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March 05, 2021 05:00am
By Jill Murphy, Associate Editor
Multiple arrests made at treatment facilities for drug and alcohol addiction.
Seven physicians, owners, and staff members of alcohol and drug addiction treatment centers have been arrested in an alleged health care fraud scheme, according toWPTV.
Kenneth Chatman, administrator for Reflections Treatment Center in Margate, FL, allegedly threated patients to make them stay in treatment facilities so that he could continue to fraudulently bill their insurance companied, according to a report from the Department of Justice.
The president of the Florida Association of Recovery Residences, John Lehman, said he had been receiving complaints about Chatman and his treatment facilities for 3 years. Chatman and 6 others are charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud.
In the Justice Department’s report, several accusations were listed against the group, including bribing patients to attend their drug treatment centers in order to bill their insurances and allowing many patients to continue using drugs,WPTVreported.
Chatman is accused of threatening patients to keep them from leaving the treatment facilities, and even recruiting some women to engage in prostitution. Additionally, Lehman said he had received complaints that patients’ belongings were being taken away.
“Their cell phones were being held hostage, and once a week they were provided an opportunity to reach out to their family members while someone was watching over the conversation,” Lehman said.
If Chatman is convicted for the conspiracy to commit health care fraud, he could face a maximum of 10 years in a federal prison, and an additional 5 years for making a false statement related to a health care matter charge,WPTVreported.