A Cecil Township woman has been indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly falsifying records at a Mt. Lebanon nursing home so it would look like residents were receiving sufficient care.

Susan Gilbert, 60, of Lawrence, was indicted this week on charges of health care fraud, obstruction of a federal audit and conspiracy to defraud the United States by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh. Gilbert is the former administrator of Mt. Lebanon Rehabilitation and Wellness Center, a skilled nursing facility that is owned by the same company that operates the Brighton Rehabilitation and Wellness Center in Beaver County, which is being investigated by the state for criminal neglect due to the large number of residents that became infected with COVID-19 in the early days of the pandemic.

In announcing the indictment, United States Attorney Scott Brady said Gilbert’s indictment would be “the first step in holding accountable those who put profit over the health and safety of seniors.”

Brady also said that Gilbert and other unnamed co-conspirators “deprived seniors of patient care using inflated nursing hours, falsified timecards and other schemes that they concealed with two sets of records.”

The indictment alleges that between October 2018 and February 2020, Gilbert and others asked employees of the Mt. Lebanon facility to falsify records so it would look like federal and state staffing requirements were being met. This included having nursing staff clock in for shifts but not work. Bonuses were allegedly given to staffers who did this. It is also alleged that nursing staffers were told not to clock out when they went to lunch, and that two sets of books were kept, with one accurately reflecting the hours nursing staff worked, while the other contained false information.

The falsified staffing information was given to Department of Health investigators during inspections, according to the indictment.

“These crimes put facility residents at risk by only providing a dangerously low amount of nursing staff just before COVID began to surge across the country,” said Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “By filing these false reports, the facility met minimum staffing levels only on paper ...”

Shapiro also said an ongoing investigation “will hold nursing and long-term care facilities criminally accountable wherever we find evidence someone neglected a resident.”

Gilbert could not be reached for comment.

Staff Writer

Brad Hundt came to the Observer-Reporter in 1998 after stints at newspapers in Georgia and Michigan. He serves as editorial page editor, and has covered the arts and entertainment and worked as a municipal beat reporter.

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