A decision from the 7th U.S. Court of Appeals earlier this year brought to an end nearly five years of legal wrangling and cleared the Tutera Group, which is expected to begin work on the new Mission Chateau senior living community in Prairie Village later this year, of charges of defrauding the federal government.
The issue started back in 2011, when a man named August Bogina III filed a suit in Illinois suggesting that Tutera was providing kickbacks to medical supplier Medline Industries Inc., costs that were then factored into reimbursement submissions to government care programs. The case was kept sealed by the government for two years before the U.S. and state attorneys with authority to prosecute the matter declined to move forward and unsealed the documents. Tutera’s attorneys found that Bogina’s lawsuit was essentially a copy of a lawsuit that had been filed against Medline by one of its former employees, and to which Tutera was not a party.
“The Bogina lawsuit alleged that because Tutera was a customer of Medline (the nation’s largest medical supply company), that somehow the business relationship with Tutera must be inappropriate,” said Tutera Group Counsel Mike Flanagan. “Bogina did not substantiate any of the allegations contained in the Complaint other than the fact that Tutera did business with Medline, which was a fact easily available through public disclosure.”
In March 2015, District Court Judge John Tharp, Jr. dismissed the case. Bogina appealed, but the three judge panel hearing the case upheld the lower court’s ruling.
“From the outset, we knew the allegations were ludicrous and complete fabrications and sought dismissal,” Tutera Group President Joe Tutera said in a statement. “We are very pleased to report that no judge or regulatory agency found that the Tutera Group ever did anything improper. Tutera Group has a proud history and excellent reputation in the long term care industry, and we are continuing our mission of developing and operating quality long term care facilities that will provide outstanding health care services and multiple senior living lifestyles to our residents for many years to come.”