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N4T Investigators: Former Rancho Verde care home employees speak - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

N4T Investigators: Former Rancho Verde care home employees speak out

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TUCSON -

Residents at a Green Valley care home recently had to be relocated when employees didn't show up for work. They said they hadn't been getting paid. It turns out that was just the tipping point for Rancho Verde Care Communities and owner Jerone Davis.

"They were going to be shutting down all of Jerone and Debra's homes, all of Rancho Verde Care Communities because of the abuse and neglect to the residents," said former employee Brianna Banuelos.

Since our first report we've had several former employees tell us what it was like working for Davis.

"The food was always full in the refrigerators and we always got paid on time and then it started going down," former employee Crista Sapikowski told us.

Sapikowski worked at Rancho Verde Hacienda for nearly a year. She said everything was fine at the beginning but things changed in a hurry.

"We didn't see our paychecks and then the refrigerators started getting more emptier then us caregivers started buying food for the residents cause there was no food at times," Sapikowski said.

She quit on May 19th because she wasn't being paid. She says Davis still owes her for at least 200 hours of work.

"The employees that have been with me for an extended period of time, any of those people will tell you I'm honorable in making sure they get paid," Davis told us, the day residents at his Green Valley care home were relocated.

We spoke with another former employee who worked for Davis for more than two years. She wanted to remain anonymous but says she is still owed thousands of dollars.

"I made almost $20,000 in 4 months and i maybe seen about $2,000 of that money," the former employee said.

She also told us how their was often little to no food in the home, and how the caretakers would have to use their own money to feed the residents.

"There were several times all of us caregivers would have to put in to buy meals all the time," the former employee said. "I would at least spend anywhere from $200-250 a month on just groceries for them. And like I said I have pictures, everything documents text messages you know asking for food, hey we have nothing we need food, and no response back."

She also says Davis convinced many residents to sign long-term contracts with the care community, in which they paid him thousands of dollars up front.

"It was anywhere from 6 months to 8 months to a year. So he would give them this big old 'if you sign up with us and get the contract we'll discount a few hundred dollars each month'. We've had a lot of residents that passed away and they've never got their money back."

The News 4 Tucson Investigators spoke with the wife of one of the residents who passed away. She says there were still five months remaining on the contract when her husband died in November. According to her, Davis still owes her $5,000 that she has yet to receive.

"The people that know us know over the years that we've provided quality care," Davis said. "It's unfortunate that this had to happen and I do understand that the state has a job to do also its just unfortunate for everybody involved."

Davis is currently under investigation by the state.

If you have a story you would like us to investigate, email us at investigators@kvoa.com or call our tip line at 520-955-4444.

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