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The many extracts on these pages are from copyright material. They are owned by the reference given or its owner. They are reproduced here for educational purposes and to stimulate public debate about the provision of health and aged care. I consider this to be "fair use" in the common interest. They should not be reproduced for commercial purposes. The material is selective and I have not included denials and explanations. I am not claiming that the allegations are true. The intention is to show the general thrust of corporate practices as well as the nature and extent of any allegations made. Any comments made are based on the belief that there is some substance at least to so many allegations.
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This web page describes the conviction of two hospital owners for Medicare fraud in their nursing homes. In spite of this they continued to own the company and the agency simply allowed their children to be directors.
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Peninsula Care Pty Ltd
Peninsula Aged Care is one of two companies owned by the Howard family. The interest in this company is not that it has provided poor care but that the owners were able to continue their ownership and so their economic influence after a criminal conviction for fraud carried out in their nursing homes. While the parents owned the company they simply changed the members of the family who were directors. They then claimed that they were no longer key personnel and no longer had anything to do with managing the home. How can this be verified? It illustrates the farcical nature of the regulatory system even after the regulations were tightened after the Riverside scandal. This issue is also explored on the web pages about Saitta Pty Ltd and Neviskia Pty Ltd, about the Riverside scandal and about Tolega Pty Ltd and Karoona Pty Ltd
Peninsula Care operates in Queensland but the family are Victorians who own another company running nursing homes in Victoria. The name of the Victorian company and the homes it owns are not disclosed in the reports.
It is interesting that the owners were prominent Victorians who were prosecuted in Queensland. The only reports I found at the time were in Queensland papers. It was only in 2006 that The Age published an article about their ownership. In none of the reports was their Victorian company and the homes it owned named. They were shielded from any fallout in Victoria from their actions.
Prospective residents in Victoria were denied the opportunity to avoid a home owned by criminals - making a mockery of the argument for market forces. That this was a prominent Melbourne family and a 1999 report that "A group of friends and relatives came to Brisbane from Melbourne to support the couple" does raise concerns about cronyism.
The play on words to make the indefensible legally legitimate in the last extract is revealing.
Two nursing home operators have been jailed for fraudulently claiming more than $139,000 in federal subsidies.
Jul 1999 Owners jailed for fraud
The couple, Malcolm Francis Bishop, 55, and his wife Kerry Maree Bishop, 53, from Melbourne, pleaded guilty to one count each of being knowingly concerned with defrauding the commonwealth between 1987 and 1994.
Their company, Peninsula Care, operated four nursing homes in the Redcliffe peninsula area on Brisbane's northside.
They over-claimed more than $139,000 by saying their domestic staff were performing nursing duties, which were subsidised at a higher rate.
Some of their claims included that clerical staff in Melbourne were performing nursing duties and that gardeners performed occupational therapy.
Their company was also fined $75,000.
District Court Judge Eric Pratt said he accepted the couple, from Lojosa Springs, Kallista, in Melbourne's outer east, were highly respected community members who had been "shattered, shamed and traumatised" following the original government validation audit and raid on their home in 1995.
"Frauds of this kind have to be seen for what they are-a fraud on the government is a fraud on us all."
Nursing home operators jailed for fraud. Australian Associated Press July 15, 1999
The court heard the Bishops lived in Melbourne but spent about a quarter of the year in Brisbane managing their nursing homes.
Jul 1999 Self made couple - support by friends
A group of friends and relatives came to Brisbane from Melbourne to support the couple, who had "pulled themselves up by their bootlaces to be successful in business".
Judge Pratt rejected any suggestion the Bishops were confused or misunderstood what could be claimed under the then Commonwealth subsidy schemes. They had engaged in serious fraud, then tried to justify it when alerted about an upcoming government check.
Prosecutor Russell Hanson, QC, said the Bishops claimed incorrect Commonwealth subsidies for nursing home employees on 16 occasions between 1987 and 1994.
Couple jailed for nursing home rip-off. Courier Mail July 16, 1999
THEY were sent to jail for stealing from the public purse but the owners of six nursing homes are still receiving millions of dollars in subsidies.
Mar 2006 Couple still own but not directors - government funding
Nursing home operators Kerry and Malcolm Bishop robbed taxpayers of $139,000, but after a stint in jail, still own centres which get Federal Government funds. They received almost $16 million in subsidies last year through two companies they own that operate nursing homes in Queensland and Victoria.
In 1999, Mrs Bishop was sentenced to four years' jail and Mr Bishop to three after pleading guilty to defrauding the Commonwealth between 1987 and 1994. They served nine months and six months respectively.
During the case, Bob Mulholland, QC, for the Bishops, said the convictions meant that, in effect, they could no longer work as nursing home operators. The Bishops appointed their daughters as directors but remain full owners of the facilities.
In Queensland, they own the Redcliffe Aged Care Service at Clontarf, Peninsula Aged Care at Kippa-Ring, Rothwell Aged Care Service and Mt Coolum Aged Care Service.
Shadow ageing minister Jan McLucas said said key personnel involved in aged-care could not be a person convicted of an indictable offence. "To say (the Bishops) are not key personnel, I think is an absolute furphy," Senator McLucas said.
"They still own the companies and they are still receiving significant government funding."
At her Clontarf unit, Mrs Bishop initially denied attending a business meeting at the Peninsula Care Nursing Home yesterday with manager Ross MacDonald.
"Who told you I was there?" she asked. "I have nothing to do with the management of the nursing home. What Ross and I met about is my personal business."
Mr MacDonald said the meeting had involved a "building issue"
Funding for fraudsters The Courier-Mail March 15, 2006
A spokesman for Peninsula Aged Care, owned by the Bishops, told The Daily Telegraph the couple were not "key personnel" of the company and did not have any involvement in day-to-day running of the facilities.
Mar 2006 The form of regulations contrasted with their substance
"The executive decision of the management of the facilities takes place within the executive management team," the spokesman said.
"From time-to-time [Mrs Bishop] does come up to the premises, but they are not listed as key personnel on any of the documents."
A Health and Ageing Department spokeswoman said "key personnel" needed to be involved in the day-to-day running of the facility in the capacity of a director or office-holder and Mr and Mrs Bishop were not officially "key personnel".
However, she said if there was any evidence they were taking part in decisions about the businesses, they would be investigated.
"The department would investigate any evidence that suggests that any disqualified individual was performing any of the functions of key personnel of an approved provider," she said.
Aged care criminals subsidised - Couple still own homes Daily Telegraph March 15, 2006
The whole issue of criminal convictions in relationship to owners and managers was examined at length by a parliamentary committee in 2001. This matter is explored further in relation to Graeme Menere, an owner and director of the two companies Neviskia and Siatta on another page.
For Updates:- A good way to check for recent developments in aged care is to go to the aged care crisis group's search page and enter the name of the company, nursing home or key words relating to any other matter in the search box. Most significant press reports are flagged there. The aged care crisis web site has recently been restructured and some of the older links used from this site may not work.
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This page created Sept 2006 by Michael Wynne