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Articles Tagged with illegal kickbacks

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Steve Johnson of Palm Springs, Florida was arrested by the Palm Beach County Sober Home Task Force on March 1 on 48 counts of patient brokering. Johnson, 45, is the owner of a South Florida outpatient treatment center called Palm Beach Recovery & Wellness.

Johnson reportedly paid illegal kickbacks to sober home operators in exchange for referrals to recovering addicts with health insurance coverage. He runs the facility with his wife, Melissa Johnson, but she has not been charged in the case. Johnson is being held at Palm Beach County Detention Center. News sources did not say if he has acquired the services of an attorney.

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John Holland, a former Tenet Healthcare Corp (THC) senior vice president, has been charged in Miami, Florida with allegedly paying millions in kickbacks to a clinic in exchange for patient referrals. This was purportedly part of a scheme to defraud Medicaid of millions of dollars.

Holland, 59, also misled federal authorities about THC’s amends for illegal billing practices over the past decade, sources say. He was indicted last week on mail, kickback and healthcare fraud charges and pleaded not guilty to all the charges on Wednesday.

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Amanda LaFrance of Boynton Beach, Florida, was arrested on December 3 on multiple patient brokering charges. LaFrance, 25, is the eighth and youngest halfway house owner to be arrested by the Palm Beach County Sober Homes Task Force that’s investigating patient brokering cases in South Florida. She is being held in Palm Beach County Jail on $3,000 bond. The press did not name an attorney for her.

LaFrance’s halfway house, Saved By Grace, was implicated by Whole Life Recovery, a treatment center in Boynton Beach. James Kigar, the owner of Whole Life Recovery, and Christoper Hutson, the facility’s operations manager, were the first to be arrested by the task force on October 25. They reportedly paid illegal kickbacks to halfway-house managers like LaFrance for referrals of insured patients to their treatment program.

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Serge Francois of Miami, Florida was arrested earlier this month for allegedly conspiring to defraud the government of $37 million through various federal health coverage networks including TRICARE, the medical insurance program for members of the military and their families.

Francois, 51, is a pharmacist and the owner of Atlantic Pharmacy, which reportedly sold prescription drugs to the federal government for U.S. military personnel and government employees. He is one of over a dozen defendants implicated in the Atlantic Pharmacy case for money laundering, obstruction of justice, and payment of illegal kickbacks. Francois pleaded not guilty to all charges.

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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.

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