The private group of retirement homes Orpea, accused of having embezzled public funds, has been ordered to reimburse 55.8 million euros to the State, we learned on Friday.
The National Solidarity Fund for Autonomy (CNSA) gave Orpea formal notice on July 29, said a spokesperson for this organization which manages funds dedicated to dependency, confirming information from Le Monde.
Orpea assured in a press release published last week that it would reimburse “
the sums whose allocation was inadequate
However, the group evokes “
differences of appreciation
” on the sums concerned.
He intends to provide "
" to the CNSA within the "
" of one month to defend his position.
According to Le Monde, the group says it is ready to reimburse 5.7 million euros, an amount which corresponds to discounts granted by suppliers for the purchase of products intended for the elderly, financed by public grants.
On the other hand, Orpea refuses to reimburse 30.1 million euros claimed for wages, according to the daily.
The group used these public funds to pay carers, while the company should have financed their salaries with its own funds.
A scandal with lasting consequences for the image of the group
The debate mainly concerns life auxiliaries acting as caregivers, a practice used by the entire sector to compensate for structural shortages of personnel
”, specified Orpea.
The salaries of nursing assistants are partly covered by public grants.
The group also refuses to reimburse 19.6 million euros corresponding to the amount of two taxes, paid with public funds, indicates Le Monde.
The situation is unprecedented, the CNSA will do everything to recover the amounts due by relying on its current legal capacities
", commented the spokesperson for the organization.
Read alsoLaurent Guillot challenged to rebuild Orpea
Orpea, present in 23 countries and which manages more than 350 establishments for dependent elderly people in France, has been plunged into turmoil since the publication in January of a book-investigation, "
", by journalist Victor Castanet, who denounces his practice.
Justice opened a preliminary investigation in April for institutional mistreatment and financial crimes, following a report by the government.
The group, whose title has fallen sharply on the Paris Stock Exchange since the publication of the book, has dismissed its management and has undertaken to review its practices.
He appointed a new chief executive and renewed his board of directors to convince his shareholders, and the general public, that he had learned the lessons of the affair.