The Orpea group, in turmoil since the release of a book-investigation, made public on Wednesday the final conclusions of an external audit confirming "wrongful behavior" and "dysfunctions", in particular in its use of public funds.
“The publication of the conclusions of the external evaluation mission is part of the process of total transparency” of Orpea “in response to the allegations made against the group”, indicates the chairman and CEO Philippe Charrier, quoted in a press release.
"While it shows that some of these allegations are not proven, it also confirms malfunctions and wrongful behavior for which we once again offer our most sincere apologies to all our stakeholders".
The firms Grant Thornton and Alvarez & Marsal, mandated by Orpea in February, notably “confirmed” a “practice of end-of-year discounts (RFA) with certain major suppliers of products financed by public grants not communicated to the authorities as this is planned ".
Victor Castanet's book,
, had accused Orpea of invoicing with allocations of public money for services to suppliers, who returned part of them to the group.
The independent audits also confirmed "a practice" aimed at "maximizing the consumption of the allocation allocated by the authorities to nursing homes for medical devices", via "invoicing by a service provider whose reality could not be verified “, continues the press release.
They noted “the existence of surpluses in the allocations received from the authorities, the accounting treatment of which may have contributed to the group's result”.
Orpea takes measures
Orpea claims to have taken measures with “the objective of eradicating the practices identified above, when they still existed”.
Grant Thornton and Alvarez & Marsal “have identified remuneration paid (…) to third-party business introducers, the very high amounts of which raise questions”.
Some of this remuneration “already appears, among other operations, in the complaint filed by Orpea on April 21, 2022 with the Public Prosecutor of Nanterre”, indicates the group.
This complaint concerns facts relating to "capital partnerships", in particular on the occasion of takeovers abroad, certain operations raising "questions and does not always allow their economic rationality to be clearly identified". .
It also covers "other economic transactions, in France or abroad", which "may have had the effect or the purpose of unduly favoring third parties, in particular employees and/or former employees, or companies in which employees and/or former employees of the Group could have had an interest”.
Assuring that the damages suffered are “insignificant at the group level”, Orpea affirms that “disciplinary procedures are in progress” and “dismissals and layoffs have already been carried out”.
The publication of this report comes as the headquarters of Orpea and its regional offices were raided on Wednesday as part of an investigation into suspected abuse of residents and financial crimes.
Orpea case: Searches underway at the group's headquarters and in the regional directorates
Orpea case: The former general manager of the group heard by the police for "insider trading"