A former nursing home operator in Fairfield County admitted to embezzlement and multiple tax offenses as part of a multi-million-dollar scheme.
Chaim Stern, 71, of Flushing, pleaded guilty in Bridgeport federal court to embezzlement and tax offenses related to his operation of nursing homes in Bridgeport and Waterbury.
Stern was the principal operator of the Bridgeport Health Care Center (BHCC), Bridgeport Manor, and the Rosegarden Health and Rehabilitation Center LLC in Waterbury, which were privately owned nursing and rehabilitation facilities.
Between 2011 and 2018, Stern stole approximately $4.1 million from the BHCC Pension Plan, over which he was the trustee, principally by diverting the money to a purported charity, called Em Kol Chai, which Stern controlled, as well as to himself and others.
In February 2015, Stern misapplied $305,608.06 from BHCC Health Plan by diverting the money from a stop-loss insurance plan that was intended to pay for an employee health claim, and instead used it for other purposes, including Em Kol Chai, the operation of the BHCC, and for his own personal use.
Between January 2017 and March 2018, U.S. Attorney John Durham said that Stern caused BHCC and Rosegarden to fail to, pay over employment taxes it collected from employees. It was further alleged that from January 2017 through June 2018, Stern caused BHCC and Rosegarden to fail to pay BHCC and Rosegarden’s share of employment taxes.
The total tax loss resulting from Stern’s conduct is $4,356,409.85.
Specifically, 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.
As part of his plea agreement, Stern agreed to pay millions of dollars in restitution to the Pension Plan and IRS. Stern remains released on a $500,000 bond and is scheduled to be sentenced on Wednesday, April 8, when he will face up to 20 years in prison.
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