EXCLUSIVE by Wendy Williams
OVER half the residents of a controversial care home have moved out after its owner was evicted.
The seven pensioners – some with Alzheimer’s – have been relocated to a new ‘secret’ residence in a bid to steer clear of the home’s first owner.
The move comes after Iain Sands was evicted from Jacaranda Care Home, in Alhaurin el Grande, by former owner Georgie Shapiro.
The Olive Press revealed last month how a vicious dispute between the pair had culminated in claims that Shapiro concealed the death of a former resident in order to sell his properties.
While strongly denied, both Sands and former care worker Paul Price insisted that emails from Shapiro encouraged the sale three months after the death.
Now, as feared, the 11 elderly residents have been caught in the crossfire, with seven of them moving out to a new address.
“I can’t say where they have moved to as they don’t want Shapiro to find them,” Price told the Olive Press. “They are frightened in case she tries to cause trouble.
“It has all been really awkward.”
Meanwhile four of the residents have decided to stay on, despite accusations that the care home is being run illegally.
Sands has now appeared in front of a judge accusing Shapiro – who still owns the freehold of the property – of fraud and the miss-selling of the business.
However in an email sent to the residents Shapiro dismissed the rumours and insisted that Jacaranda was ‘not closing down’.
“The residents and staff have NOT been evicted,” she wrote, adding: “It is a case of the the tenant NOT paying his rent.”
She added she would ‘untangle the mess left to me after a year of poor management’. However most of the residents’ families were not convinced.
One, Betty Frost, whose husband has moved out, insists the situation has been a ‘nightmare’.
“It has been a travesty, and the caring staff don’t deserve to be embroiled in a scandal like this.
“It was a lovely happy atmosphere, and we never dreamt that a situation like this would ever come about.”
She added: “Despite Shapiro’s assurance she pointedly does not address the crux of the matter which is the alleged fraudulent selling of the two properties.”
Meanwhile the Age Care charity, launched by Shapiro, has come forward to reveal it is keen to distance itself from the former care home owner.
New charity president John Greaves, 77, insisted he had never even met Shapiro who has had nothing to do with the charity for six years.
“Shapiro was a founding member and was active for the first four or five years but she has had absolutely nothing to do with us for the last six years,” explained Greaves.
Despite numerous calls and messages the Olive Press was unable to speak to Shapiro. A care home worker insisted that ‘someone’ would get back to us.