In Florida, Palm Beach Sober Home Task Force carried out a series of raids on shady sober homes earlier this month. On February 9, the sober homes task force arrested James Tomasso, the owner of three Palm Beach County drug treatment facilities Wednesday. Court documents say that Tomasso faces 25 counts of patient brokering.
According to investigators, Tomasso set up a “marketing agreement” with a sober home operator for referral payouts. Different payouts were rewarded based on a patient’s insurance coverage and attendance at the treatment sessions. The sums were sometimes up to $650 per patient.
Tomasso operated Pathways 2 Recovery in Boca Raton, Inspirations Recovery in Greenacres and Acceptance Recovery Center in Delray Beach. He allegedly paid more than $68,000 to the owner of Infinity House sober home for illegal patient referrals. People who were staying at Infinity House would be referred enroll in one of Tomasso’s treatment programs. The owner of Infinity House has not yet been charged, but investigators say that they have spoken with him.
The judge set bond at $75,000 for Tomasso. According to the Palm Beach Post, Tomasso has a history of fraud that dates back to at least 2005. An ex-con, he was sentenced to three years in prison for defrauding the state’s unemployment agency. Because of Tomasso’s history, he won’t be allowed to post bail until he can prove that money to be used to get out of jail did not come from any illegal activities.
Tomosso’s arrest is just one in a series of crackdowns by the Sober Home Task Force and other law enforcement in Florida. Several sober homeowners who were charged with patient brokering are now going to trial in Palm Beach County.
On the same even of Tommoso’s arrest, in Boyton Beach, Florida a husband and wife team who operate a drug treatment center and sober homes were arrested for what authorities describe as a payment scam.
James Durkin was charged with 13 counts of forgery while his wife, Jaclyn Sue Durkin, was charged with two counts of forgery. Authorities say that the couple was depositing checks payable to a doctor who didn’t actually work for them. The checks, mostly from insurance companies, would then be deposited into their companies Hope Center for Rehabilitation LLC or Relapse Prevention LLC. In some cases, James Durkin endorsed some of the checks, totaling $37,500. A trial date has not yet been set.