attorney General’s Office.
Keith Alan Head, 69, of Conway, was arrested on a warrant from Nevada County, charging him with theft of more than $25,000.
Head’s H.O.P.E Healthcare, LLC, operated five nursing homes in Arkansas, including Lexington Place Healthcare and Rehabilitation LLC, 2911 Brown’s Lane, in Jonesboro, and Arlington Cove Healthcare, 333 Melody Drive in Trumann.
The Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit began an investigation on Sept. 27, 2019, when the Arkansas Department of Human Services discovered the residents’ trust fund accounts had been emptied or significantly depleted at several facilities by Head, according to a news release.
Employees at Lexington Place had earlier complained that they had not been paid, The Sun reported.
Referrals were also received by the Prescott Police Department. This joint investigation involved agents from the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office, and federal agents with the Offices of Investigation for the Social Security Administration and Health and Human Services.
The state placed the nursing homes under receivership and Lexington Place was closed in March because of the condition of the building, DHS officials said.
Arlington Cove is now owned by Trumann Ops Inc., under the name of Quail Run Health and Rehab, according to nursinghomereport.org and nursinghomedata.com, two private organizations that compile federal and state public records on the nursing home industry. Ovation Health Systems Inc. owns Trumann Ops Inc. Anthony and Bryan Adams, both of Conway, are identified as owners of the corporations.
They and Ovation Health are identified as owners of a total of 38 nursing homes in Arkansas and three in Springfield, Mo.
In Northeast Arkansas, they own Ridgecrest Health and Rehabilitation and St. Elizabeth’s Place in Jonesboro, Rector Nursing and Rehab, Corning Therapy and Living Center, Mountain Meadows Health and Rehabilitation of Southside Batesville and Eaglecrest Nursing and Rehab of Ash Flat.
At least seven of their nursing homes had active coronavirus cases as of Tuesday, according to the Arkansas Department of Health. That includes Rector, where 24 residents and 11 staff members became infected. Four residents died and two residents and seven staff members are reported to still have active cases.
Head was co-owner with Cathy Parsons, also of Conway, in Lexington Place before the state took it over.
While under the control of Head’s management company, DHS said the nursing homes’ checks were bouncing, employees weren’t being paid, some utilities were threatening to shut off their electricity, their medical supply vendor was refusing to make deliveries and their landlords claimed they were several months behind on rent payments.
Parsons filed a lawsuit in Lincoln County Circuit Court in January 2019 against Head, seeking a court order for Head to account for nearly $800,000 her separate companies loaned to Head’s management company, H.O.P.E. Healthcare.
Parsons said in her lawsuit she loaned Lexington Place, Arlington Cove and the other facilities money from separate companies she owned so they could meet payroll and other obligations.
The lawsuit had been dormant since March 2019. However, on June 24, Parsons’ attorney requested a date for a two-day trial, according to the court file.