SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Skyline saga has a new chapter. The East Coast man who ran nursing homes throughout South Dakota from above a New Jersey pizza shop is now being charged in federal court.
Joseph Schwartz was arrested in New Jersey and faces 22 charges, most of which involve failing to pay nearly $30 million in payroll and unemployment taxes for the now-defunct Skyline Healthcare.
Our KELOLAND News investigation revealed that here in South Dakota, in 2018, Skyline put 900 seniors at risk when it couldn’t pay its bills or its employees.
In 2019, KELOLAND Investigates reported that Skyline took money out of employees’ paychecks for health insurance, but didn’t pay the premiums, leaving employees with tens of thousands of dollars in medical debt.
A former South Dakota Skyline worker is one of several former employees who have filed a civil suit against Schwartz and Skyline, saying more than $2 million was stolen from their paychecks that was supposed to pay for their health insurance.
The new federal criminal indictment alleges that Schwartz willfully failed to pay employment taxes involving Skyline’s 15,000 employees at 95 health care and rehabilitation facilities in eleven different states. According to court documents, Schwartz is also accused of 401K benefit plan fraud.
Arkansas has separately charged Schwartz with $3.6 million in Medicaid fraud.