Brothers sentenced for using illegal drugs to lure patients to detox facility, billing for unnecessary treatments – KCRG
MIAMI (Gray News) – Two brothers were sentenced to prison for a $112 million addiction treatment fraud scheme that included paying kickbacks to patients to get them to come to the facility.
According to the Department of Justice, Jonathan Markovich, 37, and his brother, Daniel Markovich, 33, took advantage of people seeking substance abuse treatment.
Evidence presented at the trial showed the pair conspired to bill for about $112 million of addiction treatment services that weren’t necessary or were never provided at two facilities – Second Chance Detox LLC, dba Compass Detox (Compass Detox), an inpatient detox and residential facility, and WAR Network LLC (WAR), a related outpatient treatment program.
The pair would hire recruiters to lure patients to the addiction treatment centers by offering illegal kickbacks, including illegal drugs, free airline tickets and cash payments.
The DOJ said the brothers shuffled a core group of patients between the inpatient and outpatient facilities in a cycle of admissions and re-admissions to bill for as much as possible.
Patients were given large amounts of controlled substances and a “comfort drink” to keep them compliant and docile to ensure they stayed at the facility.
“To manipulate and exploit patients seeking help in their most vulnerable state is unacceptable,” said Assistant Director Luis Quesada of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division. “These individuals orchestrated a scheme that sought profits over the wellbeing of patients, and they will be held accountable for their actions.”
Jonathan Markovich and Daniel Markovich were sentenced in the Southern District of Florida to 188 months and 97 months in prison, respectively.
“These substance abuse treatment facility operators, through brazen tactics driven by greed, took advantage of vulnerable patients seeking treatment,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “These sentences demonstrate the department’s unwavering commitment to protecting patients and prosecuting fraudulent substance abuse treatment facilities through our Sober Homes Initiative.”
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