UPDATED: FBI, IRS Raid Eagle Rock Convalescent Hospital

College Vista Convalescent Hospital on Eagle Rock Boulevard is served search warrant, evidently in connection with alleged health care fraud.

Updated 4 p.m.: Shirley Farmer, who is listed in administration at College Vista Convalescent Hospital in a Dun & Bradstreet report, declined to answer questions from Patch when asked about the FBI raid.

She also declined to answer questions about the home's ownership, which Dun & Bradstreet lists as "Notellage Corp.," a private company with only the Eagle Rock location and the same address as College Vista.

Dun & Bradstreet reports that College Vista has 50 employees, annual sales of $3.99 million annually and net worth of $137,946.

Previously: The FBI, IRS and two California state agencies raided an Eagle Rock convalescent hospital Thursday morning in connection with what one officer on the scene described as alleged health care fraud.

The hospital targeted was , located at 4681 Eagle Rock Blvd.

Armed FBI agents served a search warrant on the hospital in connection with alleged “convalescent health care frauds,” according to an officer from the California Department of Justice Police, which participated in the raid.

“Federal agents from the FBI and the IRS are executing search warrants,” Lourdes Arocho, a spokesperson at the FBI field office in the Federal Building on Wilshire Boulevard confirmed to Patch, adding: “We cannot confirm what investigation this is for because the matter is sealed" by the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

The FBI and DOJ Police were accompanied by agents from the federal Internal Revenue Service and personnel from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the Office of the Inspector General, Arocho said.

When Patch arrived at the hospital at about 9 a.m., uniformed officers could be seen screening visitors and taking away documents in cardboard boxes. People who were in the hospital were permitted to leave, however.

“This has been going on in several other places today” in Los Angeles county, the DOJ Police officer told Patch on condition that his name not be used. Arocho told Patch, however, that she could not comment on whether other investigations were underway because of court restrictions.

It's unclear whether the two raids are related; we're following up and will report back if we get more information.

henk friezer June 07, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Excellent reporting Ajay! This is what community news is all about, making people aware what occurs in their backyard. The story was objective and unbiased, just plain good old time reporting without the sensationalism that accompanies many news stories today
Ajay Singh (Editor) June 07, 2012 at 08:15 PM
Thanks, Henk!
Mr Floyd June 07, 2012 at 10:08 PM
I work in the financial audits department of Health Care Services. While we don't target fraud in our regular audits, it is an everpresent phenomon and Medi-Cal fraud, in skilled nursing and in other areas, is a growing challenge.
Eric Creaux June 07, 2012 at 11:02 PM
As part of the team that carried out that raid (you had advanced, private knowledge and therefore were a crucial part as "the mouth and photographic eyes" of the team). I recommend you read HIPAA before publishing photos that could be of a patient. He is fully recognizable in the photo and likely in the midst of an emotional tragedy or great sense of grief from having been kicked-out of the hospital. He seems to be carrying his patient chart. It seems very insensitive of you. The Society for Professional Journalists says verbatim: 1) Show compassion for those who may be affected adversely by news coverage. Use special sensitivity when dealing with children and inexperienced sources or subjects. 2) Be sensitive when seeking or using interviews or photographs of those affected by tragedy or grief. 3) Recognize that gathering and reporting information may cause harm or discomfort. Pursuit of the news is not a license for arrogance. 4) Recognize that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than do public officials and others who seek power, influence or attention. Only an overriding public need can justify intrusion into anyone's privacy.
Patrick Lee June 07, 2012 at 11:12 PM
Hi Eric: Thanks for your thoughtful comment. It's unclear from the photo who this person is; there's a shadow over most of his face. Do you have information that he is indeed a patient? Also, it seems unlikely to us that a photo of the guy standing in a doorway reveals any particular grief or suffering on his part or is likely to cause discomfort to him, in our judgment. For all we know, he may be an FBI agent. If you have specific knowledge about this man that would argue for us to remove the image, we will of course take it down. Thanks again.
Ajay Singh (Editor) June 08, 2012 at 05:30 AM
Just for the record: 1. We did not have advance knowledge of this search warrant—an observant neighbor provided a tip. 2. The two men in the photo shown coming out of the hospital actually laughed their way to the gate and seemed to be getting a kick out of the whole affair, which leads me to conclude they were far from distressed.
RC June 08, 2012 at 07:35 AM
Can you also quote where in the HIPAA privacy act you are not allowed to take pictures of people in public. I do not see any violations of HIPAA in these pictures.
S.I.C.K. Sullivan June 08, 2012 at 09:16 PM
Thank you for the information Ajay, I run the t-shirt shop directly across the street from the hospital and it was a little freaky to come in to open up and find FBI agents all over the place. So it is very nice to know what it was all about!
STARCHY June 12, 2012 at 06:34 PM
always liked that building- nice example of midcentury architecture as for the raid? GO GET EM its time they investigated all these shady "pharmacies" and "medical supply companies" - gubment fraud hurts all of us
Patrick Lee June 19, 2012 at 07:14 PM
Jenny: We've deleted you comment because it violated our Terms of Use banning name calling and personal attacks. Please modify your comment if you'd like to repost it. Also, please use your full name.


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