Totanes Pleas Guilty to 7 Felony Charges

Totanes had her day in court - and what she got was 130 days in jail, three years probation, and had to pay restitution for the money she had stolen.  According to the North County Times article, the judge also ordered her to surrender her passport (she is a resident alien).  In an unusual outburst, the judge reportedly said " . .you should never take care of anyone else, so no one else can be victimized by your greed and inappropriate behavior."    Totanes was a licensed registered nurse; as of 30 June, 2012, but her registration has since be revoked.

Nancy Totanes plead guilty to two felonies: grand theft and passing an unfunded check.  She will remain in custody until sentencing,  (scheduled for 27 June 2012) provided she pay full restitution of $4,571.03 to victims on this date. She will then be subject to 5 years probation.

CARR learned through public documents filed with San Diego Superior Court on 9 May 2012, that Nancy Agyapas Totanes, (Registered Nurse 465078, valid through 1/31/13) was arrested and charged with 7 felony charges including 2 counts of Grand Theft, Financial Elder Abuse (including theft, forgery, embezzlement and/or fraud), 2 counts of Elder False Imprisonment, Fraudulent Use of Access Card, and Insufficient Funds Check.   Charges were brought against Totanes by DOJ's the Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse (BMFEA).

The state averred in the Declaration in Support of Arrest Warrant, that Totanes operated two unlicensed facilities, caring for seven residents, in Escondido.  Further, she has a lifetime ban, dating to 2000, from owning and/or operating a RCFE resulting from CCL's revocation of her RCFE license and an exclusion from owning and/or operating a RCFE again.  

On 14 January 2011, CCL issued Totanes a Notice of Operation in Violation of the Law court documents revealed. Totanes provided to CCL on 17 January 2011 evidence that 7 residents were relocated, however subsequent to that date, Totanes re-accepted residents into her facility well into February 2011.

Totanes was booked into the Vista Detention Facility on warrant; bail was set at $210,000.  According to the "Who Is In Jail - Inmate Detail" (http://apps.sdsheriff.net), as of 20 May, 2012, Totanes is being held at Las Colinas Detention Facility, Santee.  

So why do you, the consumer, care about this case?  It's instructive in several ways:

1.  Court documents stated that the families who placed their loved ones with Totanes thought the facility was licensed.  Do not think or assume.  Ask to see the physical license, and validate that the license is real by reviewing the public documents for that facility on CARR's site, or call CARR and ask us to validate the license for you.   Your other avenue is to directly contact CCL by phone and ask for their confirmation that the facility is licensed.  Document what they tell you. There are unlicensed assisted living facilities throughout San Diego County so beware and be cautious - your loved one's care and safety depends upon your due diligence. 

2.  Totanes was a Registered Nurse: Do not think or assume that your family member will get better care in a facility owned by a skilled medical professional.  Having an owner who is also a skilled medical professional is problematic:  many RN-Licensees work a 'day job' in a hospital or other health care facility, leaving the care of residents to others.  CARR has seen citations written against RN or LVN Licensees for spending insufficient hours in their facilities, and for substandard care.