Brius’ former South Pasadena nursing home has new operators, recertified by feds

Shlomo Rechnitz’ Brius corporation had operated the nursing home formerly called South Pasadena Convalescent Hospital for over eight years. Under its tenure, the nursing home was jointly investigated by the FBI, IRS, and California Department of Justice for alleged criminal activity; saw local police officers responds to over 1,100 calls for service; and received dozens of citations, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines from state and federal regulators. Finally, in January 2015, the federal government stripped the facility from participating in the Medicaid program for alleged poor quality care following the deaths of several patients, according to the Sacramento Bee. The most tragic of these deaths was that of former nursing home resident Courtney Cargill who doused herself in gasoline and lit herself on fire in a nearby alleyway. She died hours later at a local hospital as a result of second- and third-degree burns to over 90 percent of her body.

In August 2015 the facility was transferred to new operators, Elliot Zemel and Yudi Schmukler. Back then, the new operators told the Bee that the nursing home’s past problems were an “embarrassment for anyone who’s in the industry.”

Zemel and Schmukler have since invested nearly $1 million into nursing home. Gone is the tumult that seemed to typify the home under Rechnitz’ ownership, and just this year in September, the facility was recertified by the federal government.

South Pasadena Mayor Diane Mahmud, who cut the ribbon that ceremoniously reopened the facility, told the South Pasadena Review that the nursing home has gone “from being a problem to being a wonderful asset,” and adding “FBI agents no longer frequent the place, local police officers make far less visits, convicted felons are not among the patients and 9-1-1 calls have drastically fallen off.”