Bridgeport Health Care Center operator pleads guilty to embezzlement, tax offenses
Chaim Stern, the principal operator of the Bridgeport Health Care Center, pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to embezzlement and tax offenses related to his operation of nursing homes in Bridgeport and Waterbury.
Court documents had revealed that between approximately 2011 and 2018, Stern stole around $4.1 million from the BHCC Pension Plan, over which he was the trustee.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Stern diverted the money to Em Kol Chai, a purported charity that Stern controlled, as well as to himself and other entities.
According to a news release issued by the U.S. attorney, “Stern pleaded guilty to one count of theft or embezzlement from an employee benefit plan, one count of theft or embezzlement in connection with healthcare, and one count of willful failure to pay tax.”
Stern is scheduled to be sentenced on April 8 in New Haven court. He faces a maximum term of 20 years in prison.
Stern agreed to make restitution to pension plan participants in the amount of approximately $4.1 million; to participants in the health plan with unpaid claims and to the IRS in the total amount of approximately $2.4 million.
Stern was released on a $500,000 bond pending sentencing.
Last week, News 12 reported that a bankruptcy judge ordered the closure of Bridgeport Manor nursing home due to financial struggles brought on by Stern.