Indiana nursing home company’s ex-CEO indicted for fraud

Investigators at the American Senior Living Communities headquarters on South Gray Road in Indianapolis on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015. (WISH Photo/Tim McNicholas)
Investigators at the American Senior Living Communities headquarters on South Gray Road in Indianapolis on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015. (WISH Photo/Tim McNicholas)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP/WLFI) — A grand jury has indicted the former CEO of a company that operates dozens of Indiana nursing homes, accusing him and three others in a kickback scheme.

Federal prosecutors in Indianapolis released the indictment Wednesday morning. It charges former American Senior Communities CEO James Burkhart with mail and wire fraud and money laundering. American Senior Communities fired Burkhart last September, three days after federal agents searched his home and the company’s Indianapolis headquarters.

Specifically, prosecutors say the defendants used shell companies to falsify and inflate costs of goods and services to steal discounts and rebates and conceal kickbacks in a scheme worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Burkhart’s defense attorney, Larry Mackey, had no comment. American Senior Communities did not immediately respond to email and phone messages seeking comment.

ASC manages dozens of properties in Indiana, including two in Lafayette — Rosewalk Village on Union Street and Aster Place on Park East Boulevard.

The company issued a press statement Wednesday that read:

American Senior Communities is grateful to the United States Attorney’s Office and the federal agencies whose hard work and dedication resulted in today’s indictment. ASC has actively cooperated in this investigation and will continue to cooperate until the prosecutions are concluded. ASC was the victim of a betrayal of trust by two of its former officers.

ASC continues its strong tradition of providing excellent care, which has made ASC a valued and respected provider of senior care in Indiana. Nothing in the investigation or this prosecution involves resident care. ASC’s primary focus continues to be exceptional resident care.

ASC appreciates the commitment of its employees and continued support of its families.

 ASC has emerged from this process a stronger, more vital organization. ASC has implemented many safeguards, and strengthened the organization with new leadership under the direction of CEO Donna Kelsey. ASC skilled nursing and residential facilities continue to enjoy quality ratings that exceed state and national averages.