The Illinois Department of Labor currently is reviewing 22 wage complaints about Bowes In Home Care, a Medicare-certified home health agency in Crystal Lake, an agency spokesperson said Thursday.
Mike Matulis, spokesperson for the Illinois Department of Labor, said the complaints, regarding unpaid wages, are from workers who say they are owed money from the company.
They were all filed earlier this month, he said.
Matulis said the first thing the department does in its review is contact the employer to let them know they have a complaint.
“We always hope to resolve the complaints as quickly as we can,” he said.
Crystal Lake Police Chief James Black said several Bowes employees came into the department Wednesday to make a report on a civil complaint, but the report has not been completed yet.
A message to Michael Collura, president and CEO of In Home Personal Services, was not returned on Thursday.
A woman at the Bowes In Home Care office at 813 Tek Drive who declined to say her job title, refused to comment on Thursday.
As previously reported, staff members were told in a company-wide email from Bowes’ Clinical Administrator that the business would be closing its doors once all patients can be restaffed.
Collura later denied these claims, and said that the email contained misinformation. “I did not authorize nor have I initiated any such closure,” Collura said.
Collura’s financial troubles with Bowes In Home Care date back about a decade. In 2010, Collura bought a 75% interest in the company for $10 and an understanding that he would assume the company’s liabilities, court records show. At the time, records show that Bowes’ previous owner was having difficulty making payroll and covering outstanding debts.
Collura simultaneously was handling financial and legal matters for In Home Personal Services – a non-medical care company that his mother started in 2003. He and his brother each received 24% interest in the company and in 2004, Collura named himself as president of the company when he filed to have the business certified as a corporation, according to a 2017 civil complaint.
“[Collura’s mother] did not object both because, at the time, ‘titles’ were meaningless in the company, and she trusted that her eldest son would not act to her detriment,” attorney Jeffrey Blumenthal wrote in the complaint.
As time went on and the company grew, Collura promised to secure a loan so the family could expand its business. The loan didn’t come through, however, and instead, Collura’s parents loaned him $98,000 to be spent only on business expansion efforts, according to the complaint. It was about that time that Collura bought 75% interest in Bowes, and shortly after, bought the remaining 25%.
“Once again, Mike wrongfully usurped an opportunity that belonged to IHPS by buying Mary Ann Bowes’ remaining 25% stock interest in Bowes in his name or his trust’s name rather than on behalf of IHPS,” Blumenthal wrote.
Collura also was accused of using In Home Personal Services resources to establish two more businesses: In Home Development and Next Gen Dynamics, according to the complaint.
“On information and belief, Mike has also improperly used IHPS and/or Bowes Funds in connection with a ‘manager’-run, Illinois limited liability company he began in or about January 2013 by the name of Next Gen Dynamics, LLC,” Blumenthal wrote.
The situation came to a head in March 2012, when Collura asked his mother to transfer him the 52% In Home Personal Services stock shares that she owned. In exchange, he promised to pay her whatever amount of money she was earning at the time of her retirement for the rest of her life. It was a claim that Blumenthal called a “false and empty promise.”
Reached by phone Thursday, Collura’s mother declined to comment. Her complaint against Collura was dismissed without prejudice in 2017, records show.
Most recently, another company, Healthpro Heritage At Home, filed an arbitration case against Bowes In Home Care. According to the civil complaint filed Feb. 10, Bowes In Home Care failed to pay Healthpro for $24,804 worth of therapy services rendered between March and December 2019.
The first court date on the matter is scheduled for March 11.