4 Marion County nursing homes busted for illegal practices

Updated:

Loading
MARION COUNTY, Fla. —

Eyewitness News got a personal tour inside one of the four illegal assisted living facilities busted in Marion County Thursday.

Mary Alexander and Tara Collins-Johnson were arrested for allegedly unsafe, illegal practices.

WFTV found out the house manager wasn't licensed to care for the residents and was homeless before he was hired.

Some residents said despite the conditions, they don't want to leave.

Residents and house managers thought the facility was legitimate and even said there was a license on the wall.

"Well, I was homeless," house manager Don Grimm said when asked how he got hired.

Grimm went from homeless to house manager for three of the four illegal assisted living facilities run by Alexander and Collins-Johnson.

Both were arrested after a former tenant blew the whistle on unsafe living conditions.

"Unsafe conditions, at this house I don't see any," Grimm said.

Investigators found roaches and bedbugs.

Grimm said they do have bedbugs.

"Oh those mattresses are old mattresses that have been replaced, they're garbage," Grimm said about mattresses lying outside the house.

Investigators also found chains around the refrigerator.

"During certain hours it is locked up, OK and this is the chain right here," assistant house manager Carl Grauerholz said.

Resident Christina Canterbury said the lock on the door doesn't mean they are being starved.

"It's so we keep food in the house and everybody stays happy," Canterbury said.

Both managers confirm fraudulent activity investigators found.

They said Anderson and Collins-Johnson do cash their Social Security checks, and they only get $30 or $40 back.

Neither manager is paid even though they cook and clean for the residents who pay $500 to $700 to live in the homes.

All are concerned where they might live if they are forced to leave the home.

"I don't have no place to go," Canterbury said.

WFTV learned Anderson and Collins-Johnson only came twice a month to drop off food. Both were arrested in 2009 on similar charges.