As the air-conditioning remained broken, the roof leaking and nursing home patients receiving inadequate care — a Rome couple raked in millions, purchasing homes, properties and expensive cars, according to a federal indictment.

Before the state shut down two Floyd County and one Brunswick nursing home in 2007, the care provided was described as so “inadequate or deficient as to constitute worthless services.”

The couple who owned and operated the nursing homes were arraigned Friday in U.S. District Court in Rome on charges of conspiring to defraud federal and state programs that provide health care to the needy.

George D. Houser, 62, and Rhonda Washington Houser, 46, pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to defraud Georgia Medicare and Medicaid programs of more than $30 million from 2004 to 2007.

Through Rome-based Forum Healthcare Group, the defendants operated three nursing homes named in the indictment — Mt. Berry Convalescent Center, 2 Three Mile Road; Moran Lake Convalescent Center, 139 Moran Lake Road; and Wildwood Park Nursing in Brunswick.

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