Addiction treatment center owner found guilty of $58 million healthcare fraud scheme | Takeover bid

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A federal jury today convicted a Florida woman in a health care fraud scheme that billed private insurers more than $58 million for services that were never provided and were not not medically necessary.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Carie Lyn Beetle, 44, of Lake City, along with others, illegally billed health insurers more than $58 million for addiction treatment services that did not never been returned and/or were medically unnecessary at two facilities it operated. : Real Life Recovery Delray LLC (RLR), an addiction treatment center, and A Safe Place LLC, dba Halfway There Florida LLC (HWT), a related recovery residence, also known as a “sober house”.

The evidence showed that Beetle and his co-conspirators recruited patients by offering kickbacks and kickbacks in the form of free or reduced rent, payment for travel and other benefits in exchange for those patients agreeing to reside at HWT, undergo drug treatment at RLR, and undergo regular, random (usually two or three times per week) drug testing at RLR and HWT . Beetle and his co-conspirators then billed the patients’ insurance plans for the drug treatment and urinalysis services the patients were supposed to receive. In many cases, some patients did not attend the billed treatment session. On such occasions, Beetle and his co-conspirators tricked HWT/RLR employees and patients into forging patient signatures on attendance sheets to make it appear that absent patients had attended the treatment. Additionally, Beetle and his co-conspirators charged patients for costly medically unnecessary urine tests knowing the tests were excessive, not used in treatment, and not reviewed by medical professionals.

Evidence further showed that Beetle laundered the proceeds knowing they were from fraud and other crimes when she deposited a check from RLR.

Beetle was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and wire fraud, and one count of money laundering. She is expected to be sentenced later this year and faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for conspiracy and up to 10 years in prison for money laundering. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering US sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.

Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Deputy Director Luis Quesada of the FBI’s Criminal Investigations Division; Special Agent in Charge George L. Piro of the FBI Field Office in Miami; Deputy Chief James D. Robnett of the IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI); and Special Agent in Charge Matthew D. Line of the IRS-CI Miami Field Office made the announcement.

The FBI, IRS-CI, Florida Bureau of Insurance Fraud, and Amtrak’s Office of Inspector General investigated the matter.

Senior litigation attorney Jim Hayes and prosecutors Ligia Markman and Reginald Cuyler Jr. of the criminal division’s fraud section are pursuing the case.

The National Rapid Response Strike Force and Los Angeles Strike Force lead the Justice Department’s Sober Homes initiative, which was announced as part of the 2020 National Health Care Fraud Takedown to prosecute defendants who exploit vulnerable patients seeking treatment for drug addiction and/or alcoholism.

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