Chicken-killing Apostolatos brothers fail to refund bonds from aged care homes

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An aged care business operated by Chris and Gerry Apostolatos, former bankrupt brothers who have been convicted of appalling animal cruelty, has failed to return deposits to the families of former residents, The Age reports.

Chronos Care, which owns aged care homes in Alphington and Mount Eliza, was issued with a non-compliance notice by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission last month, following several complaints from concerned families.

Last week, Chronos Care was also served with a statutory demand to return a deposit of $500,000 which should have been repaid within 14 days of when probate was finalised in April.

According to The Age, Stuart Reynolds, whose mother-in-law passed away at the Mount Eliza facility in July 2020, said he was forced to issue the demand because of repeated obfuscation by Chronos Care management and weak enforcement action by the regulator.

Chris and Gerry Apostolatos.

A failure to comply with the order within 21 days could see Chronos Care placed into administration.

“Chronos Care’s management have blatantly ignored their responsibilities in respect of the timely return of our refundable accommodation deposit,” Mr Reynolds said according to The Age.

READ MORE: Apostolatos brothers: Bankrupt chicken growers banned for cruelty run aged care homes.

“They have been contacted by our agents on numerous occasions seeking an explanation for the delay. Their responses have ranged from spurious excuses to outright lies.”

Another family, whose mother died in Chronos Care’s Alphington facility in February 2021, is still trying to recoup a debt of $225,000 that should also have been refunded in April.

The Age reports the late woman’s son had been repeatedly told by the company that it was unable to refund the bond because it was in the process of refinancing and had been badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Concerns about Chronos Care were first raised by The Age in February, when it was revealed the company was founded by Gerry and Chris Apostolatos in 2014 – when both men were bankrupt.

Chris Apostolatos was declared bankrupt in November 2012 with debts of more than $2.46 million and just $600 in the bank. Gerry Apostolatos owed $2.55 million to creditors when he was declared bankrupt in August 2013.

The pair were also fined and banned from the poultry industry for a combined total of 17 years after pleading guilty to serious animal cruelty charges over the mistreatment of more than a million chickens.

This happened about five months after they purchased the Mount Eliza aged care home known as Ranelagh.

Chronos Care did not respond to questions from The Age.

*Note: If your aged care provider becomes bankrupt or insolvent and cannot give you your refund, the Australian Government guarantees to pay it back to you. This includes any interest due since you left care. This is called the Guarantee Scheme, and it covers all residents of Australian Government-subsidised aged care services who have paid a lump sum. More information can be found here.

FULL STORY: The Age.

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