Bill Breece, president and CEO of Crown Capital Corporation, based in the greater Creve Coeur area, sued former American Healthcare Management (AHM) CEO Robert D. Wachter on Aug. 17 in the St. Louis County courtroom of Judge Steve Goldman.
Breece and Wachter are the owners of R&W Holdings and also held the controlling interest in four other companies — all real estate holding companies in which real estate was leased to nursing home operators and eventually sold.
On Sept. 19, 2006, more than $9.6 million of the proceeds from the sale were distributed to R&W by Chicago Title Company. Breece alleges in documents that Wachter distributed funds to R&W and other parties without his consent.
According to the court documents, Wachter informed Breece in writing that he believes he is entitled to additional compensation from R&W for attorney’s fees and fines in a criminal matter in which he has pleaded guilty.
Wachter, a Chesterfield resident, was sentenced to 18 months in prison in 2007 for his role in a health care fraud perpetrated by AHM.
Between January 1998 and June 30, 2001, Wachter was the CEO of AHM, which managed long term-care facilities. Wachter determined the budget for all the nursing homes, and as a result of the staffing limitations that Wachter put in place, the facilities had insufficient nursing staff to meet the needs of the residents.
In addition, during this time, Wachter and AHM continued to bill Medicare and Medicaid for services they knew were inadequate or not performed at all. One 78-year-old AHM patient was beaten by an employee and later died. Others were found covered in insects.
AHM operated the Skilled and Assistive Living Center of St. Louis; Scenic View Skilled Care, formerly known as Westview Nursing Center, in Herculaneum; Florissant Skilled Care; Oak View Skilled Care, Jefferson City; and Oak Forest Skilled Care, Ballwin.
According to the court documents Breece has repeatedly demanded that Wachter place all the sale proceeds and other bank accounts of R&W in an account which requires the signatures of both Wachter and Breece. Wachter has allegedly refused to do so.
Robert Leggat of Ottsen, Mauze, Leggat & Belz, L.C. is representing Breece. A call placed to him went unreturned.
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