FBI wiretaps caught the state's top nursing home official, Brent VanMeter, demanding kickbacks after doctoring paperwork for a nursing home owner.
VanMeter: "When do you think old Brent might be able to benefit from his hard work?"
Nursing Home Owner: "Today."
VanMeter was convicted by a federal grand jury of federal bribery charges last year and sentenced to three years in prison. He was charged with seeking a bribe from a nursing home operator.
The bribery convictions are vindication for advocates for the elderly who had been warning federal officials about the corruption in Oklahoma's nursing homes for years. To them, this scandal is about much more than money.
As Oklahoma's advocate for the elderly, she has been buried in nursing home complaints for years.
"The residents were allowed to live in inhumane conditions in certain homes and that was a result of Mr. VanMeter's philosophy towards the system."
He created a culture of corruption: homes tipped off before inspections, inspectors' reports altered, serious violations simply ignored.
Wes Bledsoe's grandmother, Eunice Allen, died a week after the corruption scandal broke. Inspectors had repeatedly cited the nursing home, Southern Oaks Manor, for harming patients, but little was ever done.
Bledsoe recalled, "I think one of the toughest things was knowing that my grandmother was suffering what happened to her? Why is my grandmother dying of gangrene in a nursing home?"
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"That hit me. It just took my breath away," said Bledsoe.
The medical examiner ruled Allen's death "natural causes" but says "neglect" may have played a role. State investigators "substantiated medical neglect" and "substandard care." And referred the case to the local district attorney for possible criminal charges.
Bledsoe is suing the home's owner, Denver McCormick.
McCormick is the former head of the Oklahoma Nursing Home Association.
But Bledsoe will never forget. He's become a crusader and just launched a new nursing home reform group.
"The purpose of this demonstration is to create awareness of the crisis, to unify and take effective action."
The head of the Oklahoma Nursing Home Association says there is no crisis.
"As far as nursing homes go, the public has had almost the perception that this may be widespread or ongoing and I can assure you that it's not," said Kelly Hardin.
Brent VanMeter is in federal prison and some forty state employees have retired, been fired or indicted, but sources tell CBS News this corruption probe is not over.
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