Former Skyline Healthcare owner Joseph Schwartz now faces 22 felony charges in New Jersey for allegedly not paying $29.5 million in payroll and unemployment taxes, and benefit plan fraud, while he owned and operated 95 facilities in 11 states.
Schwartz was reportedly arrested on Jan. 20 at his home in Rockland County, N.Y., NBC News first reported, and appeared at a court hearing in Newark, N.J. the same day.
Federal prosecutors in New Jersey indicted Schwartz on 18 counts of willful failure to pay over employment taxes, two counts of evasion of unemployment taxes and two counts of failing to file annual financial reports with the Department of Labor for the employee 401K plan, according to a news release announcing the charges.
The most recent indictment comes roughly one month after the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office charged Schwartz with eight counts of felony Medicaid fraud and two counts of felony tax fraud.
Schwartz was alleged to have made false statements in monthly Medicaid cost reports – which gave him more than $3 million from the state of Arkansas in overpayments, a previous NBC News report noted.
The former Skyline owner also allegedly failed to pay state funds withheld from employee paychecks, along with failure to pay state income taxes.
He faces civil litigation after Nebraska’s attorney general filed a lawsuit Thursday against Schwartz, his wife, Rosie, and Skyline Healthcare LLC, the Lincoln Journal Star reported.
The company is accused of making false records, failing to maintain documentation and fraudulent misrepresentation, which resulted in unentitled payments.
“As a result of the defendants’ breach of their agreements with Medicaid, the plaintiff suffered damages in the amount of $59,652,388.90,” according to the Journal Star report.
Starting in the spring of 2018, various states were forced to appoint third-party receiverships for Skyline properties, starting with Nebraska, then Kansas, South Dakota and Pennsylvania by July 2019.
Some facilities formally transitioned from state receivership to operators like Tampa, Fla.-based Mission Health Communities, after lengthy receivership processes.
Schwartz managed the properties from a tiny office over a New Jersey pizzeria, an NBC report said, and co-owned most of the properties in Skyline with Rosie; his sons Michael and Louis served as vice presidents. He entered the nursing home industry more than a decade ago after selling a Florida-based insurance company, according to a sworn deposition of Schwartz from September 2021 obtained by NBC. Schwartz didn’t have any industry experience prior to ownership, other than selling facilities liability insurance.