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Nursing home and owner indicted

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Jun 28, 2014 at 10:07 AM

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has announced that a special grand jury has indicted the owner of a Zanesville nursing home, as well as the nursing home itself, on multiple charges, including Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity.

Steve Hitchens, 58, of Newark, who is the owner of Autumn Healthcare of Zanesville, Inc., has been indicted on the following 39 charges:

    One count of Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity, a felony of the first degree

    One count of Theft By Deception, a felony of the fourth degree

    Two counts of Medicaid Fraud, felonies of the fourth degree

    One count of Medicaid Fraud, a felony of the fifth degree

    Two counts of Tampering with Evidence, felonies of the third degree

    17 counts of Forgery, felonies of the fifth degree

    One count of Telecommunications Fraud, a felony of the third degree

    One count of Telecommunications Fraud, a felony of the fifth degree

    Five counts of Tampering with Records, felonies of the third degree

    One count of Attempted Tampering with Records, a felony of the fourth degree

    One count of Attempted Telecommunications Fraud, a Misdemeanor of the first  degree

    Six counts of Unlawful Operation of a Nursing Home, unclassified misdemeanors

Autumn Healthcare of Zanesville Inc., located at 1420 Autumn Drive, Zanesville, Ohio, has been indicted on the following 16 charges:

    One count of Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity, a felony of the first degree

    One count of Theft By Deception, a felony of the fourth degree

    One count of Medicaid Fraud, a felony of the fourth degree

    One count of Telecommunications Fraud, a felony of the third degree

    One count of Telecommunications Fraud, a  felony of the fifth degree

    Two counts of Tampering with Evidence, felonies of the third degree

    Nine counts of Forgery, felonies of the fifth degree

The indictments follow an investigation which began after the state received several complaints from family members of patients. Family members gave permission for video surveillance, which permitted the Ohio Attorney General's Health Care Fraud Section to investigate alleged instances where staff members did not provide proper medical, nutritional, and personal care.

This is an ongoing grand jury process, and additional indictments are possible.

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