Manager of nursing home where 8 died has been charged before

Damaged homes sit in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, in Key West, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

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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