DOJ approval of $1.2 million deal ends case of owner who used nursing homes as 'piggy banks'

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Federal authorities have agreed to a $1.2 million settlement that would bring a long and complex case of nursing home embezzlement to a close, according to news reports from Rhode Island.

In 2006, Antonio L. Giordano admitted he and a business partner siphoned millions of dollars from two failing nursing homes that were mortgaged through the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Giordano spent two years in jail and paid a fine based on that guilty plea, but he faced additional charges in state court and from HUD.

In 2012, a judge blasted Giordano for using the Mount St. Francis Health Center in Woonsocket and the Coventry Health Center as his “personal piggy banks,” and ordered him to pay $13.9 million in damages in the HUD suit. However, payment was forestalled because Giordano already had filed for bankruptcy; further complicating matters was a suit from the Internal Revenue Service related to unpaid payroll taxes.

The IRS, HUD and Giordano's bankruptcy trustee all support the agreement approved last week by the U.S. Department of Justice, according to local reports. Under that settlement, entities controlled by the Giordano family will pay $1.2 million to the federal government. Giordano and his associates will cease seeking to collect $6.7 million from the state of Rhode Island, from a lawsuit against the state's Department of Environmental Management.

The agreement settles all claims against Giordano and the business entities he is affiliated with, according to the Providence Journal.

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