One of the largest senior-living companies in Oregon has agreed to compensate residents in order to settle allegations that it illegally marketed high-end housing to them.
In its settlement with the Oregon Department of Justice, Holiday Retirement will pay up to $3500 each to more than 150 current and former residents.
The seniors were recruited to live in Holiday Retirement housing believing that they were eligible for federal veterans' benefits. Holiday allowed them to defer their rent in anticipation of the additional income.
But the DOJ found that when some of the residents learned that they didn't actually qualify for the benefits, Holiday took aggressive action to collect rent from them.
"It's a practice known as pension poaching. It is widespread. You talk to anyone from the veterans world, and it's a really big problem," according to DOJ spokesman Jeff Manning.
As part of the settlement, Holiday will pay $200,000 to the DOJ Protection and Education Account.
This story originally appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting.