Corruption prosecutor Antonis Eleftherianos has launched a preliminary investigation into Athens Nursing Home, a nonprofit organization and Greece’s oldest facility for the care of the elderly, following allegations of gross mismanagement of funds, Justice Minister Haralambos Athansiou told Parliament on Wednesday.
The probe follows reports in local media of mismanagement of funds, illegal withdrawals from charitable donations made to the institution, favorable leases on real estate that has been bequeathed to the institution and several instances of direct commissions for technical work bypassing tender regulations and amounting to hundreds of thousands of euros.
Athens Nursing Home was set up in 1864 with a trust bequeathed by benefactor Andreas Syngros. It is under the supervision of the Labor and Social Security Ministry and the Attica Regional Authority.
Independent Greeks Deputy Vassilis Kapernaros, who requested that Parliament be briefed on the investigation, told the House that Athens Nursing Home currently manages 91 bequests and a portfolio of some 500 properties, many of which are at prime locations. According to reports a number of these properties are being illegally leased under favorable terms rather than used as housing for poor elderly citizens.
Eleftherianos will also be investigating claims that the former management of the home made millions of euros’ worth of illegal withdrawals of money donated to the organization to cover its operational costs.
The nursing home’s board of directors, chaired by Archimandrite Prokopis Boubas, was disbanded in 2012 and replaced by an temporary body after the first mismanagement allegations emerged, prompting an internal inquiry.