Jobs lost as former Home for Veterans contractor shuts down operations

J2S employees losing their jobs

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - The private staffing company at the center of the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans controversy is closing its doors one year after being replaced at the facility.

CareerStaff Unlimited and Maxim replaced J2s last summer to supply nurse aides to the Home for Veterans.

Multiple J2s employees confirmed the company is closed and confirmed a sister company created to operate next to J2s, "Catchh" is also closed. We went by the company's former location in Grand Rapids and it's cleared out, leaving an estimated 30 people without a job.

Several employees say they were told the owner, Tim Frain, is "out of money" and couldn't afford to keep the company open any longer.  

Two J2s employees tells us they are owed money and haven't been paid in weeks.  Angela Blount's one of them who says she learned she was out of a job through a text message.

"(The text) said you no longer have a job and I (responded) of course what's going on," Blount said.  "I still didn't receive a call so at that point she (texted) we are done."

It's perhaps hard to believe J2s existed after a tumultuous four-year period as the primary staffing contractor at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans. 

A total of a dozen J2s former employees have been charged with crimes committed inside the Home for Veterans.

Nurse aide Laurie Botbyl was charged with abuse against a member.  She will go on trial later this month.

►Related: Nurse aide charged with abusing a veteran: 'I wanted him off me'

State auditors found that J2S workers at the home falsified documents to suggest they had checked on members and checked on the alarms members set off, when they really hadn't checked on them at all. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette filed criminal charges against 11 of the workers for falsifying medical records tied to the Michigan office of the Auditor General's findings.

The audit also confirmed what the 13 Watchdog team found in November 2015, that J2s was short-staffed most of the time.

In an interview in June 2016, J2s's President Frain blamed the staffing shortages on a failed plan by the state to privatize the facility mixing state employees with new private employees.

"We have provided 1600 certified qualified people to fill 200 positions," Frain said. "There is an integration problem. It's a culture clash that's inhibiting good quality staffing."

The 13 Watchdog team has attempted to reach Frain on multiple occasions for about a week now and have been unsuccessful. The company's employees tell us he lives in Colorado. 

Federal court records show one of Frain's other companies, Core Fiber Solutions, Inc, is being sued in the state of Georgia for not paying employees wages and overtime. 

Last year, Frain hired a media relations firm to handle media requests.  Representatives from that same firm could not get in contact with Frain to find out what's happening right now.

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