Law is not black or white, it's grey


Patient brokering kickbacks sober homes


On March 15, 2018 the State dropped our patient brokering case, after we filed a Motion to Dismiss based egregious police misconduct. The day that the motion hearing was scheduled to be heard in front of the Judge, the State Nolle Prossed the case. This is the ONLY patient brokering case where the State has dropped the charges. If you would like to read the motion please click on the link below.

There have been over 40 patient brokering cases arrests to date. Below is a link to the other the current open cases.

First patient brokering case to be dropped by the State!

Palm Beach county Florida Sober Home lawyer, patient brokering, kickbacks, insurance fraud lawyer

Delray Beach, Florida is the recovery capital of the world

There are good treatment centers. There are bad ones. Treatment center owners and workers are face felony charges if they allegedly paid for patients (typically addicts with insurance). Sometimes they will pay a finder’s fee for each addict who has medical insurance that the sober homes can bill. If the broker gets a kickback, that is illegal. Patient brokering is a 3rd degree felony in Florida. Patient brokering is punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Patient brokering includes an offer to pay a kickback, commission, bonus, rebate, bribe, etc. as well as actually paying for patients. It does not matter if the offer to pay or the kickback is paid directly or indirectly, in kind or a split fee agreement.

Patient brokering also includes solicitation, actually receiving a kickback, and even aiding, abetting, advising or otherwise participating in the conduct.

Treatment center owners and/or workers may also be charged with insurance fraud for billing for services not rendered or that were not medically necessary. Billing insurance for multiple unnecessary drug screening tests may be considered insurance fraud. 

The Palm Beach county state attorney’s office, as well as the FBI and US attorney’s office are actively pursuing sober home treatment center owners for kickbacks, patient brokering and insurance fraud.

The Palm Beach county state attorney's office was given $275,000 by the Florida legislature to create a task force to look at changing the laws for sober homes/treatment centers.

Chief assistant state attorney Al Johnson was appointed to head up the task force. Al has stated that any “bonus, rebate or kickback” to sober home operators is illegal, no matter its form.  They are actively pursuing these cases.  The State attorney's office in Palm Beach county set up a tips line to crack down on sober home fraud.  According to Palm Beach county fire rescue, about 8-10 people every week overdose on heroin.  The State Attorney's office went after the pill mills.  Those are largely gone.  Heroin is making a comeback.  

Florida’s patient brokering statute is constitutional. The Florida Supreme court case is State v. Rubio, 967 So. 2d 768 (FL 2007). There are very few criminal appellate cases for patient brokering in Florida. That may change after more people are arrested for patient brokering. The law has been on the books for some time, but largely has not been enforced. Most of the appellate decisions are civil cases (people fighting over money) as opposed to criminal cases (people fighting over someone’s freedom).

Under the law of preemption, Florida’s anti-kickback provision of the Florida Medicaid fraud statute was found to be unconstitutional. State v. Harden, 938 So. 2d 480 (FL 2006).

Other charges that could be filed along with patient brokering/kickbacks include RICO, racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering and Medicaire fraud (federal).  

If you or a loved one gets arrested or think they will be arrested for patient brokering in Florida, you should call a board certified criminal trial lawyer immediately.  



"Law is not black or white, it's Grey"

Delray beach sober home patient brokering kickbacks lawyer