BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - Helder Chultu quit smoking last year. But he's lighting up again to deal with stress. He has to move out of the Boynton Beach Assisted Living Facility on 4th Ave.
"I tried to find out things by asking employees and no one would say anything," said Chultu, one of 118 residents.
State regulators took the operating license away from the owner of the facility, citing health care fraud, allegations of rape between residents and missing residents.
"The facility had a troubled past with us for the last seven years, and there were deficiencies upon deficiencies," said Shaddrick Haston, with the Agency for Health Care Administration.
Former long-term care ombudsman for the state of Florida Brian Lee, says this was long overdue. He called what he saw inside the facility in a 2010 visit.
"We discovered a bed bug infestation, lousy food, residents looked disheveled, there was a pungent smell throughout the building," says Lee.
Chultu says about one-third of the residents have already moved out. He's aware of the allegation against the facility, and chose to defend it.
"The people here are conscientious, they provide a good service and this is one of the better facilities that I know of," said Chultu.
Owners have 30 days to appeal the decision. But residents are encouraged to move out in the meantime.
NewsChannel 5 reached out to employees and the owner of the facility, but were told "no comment." According to the state, Hasnram Ramrup owns the facility. His son, Ramchand Ramrup pleaded guilty to Medicare fraud-related charges in 2011. The state claims Ramchand was still working at the facility in 2012, which was not allowed.
Visit www.floridahealthfinder.gov for more information about assisted living facilities around the state.