NEW YORK CITY — The New York State Attorney General’s office is trying to block a company from buying two nursing homes, citing two previous instances in which the company bought nursing homes but failed to keep them open.
An official from state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s charities bureau wrote letters to the attorneys for both the Greater Harlem Nursing Home & Rehabilitation Center and the Saints Joachim and Anne Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on Coney Island stating that he would not support Allure Group’s purchases of either facility, as reported by Politico New York.
Allure bought the Lower East Side’s Rivington House last year for $28 million after pledging to keep the facility open as a health care center. Earlier this year, after Allure paid $16 million to have a city deed limiting Rivington’s use for nonprofit residential treatment lifted, the company sold the property to residential developers for $116 million.
The letters from the attorney general’s office, which were provided to DNAinfo New York, also allege that Allure bought CABS Nursing Home in Bedford-Stuyvesant last year only to close it after a few months with plans to demolish the facility.
“The fact that Allure has on two separate occasions represented an intention to operate a property as a nursing home, only to sell the property within months for maximum profit, makes it clear that the Rivington transaction was not an isolated incident,” said Karen Hinton, chief spokeswoman for the de Blasio administration.
“We will continue to cooperate with the investigation of the Attorney General and other authorities until a final determination is made concerning possible fraud against the City.”
Any nonprofit looking to sell its assets to a for-profit company must petition the state court for approval. The owners of both the Harlem and Coney Island facilities have also petitioned the attorney general for approval. However, the final decision comes down to the court, so the sale could still go through despite objections from the attorney general’s office.
“The Attorney General's decision to not support the Allure Group's bid to purchase Saints Joachim and Anne Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Brooklyn means that the senior residents will continue to remain under the quality care to which they have become accustomed and which their families expect," said Michael Moriarty, Saints’ attorney.
“These seniors will remain in their longtime home and in a neighborhood in which they are familiar. Saints Joachim and Anne is pleased that the Attorney General has recognized its standing commitment to its residents.”
Allure Group did not immediately respond to DNAinfo's requests for comment.