3 convicted for  ‘horrific’ elder abuse, one of them an RN   

Caretakers have the responsibility of protecting their patients’ dignity, safety, and health,’ says California Attorney General Rob Bonta (below)

Three nursing home owners and managers were convicted for the neglect and abuse of six severely disabled residents of an unlicensed Riverside care facility. The convictions were announced August 1 by California Attorney General Rob Bonta.

The six victims, ranging in age from 32 to 66, were found malnourished, living in filth and without basic care in a house that did not have the staff, equipment, or licensing needed to care for the residents.

Defendants Joel Ombao, Ronnel Tiburcio, and Nimfa Molina were found guilty of elder abuse. Tiburcio could face up to nine years in prison, Ombao up to seven years in prison, and Molina up to six months in county jail. California Department of Justice’s Division of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse (DMFEA) prosecuted the case, after a joint investigation by DMFEA agents and the Riverside Police Department.

Screenshot from Facebook

“Caretakers of elderly and dependent adults have the responsibility of protecting their patients’ dignity, safety, and health,” said Attorney General Rob Bonta. “Instead, the victims in this case suffered horrific neglect and lack of care at the hands of those who were trusted with their well-being. I am grateful to my hardworking team, as well as our partners at the Riverside Police Department, for working together to bring justice to these victims. Let today’s conviction serve as a warning: We will not allow those who abuse California’s most vulnerable adults to get away with their despicable crimes.”

“We are grateful for the continued partnership with the California Department of Justice to help bring an end to this network of fraud, abuse, and essentially a form of human trafficking of our elderly,” said Riverside Police Chief Larry Gonzalez. “To prey on the vulnerable deserves nothing less than the harshest consequences available.”

Ombao is the owner of several hospice companies, including the unlicensed Secure Hands board and care facility where the victims were housed. Ombao, his assistant, Tiburcio, and registered nurse Molina, were responsible for operating the facility and caring for the residents. Investigators arrived at the location to find the residents being housed in squalor. Many of them were emaciated and dehydrated and were not being provided the care they needed.

On Monday evening, at the end of a jury trial that began on June 6, Ombao was convicted of four counts of felony elder abuse, Tiburcio was convicted of six counts of felony elder abuse, and Molina was convicted of one misdemeanor count of elder abuse. 

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