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St. Alexius Hospital owner raided by FBI, court documents say

St. Alexius Hospital owner raided by FBI, court documents say

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St. Alexius Hospital

St. Alexius Hospital in a Google Street View image.

ST. LOUIS — The CEO of the company that owns St. Alexius Hospital is under civil and criminal investigation, according to documents filed in the company’s bankruptcy case.

In a court filing, the U.S. Trustee’s office said that Americore Holdings CEO Grant White “grossly mismanaged” his business and “has not operated the hospitals in a manner that is consistent with public safety and welfare.” The documents were filed in Americore Holdings’ bankruptcy case earlier this month by acting U.S. Trustee Paul Randolph.

Neither White nor an attorney for Americore could be reached for comment.

Last year Americore, whose parent company is based in Florida, bought St. Alexius, a 190-bed south St. Louis institution, out of bankruptcy. In December Americore filed for bankruptcy, in a case that includes St. Alexius and three other hospitals.

One of those hospitals, Ellwood City Medical Center in Pennsylvania, was raided by the FBI on Jan. 30, the documents say. The FBI raided White’s personal residence the day before.

Court filings say White had a house in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and also that he was living in California. It’s unclear where he lives now, and which home was raided.

Randolph, the trustee, said he did not believe White had been charged with a crime.

Randolph also said White had “improperly siphoned money from the Debtors for his personal benefit.”

In January, Americore’s attorney said St. Alexius Hospital was concerned that it would run out of certain medical supplies and food if cash was not made immediately available, the documents said. But Randolph said Americore had enough money to make payroll in previous weeks. He said he must assume that Americore either overstated its need for financing, or “cut corners that have placed patients at significant risk.”

Randolph, whose federal department oversees bankruptcy cases, filed the documents as part of a motion urging the court to appoint a trustee specifically to oversee this case, or otherwise dismiss it altogether.

On its website, Americore bills itself as a health care company focused on “saving and revitalizing rural communities through the acquisition and management of rural hospitals across the United States.”

St. Alexius has a main hospital and senior care center at 3933 South Broadway, and another campus at 2639 Miami Street with other services and the Lutheran School of Nursing. It has been sold multiple times in recent decades, and is no stranger to financial troubles.

St. Alexius had negative profit margins for 2015, 2016 and 2017 — the three most recent years with available data from the St. Louis Area Business Health Coalition.

The hospital’s former owner, Florida-based Promise Healthcare Group, filed for bankruptcy in 2018. The bankruptcy court authorized Promise to sell its ownership stake in the hospital to Americore in January 2019.

Like many struggling U.S. hospitals, St. Alexius serves a higher portion of uninsured patients, and patients who rely on Medicare and Medicaid.

“Importantly, each of the currently opened hospitals are caring for real people,” Randolph said in the documents. “The closure of these hospitals would be devastating to the communities they serve, both from a patient health and economic perspective.”

Wednesday evening, Americore’s attorneys filed a motion to withdraw as counsel on the case, citing “irreconcilable differences” with White.

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