MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – A prominent doctor from Miami accused of operating two unlicensed elderly care facilities in the Keys has been taken into custody.
Dr. Raul Arcadio Tamayo, 66, was arrested Monday morning at his Miami Beach home. He’s been charged with two counts of neglect of an elderly or disabled adult. Bond was set at $200,000.
Forty-seven-year-old Amarylis Maristan, who reportedly worked under his supervision as a caregiver, is currently wanted on the same charges.
According to a joint investigation by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, along with several state and federal agencies, Tamayo and Maristan knowingly operated two unlicensed elderly living facilities. The first from April 2016 to October 2016 in Plantation Key, the second from October 2016 to December 2016 in Key Largo.
Dr. Tamayo is accused of failing to provide care for the elderly patients at the facilities and for falsifying records to indicate he was providing care. Investigators say he was being paid by Medicare for services he was not providing. He’s also accused of knowing that the facilities weren’t licensed and that Maristan was not medically trained in any way.
The pair reportedly cared for six elderly female patients over the age of 80, all with chronic and acute medical conditions requiring medical care and multiple prescription medications. All the patients were bed or wheelchair bound, were diagnosed with memory loss or dementia and were incontinent. The majority of them were found to have urinary tract infections and bedsores when they were seen by medical professionals subsequent to being found in the unlicensed facility.
The investigation began after Mariner’s Hospital in Tavernier alerted the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) about a suspected case of elder abuse.
The DCF had received a complaint from the hospital after an elderly woman was brought into the hospital in cardiac arrest, covered in urine with severe bed sores, some infected. The 85-year-old victim was revived and transferred to Homestead Hospital for treatment where she died the following day.
Autopsy results later showed she died of “complications of septic shock due to pneumonia”. Investigations revealed at the time of her death she was underweight, suffered from malnutrition and had been suffering from seizures. Dr. Tamayo was reportedly aware of this history of seizures and had billed the government for seizure medication which was never given to the victim.
The woman’s caregiver, Maristan, was interviewed at the time the woman was brought to the hospital. She gave permission for the investigators to enter her residence, where the victim had been cared for prior being taken to the hospital. Inside the residence, the investigators found numerous mattresses against the walls and four more elderly females. The remaining elderly women were transported to Mariner’s Hospital and then to a legitimately licensed care facility.
Maristan was asked if a doctor was caring for the woman who died. She replied that she had been seen by Doctor Tamayo, who would make house calls to the facility and prescribe medications as needed for the elderly people at the facility.
Investigations revealed the elderly care facility being operated by Maristan was not a licensed care facility, nor did Maristan have any form of professional medical training. Further investigation revealed the woman had not been treated for her severe bed sores, nor the pneumonia she ultimately died from.
After the elderly patients still at the facility were removed and examined, a second victim was found with untreated pneumonia and untreated Parkinson’s disease.
During questioning, Tamayo reportedly admitted to investigators that he was responsible for medical supervision at the two facilities and he knew that Maristan was unlicensed and untrained.