Image of male nurse pushing senior woman in a wheelchair in nursing facility

One week after a bankruptcy judge was forced to close a Connecticut nursing home due to financial troubles, the former operator of the facility pleaded guilty to stealing millions from employees’ pension and health plans. 

Chaim Stern, 71, of Flushing, NY, pleaded guilty Wednesday to embezzlement and tax offenses, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut announced.

Money, gavel

He served as the principal operator of the three area nursing and rehabilitation centers, including the Bridgeport Health Care Center — which  shuttered last week after it failed to overcome financial troubles stemming from Stern’s crimes.

Between 2011 and 2018, Stern stole about $4.1 million from an employee pension plan, diverted the money to a charity, himself and other entities. He also used about $305,600 that was supposed to pay for an employee health claim for other and personal uses. 

Because of Stern, the facility’s failed to pay over employment taxes and pay its shares of employment taxes between January 2017 and March 2018. Stern’s crimes resulted in a total tax loss of about $4.3 million.

The federal government sued Stern in September 2016.

As part of a plea agreement, Stern has agreed to pay $4.1 million in restitution to pension plan participations. He’s also agreed to pay a total of $2.4 million to the IRS and participants in the health plan with unpaid claims. 

He has been released on $500,000 bond pending sentencing.