Kent

Lottery scam forces Gillingham care home closure

A private care home in Gillingham, Kent is being forced to close after its owner was caught out in a lottery scam.

Medway Council said Jeannette Lodge, in Park Avenue, owned by Richard Raj, was closing after going into receivership.

Councillor David Brake said: "He was caught by a scam and this has caused a lot of difficulties for those in care and the staff."

The home has 12 residents. Nine are funded by Medway, one paid for by Kent County Council and two are self funded.

It is understood that Mr Raj was told he had won about 3m euros (£2,640,600) in a foreign lottery, but had to pay about £70,000 in taxes before the winnings could be released. His money never arrived.

Staff unpaid

Mr Brake, portfolio holder for adult services, said the bank and the receiver had come to the conclusion the care home was not a viable business to run.

He said: "The receivers have been extremely good and understand the situation that we are dealing with real live people here."

He said the council was in discussion with the residents and their families.

When the staff were first told of Mr Raj's situation they were working without pay, but Medway Council stepped in to ensure all staff were paid.

A member of staff at Jeannette Lodge said Mr Raj had left the care home.

The BBC has been unable to contact Mr Raj.

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