Lawyer for nursing home owner who stole millions says money went to facility, family members

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It's been a long road to justice for workers at Bridgeport Health Care Center, and tonight the owner's lawyer is giving his side on where millions in missing pensions went.

Two years after federal agents raided the center, owner Chaim Stern pleaded guilty to embezzlement and tax evasion.

Workers like Lorna Campbell spoke to News 12 back in 2015, saying her pension was gone. Other employees' doctor bills went unpaid.

According to a plea deal, Stern now admits he took $4 million out of his own employees' pensions, and didn't pay another $4 million in taxes. By 2017, the pension fund was down to just $588.

Stern's lawyer Stan Twardy insists much of the money went back into the nursing home just to keep it open.

"The state was not reimbursing for the care of the individuals who were staying there ... the number of beds that were being utilized were going down," says Twardy.

But court records show Stern wrote himself big checks with pension money.

"Some of it did go to family members who were on the payroll, OK? And so, not saying that 100% of it went to be utilized for the nursing home itself," says Twardy.

Stern has agreed to pay back more than $5 million. His lawyer says they are trying to get money together from people who are "supportive" of Stern.

Stern is facing up to seven years in prison. His own workers will get to address him face-to-face when he's sentenced in April.

 

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