When local hospitals shut their doors, communities usually blame poor economics or heavy regulation. But The Dallas Morning News found another reason for closures: Businessmen who bought ailing hospitals and siphoned off their cash, often leaving them vacant hulks in devastated towns. What may seem at first to be an unlikely scenario has played out not just in Texas, but across the country. One owner left a trail of 13 wrecked hospitals in seven states. In Nevada, a doctor who put down $10,000 to take over the only hospital between Reno and Las Vegas pulled out at least $8 million before the cash-starved medical center shut down. Federal regulators and most states don't vet people who take over hospitals, The News discovered, and there is little financial oversight. Even when patient care suffers at these stripped facilities, regulators seldom hold those who profited accountable.