June 22, 2023
Today, the Medicaid Fraud and Patient Abuse Division of the Utah Attorney General’s Office filed multiple charges against two former managers of Evergreen Place in Midvale. The charges involve neglect, unsafe and unsanitary living conditions, financial exploitation, and licensing violations.
Jorge Gustavo Gonzalez. Sr. and Ignacio Gonzalez-Villarruel are each charged with five counts of Intentional Financial Exploitation of a Vulnerable Adult, second and third-degree felonies, and five misdemeanor charges of Intentional Abuse or Neglect of a Vulnerable Adult, as well as one count of Licensing Violation Endangering Persons in the Human Services Program, a Class A misdemeanor.
Investigators found that the Evergreen facility was unlicensed, even though 17 mentally impaired adult men lived there. Residents endured unsafe, unsanitary conditions, insect infestations, overcrowding, inadequate staffing, and a lack of food and proper medical care. The charges are based on five representative victims chosen from 17 residents.
Facility violations also included an unworking furnace during 2022 and raw sewage flooding the basement, which patients had access to.
A United Fire Authority fire marshal also cited several safety violations related to smoke detectors, extension cords, exposed wiring, and improperly labeled and accessible exit signs and doors. During this time, the defendants collected rent payments between $1,000 and $1,400 per month per resident.
Note: The Medicaid Fraud and Patient Abuse Division of the Utah Attorney General’s Office receives 75 percent of its funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under a grant award totaling $2,825,860 for the federal fiscal year 2023. The State of Utah funds the remaining 25 percent.