Two brothers who operated South Florida addiction treatment facilities were sentenced to prison for a $112 million addiction treatment fraud scheme that included paying kickbacks to patients through patient recruiters and receiving kickbacks from testing laboratories, the U.S. Justice Department announced. “These substance abuse treatment facility operators, through brazen tactics driven by greed, took advantage of vulnerable patients seeking treatment,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite Jr. of DOJ'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.”
Jonathan Markovich, 37, and his brother, Daniel Markovich, 33, both of Bal Harbour, Fl., were sentenced to 188 months and 97 months in prison, respectively. The Markoviches conspired to bill for $112 million of addiction treatment services that were medically unnecessary and/or never provided, through illegal kickbacks at two addiction treatment facilities, Second Chance Detox, an inpatient detox and residential facility, and WAR Network LLC, a related outpatient treatment program. The defendants attracted patients through recruiters who offered illegal kickbacks, including free airline tickets, illegal drugs, and cash payments. They "shuffled a core group of patients between Compass Detox and WAR in a cycle of admissions and re-admissions to fraudulently bill for as much as possible," DOJ said. Patients were given a “Comfort Drink” to sedate them, and to keep them coming back. Patients were also given potentially harmful amounts of controlled substances, in addition to the “Comfort Drink,” to keep them compliant and docile, and to ensure they stayed at the facility.