These searches began Tuesday morning, the day the group of private nursing homes presented its transformation plan, trying to convince that it could straighten the bar and clean up its practices and finances.
These searches, “carried out throughout France”, must be spread out “over several days”, specified a source close to the file to AFP, the gendarmes of the Central Office for the fight against damage to the environment and to public health (Oclaesp) targeting a total of “several dozen establishments” of Orpea.
Contacted by AFP, Orpea assured that it was “mobilized to support ongoing investigations”.
Already in June, the headquarters of the group and the regional directorates had been the subject of searches as part of this part of the investigation for “institutional mistreatment”, but also as part of another part, digging into alleged financial offenses .
The exploitation of this June search is still in progress.
Orpea, present in 23 countries and which manages more than 350 establishments in France, has been in turmoil since the publication in January of the investigative book “Les Fossoyeurs”, written by journalist Victor Castanet.
The journalist denounces the mistreatment of residents, the misuse of public funds and shortcomings in the management of personnel.
At the end of two administrative investigations, the government had made a report to the justice. At the end of April, a two-part investigation, one for institutional mistreatment and the other for financial offences, was opened by the Nanterre prosecution.
These investigations had been joined to an investigation already underway for breaches of labor law.
The institutional mistreatment component is based in particular on around fifty complaints from families of residents for “endangering the lives of others”, “non-assistance to a person in danger”, “manslaughter” and “violence by negligence”.
Lawyer Sarah Saldmann represents a large majority. “These searches are a good thing, it will perhaps shed light on certain possible and unidentified actions so far,” she told AFP.
At the same time, Orpea filed a complaint against X and a preliminary investigation was opened in mid-May, in particular for misuse of corporate assets.