Nursing-home firm to pay $48 million to settle Medicare fraud case


A Mission Viejo-based nursing-home operator, Ensign Group Inc., has agreed to pay $48 million to settle allegations regarding inflated bills to Medicare for therapy sessions that were either unnecessary or never took place. Ensign incentivized therapists to increase the amount of therapy provided to their patients in an effort to meet planned targets for Medicare revenue,regardless of whether the patients needed the treatment. The federal settlement agreement was unsealed late Monday by a federal judge in Los Angeles.

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Operation Helping Hands Semi Annual Make A Bag Event

OHH’s Semi Annual Make A Bag Event

It is time for the winter Operation Helping Hands project.  The two day event will take place December 14 and 15.  We are aiming to fill and have our youth deliver 1000 backpacks directly into the hands of our homeless.  This is certainly a far cry from the 50 target bags we started with just 3 years ago.  It has only been with your generous help and support  that we have been able to make this happen.

What is new this year????  First off, Operation Helping Hands has added yet another county to our project.  We are proud to announce that in addition to Orange County, San Diego County and Los Angeles County, we will also be servicing the Inland Empire.

 Please consider how you can help. 

Donate goods including blankets, hygiene items, protein bars, water or sweatshirts. Donate funds to purchase the backpacks and goods to put in them.  Visit our donation page or send checks to VLG made out to Operation Helping Hands.

Saturday: December 14, 2013 at 10:00 ~ Help assemble backpacks and pack them in vehicles.  Assembly will be in the VLG parking lot.

Sunday: December 15, 2013 at 10:00 am ~ Meet in VLG parking lot and caravan to any one of the many counties we service.

Bring age appropriate kids/teens to make and hand out the backpacks to the homeless.  It is a rewarding experience for all.  Trust me.  Not only do we touch 1000 lives with the backpacks we deliver, we touch the hearts of the kids involved in giving.  Not everyone is impacted the same way. And certainly I can always tell that some are touched and affected more than others.  It is written all over their faces and in their actions.  And sure enough, the mom of one of the girls who I always knew as a “true giver”. . .  recently shared her daughter’s college essay with me.  Her daughter had written about her experiences with OHH and the art of giving.  But better yet, she wrote about how helping someone else is the very best gift you can give yourself.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

Visit link below to view informational brochure:

OHH’s Semi Annual Make A Bag Event

Visit Operation Helping Hands website at

Explore site to learn more about us and view photos of several past projects!!!

For your convenience donate directly on line by visiting

Visit us on Facebook at

Semi-Annual (December 1415) 2013 - Final

Operation Helping Hands


On Saturday, June 22, 2013, VLG once again teamed up with Operation Helping Hands to assemble approximately 600 backpacks filled with t-shirts, socks, water and personal hygiene items. On Sunday, June 23, 2013, the backpacks were distributed primarily by teenage volunteers to homeless individuals in Santa Ana, Costa Mesa, Anaheim, Fullerton, Long Beach, Wilmington, San Pedro, Los Angeles and San Diego.

Operation Helping Hands is a non-profit organization founded by Kim Valentine of Valentine Law Group. The organization is dedicated to empowering youth to give back by providing hygiene items and basic necessities to the homeless. The next make a bag event will be held during the holiday season. For more information contact Kim Valentine at

Special thanks to  Aitken Aitken & Cohn for the contributions and volunteers who helped.


Of Angels and Demons

The Boston Marathon bombing.  The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.   The massacre in a theater in Aurora, Colorado.  Shootings in the streets of Chicago.  Even a recent bomb threat locally at Trabuco Hills High School.  The list goes on and on.  Read the headlines over the past few months, and you could be justified in thinking that the youth of today have no moral compass, that the souls of our youth are being controlled by demons—that our country’s future prospects are, in a word, dismal.

Years ago, I was playing first base in what I believed to be a friendly softball game, when the opposing batter hit a ground ball to shortstop.  As I reached to catch the throw to first, the world turned upside down, the air left my lungs, and I found all 6’5″ of me sprawled on the dirt infield. It was only after I was helped to my shaky feet that I came to realize that the cause of my unexpected fall from grace and dignity was a young woman who, after hitting the ground ball to shortstop, decided to lower her shoulder and drive me to the ground, all in an effort to reach first base safely. This was how I met Kim Valentine, a product of the foster care system, formerly homeless, a former United States Marine, and one of finest lawyers I would ever come to know. Kim is as tough as nails, but ask her about her passion in life, and a tear will come to her eye. She will sit you down and tell you all aboutOperation Helping Hands—and the future of our youth.

We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another ~ Luciano De Crescenzo

Kim lives in Mission Viejo and founded Operation Helping Hands two years ago. The Facebook page will indicate that the mission of this non-profit organization is “dedicated to providing hygiene items and basic necessities to the homeless,” but this doesn’t tell even half of the story.  You see, this organization is dedicated to empowering the community, particularly our young people, to not only provide necessities to the homeless, but to personally deliver backpacks full of such items to the homeless so that these young people can experience the selfless act of serving others in need.

Through Operation Helping Hands, Kim hopes to provide backpacks full of shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, body wash, deodorant, antibacterial gel, protein bars, blankets, underwear, socks and sweatshirts to at least 600 homeless people in Orange, Los Angeles and San Diego Counties. To help, we can donate funds to purchase the items, or we can gather these items ourselves. More importantly, on June 22, we can all help to assemble these items in the backpacks, and then to chaperone our kids as they personally provide these gifts on June 23 to those most in need.  Operation Helping Hands provides a wonderful opportunity for our young people to become truly engaged in their community, and to learn the joys of serving others who are less fortunate.

At each city council meeting, we formally recognize some of our city’s exceptional students for their academic, athletic and community service achievements. These ceremonies are very moving, and represent one of my favorite aspects of being a city councilman in Rancho Santa Margarita. This summer, I look forward to seeing many of our young people here in RSM honored for their service to those in need by volunteering to join Operation Helping Hands. Indeed, it’s the least we can do for our own angels, for those who are the future of our country.

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others ~ Mahatma Gandhi

If you would like to contribute to Operation Helping Hands, please send your check made payable to OHH, 101 Pacifica, Suite 270, Irvine CA 92618.

Also, please RSVP to if you and your age appropriate child would like to help assemble the backpacks on June 22 and participate by personally giving these items to those in need on June 23.

Learn more on the Operation Helping Hands Facebook page.


Have a heart this Valentines Day

VLG has put together another community project! We are hand delivering Valentine’s Day cards to local elderly folks in nursing homes with the hopes of spreading some cheer. We would love for you and your children of appropriate ages to join us. See below for more details.

Join us!

Children awarded $1 Million for Wrongful Death of their Father

Surviving children of Mr. Milton Butterfield have been awarded $1,000,016,000 in a lawsuit against Community Hospital of Long Beach.

Milton Butterfield fell while living independently at home.  After a few days, Mr. Butterfield’s family requested an ambulance take him to the emergency room at Community Hospital of Long Beach (CHLB) due to generalized weakness, back pain and dehydration.  Mr. Butterfield was able to walk to the gurney when the ambulance arrived. He was evaluated in the ER by Dr. Christopher Lai.  After six hours in the ER, over the objection of Mr. Butterfield’s family, Dr. Lai discharged the patient. However, Mr. Butterfields medical condition had deteriorated to the degree that he could no longer walk and in fact had to be drug from the gurney to the wheelchair for discharge. The LBCH nurse conducting the discharge was not the patients nurse and thus did no physical assessment of the patient. Mr. Butterfield was wheeled out to the parking lot where he went into cardiac arrest. According to hospital records there was a five minute delay between the time of the cardiac arrest and the time CPR began due to the need to bring Mr. Butterfield  back into the hospital and get him on a gurney. During that five minute period Mr. Butterfield sustained irreversible brain damage which rendered him a complete invalid. He never regained any meaningful quality of life and died six months later from complications of being permanently bed bound.

Statistically, one out of three adults age 65 and older falls each year. Among older adults (those 65 or older), falls are the leading cause of injury death (1). They are also the most common cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma (2).

How can older adults prevent falls?

Older adults can remain independent and reduce their chances of falling.  They can:

·         Exercise regularly. It is important that the exercises focus on increasing leg strength and improving balance, and that they get more challenging over time. Tai Chi programs are especially good.

·         Ask their doctor or pharmacist to review their medicines—both prescription and over-the counter—to identify medicines that may cause side effects or interactions such as dizziness or drowsiness.

·         Have their eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year and update their eyeglasses to maximize their vision.  Consider getting a pair with single vision distance lenses for some activities such as walking outside.

·         Make their homes safer by reducing tripping hazards, adding grab bars inside and outside the tub or shower and next to the toilet, adding stair railings and improving the lighting in their homes.

To lower their hip fracture risk, older adults can:

·         Get adequate calcium and vitamin D—from food and/or from supplements.

·         Do weight bearing exercise.

·         Get screened and treated for osteoporosis.

(1) Hausdorff JM, Rios DA, Edelber HK. Gait variability and fall risk in community–living older adults: a 1–year prospective study. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2001;82(8):1050 (2) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.Web–based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [online].   Accessed November 30, 2010.

AAC supports Operation Helping Hand, organized by Kim Valentine of Valentine Law Group

– Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something –

Thank you to AITKEN * AITKEN * COHN for their support with Operation Helping Hand – coordinated and organized by Kim Valentine of the Valentine Law Group. Saturday June 30th and Sunday July 1st, volunteers assembled and delivered approximately 250 backpacks full of personal hygiene items and undergarments to many of the homeless population in the Los Angeles and San Diego Counties. Anyone interested in donating to or becoming involved in upcoming projects for Operation Helping Hand, please contact AITKEN * AITKEN * COHN or Kim Valentine for further information.

Richard E. Donahoo Named Liaison Counsel in PONZI case.

On November 29, 2011 Orange County lawyer Richard E. Donahoo was named Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel in related cases involving Diversified Lending Group (“In Re DLG”) currently pending before Los Angeles Superior Court Civil Complex Division.
In the DLG cases, scores of investors have brought individual and class action claims against insurance companies and broker-dealers who allegedly aided and abetted DLG and its President, Bruce Friedman, in a $215 million PONZI scheme that resulted in a loss of millions of dollars for hundreds of investors.  Many of the investors are retirees.  There are 18 related cases filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court.  Defendants include Metlife, Inc., New England Life Insurance Co. and Jackson National Life Insurance.
Several cases have already been resolved.  “While the court has already approved millions of dollars of individual settlements, our work is not complete and we look forward to continuing our work with our co-counsel to recover damages on behalf of all of our clients” said Donahoo.   Donahoo & Associates ( is jointly prosecuting its actions with the law firms of Foley, Bezek, Behle & Curtis, LLP. ( and Good, Wildman, Hegness and Walley, LLP (