The investigation cell of Radio France reveals this Thursday, May 19 questionable practices on the part of Kauforg, the Swiss purchasing center of the Orpea group. This Wednesday, May 18, the stock market action of the group unscrewed because of new revelations from Mediapart.
Definitely, the Orpea group has not finished making people talk about it. After the shocking revelations of Victor Castanet’s book “Les Fossoyeurs” on the group’s practices in its Ehpad, the declarations
accumulate around the dubious practices that surround the group. And it is now the methods of its central purchasing office based in Switzerland that are pinned down by an investigation by Radio France.
To set the context, it should be noted that the investigation of the investigation cell of Radio France relates here to Kaufor. This is the purchasing center responsible for placing food orders for the Orpea group. in France. Located in Switzerland, Kaufor therefore centralized the invoices and made it possible to save money thanks to the larger volumes of orders.
The chefs of the Ehpad therefore placed their order with the suppliers, who sent the invoices directly to Kaufor, who in turn invoiced the establishments.
Very limited rations for residents, very high salaries for executives
So far, nothing special. Except that the profit objective seems to have been forced, in particular concerning food, since the daily cost price, set at approximately four euros per resident for three meals and a snack, was judged “insufficient”, according to a report by the General Inspectorate of Social Affairs (IGAS) and that of Finance (IGF), quoted by France Info.
But the savings applied to the food rations of nursing home residents did not concern certain executives of the company. And this is where the revelations are startling: indeed, Radio France reveals that three French people at the head of Kaufor, were employees of Orpea France (based in Puteaux), but that they benefited in parallel from a third-time contract with Kaufor.
In the employment contract that the journalists who signed this survey were able to obtain, we therefore discover that for this third time, remuneration corresponding to 143,000 euros per year was plannedbut that in addition, they could benefit from a bonus, set by the employer based on employee performance.
In some Ephad Orpea, the meal budget is barely €4 per day. We have identified the group’s food purchasing centre. Based in Switzerland, its practices raise questions. https://t.co/s4g4YLt4bH pic.twitter.com/sIDpKRa8FC
— Investigation unit of Radio France (@InvestigationRF) May 19, 2022
“Up to 7 years of food budget”
Thus, one of the wages climbed to 400,000 euros in one year… for a third-time. A former director of Orpea does the math: by combining the annual salaries of the three executives pinned down by the survey, “we arrive at 211,000 meal days. For an Ehpad of 80 residents, this corresponds to almost seven years of food budget”.
In addition to their remuneration, the complete survey, to be found on the France Info site, focuses on their concrete missions within the framework of this contract, on astonishing services but also on the financial links which could have been established between Kaufor and some of its suppliers.
Questioned in the context of the Radio Farnce investigation, Philippe Charrier, the CEO of the Orpea group indicates that he intends “to shed all the light on the accusations brought against the group. This is what we have been doing for four months through extremely thorough investigations and audits. In this context, several information channels have enabled us to detect potentially criminal facts, which call into question individual behavior.”
In a press release released this Thursday, May 19, the group indicates that a complaint against X has been filed with the Nanterre prosecution.
“This complaint is the result of investigations which revealed a certain number of frauds of which the Company or its subsidiaries may have been victims. The Company does not identify, as it stands, any material negative impact, following the actions thus denounced, on its cash or its real estate assets. It will implement all the means in its possession to recover the sums of which it would have been deprived as a result of these actions”, indicates the press release.
A Médiapart investigation pinpoints a holding company
This Wednesday, May 18, Mediapart and the collective of journalists Investigate Europe pin a Luxembourg holding company named Lipany, created in 2007, which has “accumulated 92 million euros in assets”, “mainly shares in many nursing homes and clinics managed by Orpea”, particularly in France. The investigation evokes “suspicious financial transactions”. That same day, Orpea’s stock market share fell by 19%.
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