According to a report from the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, on 15 June the aged care regulator noted that Alphington Aged Care and Ranelagh Gardens, which are owned by Mali Nominees, failed to “refund refundable deposit balances within 14 days of receipt of probate of the will or letters of administration”.
In addition, the regulator found the provider did not “maintain sufficient liquidity” to ensure the provider could refund the deposits when called up to do so.
Mali Nominees is listed under the name Rita Kohu, who is the stepdaughter of Gery Apostolatos.
Gery and and his brother Chris Apostolatos were banned from poultry farming in 2015 after they pleaded guilty to animal cruelty. The brothers were responsible for the deaths on their farms of around one million chickens from starvation.
In 2014, the brothers purchased two Victorian aged care homes, including Alphington Aged Care.
The Age is reporting that the family of a resident who died at the group’s Mount Eliza home said, “Chronos Care’s management have blatantly ignored their responsibilities in respect of the timely return of our refundable accommodation deposit.
They said the regulator has been reluctant to intervene and lacked transparency.
One other family has been similarly affected, and is still trying to recover their funds. They said they had been told the company is refinancing and has been adversely impacted by the pandemic.
The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety noted that the regulator did not have access to adequate prudential information about aged care providers and recommended an independent inspector-general authority be created to monitor and investigate governance, improve prudential standards and provide greater oversight of those in leadership roles in aged care.