Tuesday, 20 November 2012

15 charged with using Food Bank aid to feed elderly patients

One of the homes involved
They also allegedly used deceased pensioners' cards to obtain medicines and other items valued at over €9,000
CÁDIZ The Guardia Civil's Operation Pócima, which continues open, has so far resulted in charges against fifteen people involved in a fraudulent scheme run by several private residential homes for the elderly costing up to €1,800 a month per pensioner. Apparently, the patients were being fed with food obtained from Food Bank charities, from which a total of 140 tons were taken and distributed to various homes throughout the province. In addition, the fifteen are accused of using pensioners' discount and health cards belonging to 66 people who had died, which is how the scheme came to light.>>>With the cards, medication and other health items were obtained from pharmacies and suppliers at no cost, as these are free to those with that particular benefit.

A team from the Junta de Andalucía's Health Department, and representatives of the Food Bank began looking into what at first appeared to be an organized scam. Further investigation revealed that this was not in fact an organized thing but rather a coincidence in the way the homes were managed.

The Food Bank (Banco de Alimentos) is a non-profit organization with the aim of providing free food of all kinds to people without resources and officially recognised as in need of care. These include people with mental and physical health problems, the elderly, children, underprivileged families and individuals, drug addicts and AIDS patients, among others. The GC points out that the Food Bank does not charge for its services, which also include distribution of food.

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