East Meadow nursing home fined millions and pleads guilty to cover up


The Fulton Commons Care Center Inc. in East Meadow will pay up to $8.6 million after a settlement with the state Attorney General’s office and agreed to install monitors to reform the nursing home’s health care and financial operations because of years of fraud and resident mistreatment.

The Fulton Commons corporation also pleaded guilty for criminal acts related to covering up the reports of sexual assaults against residents in 2020 and 2022. The company was fined $5,000 and ordered to comply with the conditions imposed by the attorney general.

“For years, residents at Fulton Commons endured despicable mistreatment that left them with traumatic injuries and humiliating living conditions while the owners and operator of the facility pocketed millions of dollars of taxpayer funds instead of investing in critical care,” Attorney General Letitia James said in a news release.  

In 2002, James accused the Merrick Avenue facility of fraud and abuse, which she says led to insufficient staffing, resulting in “significant” neglects, mistreatment and abuse. The suit also alleged that the nursing home’s owners used the state’s Medicaid program for them selves rather than the facility.

James described a “toxic culture of deceit” at the nursing home when it came to coronavirus pandemic, including claims of underreporting deaths, and claiming to families the facility was free from Covid-19.

According to James, residents and their families cited many deficiencies in care from the nursing home failing to provide basic bodily and dental hygiene or nutritional management.

Former administrator Cathie Doyle employed what the attorney general called “a dangerous and unlawful policy” that did not report allegations of sexual abuse to law enforcement.

One woman patient missed doses of her medication after foot amputation surgery due to diabetes as the bell she rang for help often went unanswered. Her briefs were soiled for prolonged periods of time. Her remaining foot developed an infection in January 2020 that turned her entire foot black from necrosis. On the day she died in November of 2020, her health care proxy tried to see but was told her condition wasn’t severe enough for an in-person visit.

Another female patient suffering from dementia was admitted to Fulton Commons in 2018. Her son observed an insufficiently staffed facility as only one or two people were available to care for 30 residents at a time. Multiple times he saw the care for his mother was severely lacking from a large bruise on her forehead, to being out of her wheelchair and crawling on the floor to being tied to the chair with what seemed to be a piece of clothing. She died there in April 2020.

Fulton Commons owners coordinated two separate financial schemes that directed money intended for patients to themselves, according to the attorney general. One was where $14.9 million was paid to the owners through inflated rental payments using Medicare and Medicaid money.

The principal owner and operator, Moshe Kalter, paid bogus salaries totaling more than $16 million to his eight adult children, who were each owned 1 percent of Fulton Commons, for no-show jobs at the nursing home, as part of the other scheme.

Should Fulton Commons violate the imposed terms it can be excluded from the Medicaid program. An independent health care monitor must be appointed and paid for by the owners to oversee all operations at the facility and ensues the nursing home proves patient care.

An independent financial monitor must also be appointed and paid for, and will have the power to approve or decline all transactions related to the monitor’s recommendations or another part of the settlement terms. A chief compliance officer will also be appointed.