We learned that a company that operates group homes for people with disabilities in Aichi Prefecture and other prefectures was audited by the prefecture for suspecting that it was collecting from users the cost of ingredients for meals provided at the facility in excess of the actual cost in violation of national standards.

According to Aichi Prefecture, the company that was audited was Megumi Co., Ltd., which is headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo and operates group homes for people with disabilities.

Around May last year, Okazaki City, which regularly checks the books of the facility, informed the prefecture that there was a suspicion that a group home in the city was inflating and collecting material costs for meals for users.

Since the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare stipulates that the actual cost of meals provided at group homes must be collected, the prefecture conducted an audit of the head office and facilities in the prefecture in December last year and confirmed that the amount was collected from users in excess of the actual cost.

According to Aichi Prefecture, there are 5 group homes in the prefecture, and the prefecture is investigating through municipalities the reasons why the facilities collected more than the actual cost, as it may constitute "economic abuse" as defined by the Act on Prevention of Abuse of Persons with Disabilities.

According to the company's website, this company operates facilities in 12 prefectures nationwide, including Aichi Prefecture and Tokyo, and the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare issued a notice in June to the local governments where the facilities are located to investigate the actual situation.

Operating company "Considering response"

Megumi Co., Ltd. told NHK, "We are in the process of responding to an audit by an administrative agency and cannot respond, and we are considering whether to make an announcement on our website or hold a press conference if necessary."