Former South Dakota nursing home owner facing criminal charges in Arkansas

Investigates

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — We have new developments in a KELOLAND News Investigation into Skyline Healthcare dating back to 2018.

The owner of the now-defunct company, which ran nursing homes across South Dakota and in several other states, is facing criminal charges in Arkansas.

The Arkansas Attorney General has issued an arrest warrant for Joseph Schwartz on eight Medicaid fraud charges involving his facilities in that state. Schwartz also faces two counts of failing to pay taxes that were withheld from employees’ paychecks. Arkansas Attorney General, Leslie Rutledge, says that Schwartz fraudulently obtained $3.6 million from eight facilities and failed to pay $2 million in employee income taxes to the state.

Here in South Dakota, Schwartz’s company, Skyline put 900 seniors at risk after it couldn’t pay its bills or its employees in 2018. In 2019, KELOLAND Investigates reported that Skyline took money out of employees’ paychecks for health insurance, but didn’t pay the premiums.

A former South Dakota Skyline worker is one of many who have joined together to file a federal lawsuit against Schwartz. Other plaintiffs are from Kansas, Nebraska, and Arkansas.

While the Arkansas AG did work with South Dakota Medicaid Fraud and Patient Abuse Unit, at this point, Joseph Schwartz is not facing any charges in South Dakota, however, KELOLAND Investigates has asked South Dakota Attorney General, Jason Ravnsborg if it was possible and we are waiting to hear back.

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