PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- After months of investigating alleged criminal neglect at the Beaver County nursing home Brighton Rehab and Wellness Center, the first federal charges are now filed, coming from its sister nursing home in Mt. Lebanon.
Attorney General Josh Shapiro and U.S. Attorney Scott Brady say 60-year-old Susan Gilbert has been indicted on allegations of falsifying records.
She is a former administrator at Mt. Lebanon Rehab and Wellness Center.
Investigators say Gilbert is accused of directing employees to falsify records to make it appear that the facility met federal and state staffing requirements.
Gilbert is charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, health care fraud and obstruction of a federal audit.
Federal investigators say Gilbert deprived seniors of patient care using inflated nursing hours, falsified timecards and other schemes.
"Essentially they didn't have the proper number of staff to care for residents. They didn't have an adequate level of care and then she lied on the documents that are required to be submitted to the state and federal government," said Attorney General Josh Shapiro.
KDKA reached out to the ownership of both facilities who did not respond to our questions.
Brady says, "These criminal charges represent the first step in holding accountable those who put profit over the health and safety of seniors."
Shapiro said all of this happened from 2018 to 2020, setting the stage for short-staffing heading into the pandemic.
Mt. Lebanon Rehab, say federal investigators, is part of an ownership structure that owns multiple long-term care facilities throughout the state, including Brighton Rehabilitation and Wellness Center in Beaver County.
Meanwhile, Keri Boyer, who lost her father to COVID-19 at Brighton Rehab, is glad to see the charges.
"I don't have any parents left is a really, really bitter pill to swallow. To know it might not have had to happen that way makes it that much more bitter," Boyer said.
Gilbert will receive a summons to appear before a judge next month. Gilbert could face up to 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both.
Stay with KDKA for the latest on this developing story.
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