John Dudek and Bryan Norquist of Delray Beach, Florida, were arrested on Thursday for allegedly taking illegal kickbacks in exchange for patient referrals at their halfway houses in Palm Beach County. The two men face felony offense charges for patient brokering. They were released on Friday after posting a $3,000 bond. The press did not name attorneys for the pair.
Substance-abuse recovery facilities or halfway houses offer housing to people recovering from drug or alcohol addiction. These facilities are unregulated and house owners typically refer their patients to treatment facilities based on their condition. According to the arrest report, Dudek, who owns Southern Palm Oasis Inc., and Norquist, who owns The Halfway House Inc., illegally gave patient referrals to treatment centers in South Florida in exchange for kickbacks.
The arrest of Norquist and Dudek is the latest in a series of raids targeting unscrupulous halfway-house owners as part of an ongoing investigation by a special task force for sober homes and the state attorney’s office. The task force began its raids in October with the arrest of James Kigar and Christopher Hutson of Whole Life Recovery, a treatment facility in Boynton Beach.
A search of the Whole Life Recovery offices yielded reports linking Dudek and Norquist to the facility. Banking records reportedly show that Halfway House Inc. received over $15,000 from Kigar in 15 months. The task force also found a check for $1,233 made out to Southern Palm Oasis Inc.
According to Whole Life Recovery, the facility paid halfway-house owners for case-management services like assisting patients in acquiring food stamps and bus passes. The task force believes the facility is trying to cover up patient brokering under the guise of case-management services.
The state attorney’s office received a $275,000 appropriation this year to shut down bad treatment providers and more arrests are expected as the investigation continues. Jeff Goldman, the Delray Beach Police Chief, told news sources that the recent arrests signal a “move in the right direction” by the state attorney’s office and task force.