My hearsay information is that it was opened by the former manager of the late Bijan on Fifth Ave. Â (The Beverly Hills Bijan is still going strong.) Â He had backing from some major Bijan customers. The store, Harrison James, was named after his children.
[quote] The James in Harrison James was fallen physician James Desnick. Along with some cohorts, he owned a large chain of eye clinics and a couple for-profit hospitals. He also ran twice for the Republican nomination for US Senator from Illinois, even as his medical empire was being investigated and closed down. Desnick financed Harrison James. Of his several financial scams, the most endearing involved hiring a telemarketing firm to invite Medicare/Medicaid patients to have free eye examinations at his clinics. Good-hearted soul, Desnick even sent a cute little bus around to pick up the old folks at their homes. Amazingly, even in the era of pinpoint marketing technology, almost every person who accepted the free exam turned out to require surgery. Considering the rapid growth of his chain of clinics and the short supply of ophthalmologists, Desnick deputized some of less qualified staff to perform examinations. After all, the diagnoses were predetermined; medical error was not a possibility. Desnick became rich on the unneeded eye operations and on his clinics's standard practice of overbilling Medicare and Medicaid. Desnick was an avid customer of Bijan. He also operated a for-profit hospital on Chicago's south side where he translated the strategy that had been so successful in out-patient care to the in-patient setting. He paid people who steered patients to the hospital, regardless of whether the patients needed medical care. When federal investigators began to snooping around the hospital's records, Desnick abruptly closed the facility, leaving employees without their final pay checks and the patients sitting in their wards wondering when lunch would be served. Desnick declared the hospital bankrupt with over $50 million in debt. A few years later, he settled the Medicare/Medicaid fraud charges for $14 million and paid another $4 million in the patient steering scam. Neither settlement immunized him against future criminal prosecution. Illinois suspended Desnick's medical license. His enterprises have collapsed. Though the suspension has expired, he has left the medical profession in favor of a more suitable line of work, real estate development in Florida. No word on his attire in the swamps..