From our correspondent in Grenoble
From our correspondent in Grenoble
CEO of the Avec group, specializing in the fields of care and health, Bernard Bensaïd was arrested Monday morning in Paris, to be heard by investigators from the Grenoble judicial police.
At the end of a 48-hour police custody, he should be presented on Wednesday morning, according to information from
, before a magistrate from the Grenoble public prosecutor's office, who could decide to open a judicial investigation and a possible indictment.
At the head of the Avec group, which has 12,000 employees and 400 establishments, Bernard Bensaïd is also president of the Groupe Hospitalier Mutualiste (GHM) in Grenoble, which he took over in October 2020.
Digital services "that would not exist"
This arrest took place within the framework of an investigation carried out for several months by the Grenoble public prosecutor's office and triggered after the filing of a complaint against X for "illegal taking of interest" and "embezzlement", of the FO unions and CGT du GHM, in June 2022. The unions then pointed to amounts estimated at just over 4 million euros, paid by the GHM to the group Avec, for digital services
“which would not exist”
, according to Thierry Carron, FO secretary, elected to the Social and Economic Council (CSE) of the establishment.
“Since 2020, we have been paying for services for which there is no invoice and which do not correspond at all to these amounts”
, he explains.
Also in sight: the 8 million euros in loans, granted by the GHM, following the signing of an agreement in May 2022 with Doctocare, a mutual company owned by the Avec group.
Of this sum, only 1.5 million euros have so far been reimbursed to the GHM.
Bernard Bensaïd's arrest took place during a meeting of the group's executive committee, of which Yves Jégo, former secretary of state in charge of overseas territories under Nicolas Sarkozy, is general delegate, then that a new loan of 2.7 million euros had to be validated.
Now on the judicial field, the file of the takeover of the GHM of Grenoble by the group With has not stopped bouncing for two years.
At the end of 2019, facing a difficult financial situation with a level of debt estimated at 22 million euros, the mutual Adréa (now Aésio), majority within the GHM, decided to sell the establishment, with 1,300 staff.
In October 2020, the "Mut", nickname given to this clinic created in 1957, entered the bosom of the Avec group, in a context of strong mistrust.
"We were well aware of the commercial aspect surrounding the takeover and we quickly saw that the goal was to make money"
, says an employee of the clinic.
A group of users, committed alongside the unions, the City of Grenoble and the Metropolis, then brought the case before the Grenoble court to try to have the sale suspended.
Their fears: the undermining, by their buyer, of the mutualist values inscribed in the DNA of the establishment and its operation pursuing a non-profit goal.
In November 2021, the case was referred to the merits by the interim relief judge and will be tried within the year.
Within the GHM, the arrest of Bernard Bensaïd is experienced by many as a relief:
“We avoided an additional 2.7 million euros going back to the group and our cash flow being further amputated, in addition to the 6, 5 million that we may never recover
, ”explains Nicolas Albin, oncologist and president of the GHM establishment medical commission.
A loss, perhaps permanent, which already has very concrete consequences on the care of patients within the establishment.
Committed to the acquisition of a new radiotherapy device, the GHM had to deal with the withdrawal of one of the three banking partners needed to finance this investment.
A withdrawal, linked, according to Nicolas Albin,