The former CEO of Benchmark Healthcare in southeast Missouri’s Festus is heading to federal prison, for embezzling $667,000 in Medicaid funds.
Johnnie Mac Sells was sentenced on Friday to pay back the money he pocketed, and also to serve 41 months in prison, the maximum sentence allowed under federal law.
Sells admitted to spending $185,000 of the Medicaid funds at gentlemen’s clubs, $15,000 on pet care, $4,500 at casinos and $12,000 in country club fees between 2014-15.
Due to Sells embezzlement, Benchmark went without money to spend on food and other supplies for their residents. The meals residents were given included a clear bowl of broth and a cookie.
The facility lost Medicare and Medicaid eligibility, and shut down in 2016. Cells attorney requested a lesser sentence, but it was denied.
Matt Baer of Missourinet affiliate KJFF contributed this report