Better Business Bureau is urging consumers to be cautious when seeking Medi-Cal and Veterans benefits assistance after seven consumers report paying between $1,000 and $3,000 to a long-term health care planner who allegedly collects payment and fails to file papers.
Mark John Crews & Associates
states on its website that the company assists consumers in planning for long term assisted care living, but consumers allege the company failed to follow through on its promises.
“We paid Mr. Crews $2,000 to assist in applying for Medi-Cal,” said a Yuba City man. “We received paperwork from social services stating the paperwork hadn’t been filed. When we tried to contact Mr. Crews, he said he was in Texas for a family emergency. We just want our money back.”
Consumers who contacted Mark John Crews & Associates for assistance with Veteran benefits experienced much of the same service.
“He took $1,000 from me to file Veterans benefits papers,” said a Modesto man. “The VA says they never got them and he won’t respond to telephone or email inquiries.”
When BBB tried to reach Mr. Crews regarding the complaints, phone calls were not returned. He also did not respond to letters or emails. The address listed on the website is a UPS store in Carmichael.
Mr. Crews did contact BBB on December 29, 2011 in response to a media inquiry. Crews stated that he paid restitution to the victims via court, but declined to respond to complaints logged with BBB. BBB could find no documentation in public records of restitution being paid to those who filed complaints and complainants stated they had not received refunds from the company.
Public records show Mr. Crews pleaded no contest to a felony charge of grand theft in 2009 for, in part, stealing over $68,000 from an elderly person. He was ordered to pay restitution to the victim’s estate and given three years of probation. On October 31, 2011 a request to revoke probation was filed against Crews alleging he had failed to pay little of the remaining restitution to the victim’s estate. It was also alleged that after taking money from people for his services, he performed little to no service, violating the term of his probation to obey all laws.
Mark John Crews and Associates
is currently ‘F’ rated with the BBB for failing to respond to five complaints. The company responded to one complaint by stating they had filed the paperwork agreed to.
The BBB offers the following advice for consumers seeking assistance in long term stay planning:
- Veterans can receive assistance filing for VA benefits at several Veteran organizations. Visit calvet.ca.gov
for a list of these organizations.
- If a consumer is receiving Medicare benefits, they can contact their local HICAP
office at 1-800-434-0222 for assistance.
- Before doing business with a company, ask for references and talk to the references to ensure they are legitimate customers.
- Check the company’s reputation online at necal.bbb.org.
- Verify street addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses before giving anyone your business.
For reports on businesses and for information about BBB services, visit www.necal.bbb.org
or call (916) 443-6843.