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Manager of nursing home where 8 died has been charged before

Flora Mitchell answers questions from the media outside the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills in Hollywood, Fla., Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017. Several patients at the sweltering nursing home died in Hurricane Irma's aftermath amid widespread power outages. Mitchell arrived at the home trying to find out what happened to her 58-year-old sister, Vonda Wilson, a stroke patient who lived there for about 10 years. She said she last heard from her sister two days ago and found out the air conditioning was not working. (John McCall/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

MIAMI (AP) — The manager of a Florida nursing home where eight people died following Hurricane Irma has a history of health-care fraud accusations.

Federal court records show the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami filed civil charges in 2004 against Dr. Jack Michel and Larkin Health Systems, among others. That company owns The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, which had eight patients pronounced dead Wednesday.

In 1997, before Michel owned Larkin, federal prosecutors say he was part of a kickback scheme that involved paying doctors for referrals and admission to Larkin Community Hospital. Prosecutors say that after he bought the hospital in 1998, Michel and others fraudulently increased the number of patients at the facility, along with their Medicare and Medicaid revenues, by bringing in patients from nursing homes and assisted-living facilities.

The case was settled in 2006 for $15.4 million.

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