As a recovery facility that holds itself to the highest standards, we are truly appalled when we see crooked characters come in and tarnish our industry. And sadly, that trend is becoming more commonplace as the opioid crisis leaves more Americans addicted. It is during this vulnerable time that fraudulent treatment centers and “body brokers,” as they are called, come swooping in, making false sobriety claims and bilking millions in the process. Well now CNBC is bringing this negative trend to the forefront, with an American Greed docu-special titled The Road To Retox.
TheFix.com did a nice job summarizing what the special entails. Basically, over the course of 60 minutes viewers are taken on a brutally honesty journey profiling human trafficking and recovery scams. The episode will also focus on Kenny Chatman, a notorious con man who used fake sober living homes to collect insurance money, bamboozle families and set up prostitution rings.
“Kenny Chatman saw an opportunity, saw a chance to make a lot of money, and didn’t care who he hurt to make that happen,” Florida attorney Maria Villafana explained in the American Greed teaser clip “These types of facilities encouraged, rather than prohibited, drug use to perpetuate the cycle of ‘treatment’ and keep millions of dollars’ worth of insurance payments coming in.”
Indeed, the promos for the Retox episode are alarming and eye-opening. One example below, illustrates how Florida’s “body brokering” industry became a lucrative practice. It also delves into the nefarious practices of Chatman, who used intimidation to control and bilk his “clients.”
Another preview clips details how the fraudulent billing practices took place and the crooked doctors who also participate in these scams. Worse yet, it illustrates how much wealth a person like Chatman was able to accumulate pulling these types of schemes. According to the clip below, Chatman was earning as much as a $100,000 a week because of these fraudulent recovery practices.
The good news (at least in this case) is that Chatman was ultimately arrested and convicted for his crimes. This past May, he was sentenced to 27 years in prison after pleading guilty to health care fraud. This actually led to a spiral effect in Florida, with 50 additional arrests tied to mismanaged sober living homes.
Now thankfully there is much more good than bad out there when it comes to the recovery industry. But we do highly recommend doing your homework before choosing treatment and always seeking out facilities that are properly licensed and accredited.