BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – The U.S. Department of Justice filed a federal complaint against Bob Dean Jr. for allegedly misusing the money from four nursing homes before and after Hurricane Ida’s landfall in August 2021.
According to the DOJ, Dean required the nursing homes to pay rent from 2016 to 2021 on an industrial warehouse he planned to serve as a hurricane evacuation center. The rent totaled to more than $1 million and went straight to one of his corporate entities. The DOJ says Dean put the money in his personal bank account rather than using the funds to prepare the site for a hurricane.
In the days leading up to the Ida, Dean evacuated the residents of the four nursing homes to the warehouse, which was not ready. According to reports, seven people died and more had to be rescued after evacuating to the warehouse in Tangipahoa Parish.
After the residents had been evacuated and the licenses for all seven facilities had been revoked, Dean and his corporate entities continued to spend the nursing homes’ assets and income, according to the DOJ.
The complaint says that Dean used millions from the businesses to buy personal goods including antiques, guns, cars and more. Dean should have used the funds to operate or maintain the nursing homes, which were not operating because of the hurricane, according to the DOJ.
In total, Dean spent more than $4 million of the nursing homes’ “rent” for personal use, according to the DOJ.
“Federal loan guarantees are designed to facilitate the care of our most vulnerable citizens,” said U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Gathe Jr. for the Middle District of Louisiana. “It is unfortunate that some chose to use the tragic landfall of Hurricane Ida as an opportunity to take advantage of the system to unjustly enrich their business. This office will continue to work with our partners to hold those accountable who misappropriate federal funds.”
“Upon learning of the callous manner in which residents of nursing homes owned by Bob Dean were treated during Hurricane Ida, HUD referred this matter to the Justice Department to investigate Dean’s alleged misuse of HUD’s funds,” said General Counsel Damon Smith of the HUD. “By working with our partners at the Justice Department and supporting this action, HUD reaffirms that it takes the obligations of nursing home owners seriously.”