Senior-living facility CEO Breslin due in court Thursday on federal fraud charges

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Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 7:51 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) - The former CEO of a senior living facility charged with committing federal fraud in Wisconsin is scheduled to make his first court appearance on the charges Thursday.

Kevin Breslin, 56, of New Jersey, was CEO and managing member of KBWB Operations LLC, also known as Atrium Health and Senior Living, from 2014 until he was fired in 2018.

Federal prosecutors say he was a 20% owner in Atrium, which had facilities across Wisconsin, including Appleton, Chilton, Kewaunee, Little Chute, Neenah, New Holstein, Oconto Falls, Plymouth, Shawano, and Two Rivers; in Michigan, including Menominee; and in New Jersey. He’s charged with health care fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Each count carries a maximum of 20 years in prison and fines of $250,000 to $500,000.

As we first alerted you in February, a grand jury in the Western District of Wisconsin indicted Breslin for allegations he diverted funds for personal expenses, including payments on loans, mortgage debt, and to the IRS for unpaid taxes. Federal prosecutors say it caused a decline in the quality of care for seniors at Atrium facilities.

Specifically, the indictment says it led to insufficient staffing of certified nursing assistants, leading to less care for seniors that resulted in soiled linens, bed sores, rashes, ulcers and a “loss of dignity.”

Food vendors weren’t paid and stopped deliveries, creating the need to buy replacement groceries that weren’t monitored by a registered dietician as required.

Phone service was disrupted, which meant staff couldn’t obtain prescription orders faxed by doctors and door alarms didn’t work. Internet service was disrupted, so staff couldn’t access or update residents’ medical records or medication lists.

Repairs weren’t made. “Roofs and windows leaked. Water came into residents’ rooms and caused ceiling and wall damage... Mold was found in resident room walls and windows, as well as in air ducts.”

The indictment went on to say Breslin and KBWB Operations tried to hide the problems from state investigators “artificially increasing the staffing” during state visitors, and when they were told to make corrections, defendants offered plans they knew they couldn’t pay for.

The indictment goes on to say Breslin deducted health insurance premiums and 401(k) retirement savings from employees’ paychecks but never turned over the withheld funds. Employees thought they had health insurance coverage and were making contributions to their retirement plan.

The Wisconsin and Michigan facilities were placed into receivership in 2018.