Two former bankrupt brothers convicted of appalling animal cruelty face having their aged care accreditation revoked over the failure of their aged care business in Victoria to return deposits to families of former residents.
The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission has ordered Chronos Care, which owns aged care homes in Alphington, 7km north-east of Melbourne’s CBD, and Mount Eliza, 63km south of Melbourne’s CBD, to return the deposits within 28 days.
The company founded by former poultry farmers Gerry and Chris Apostolatos is set to have its funding cut and status as an approved provider of aged care revoked if it fails to comply with the order by August 5.
An Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission spokesman said Chronos Care had been banned from charging “accommodation payments and accommodation contributions” for three months, which will place further financial strain on the business.
“The Commission will continue to monitor Chronos Care Ranelagh Gardens and Chronos Care Alphington Aged Care through its quality assessment and monitoring program, which includes unannounced site visits,” the spokesman said.
The sanctions were imposed on 8 July after the company was issued with a non-compliance notice on 15 June.
If Chronos Care fails to return the deposits, almost certainly over $1 million, the federal government would then be required to cover the bonds with public funding.
It is unknown how many families have been affected by the serious breach of prudential regulations.
Chronos Care was founded by brothers Gerry and Chris Apostolatos in 2014, when both men had been declared bankrupt with combined debts of more than $5 million. The brothers in March 2015 – about five months after they purchased the Mount Eliza aged care home known as Ranelagh – pleaded guilty to the shocking mistreatment of more than 1 million chickens.