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Florida substance abuse center owners sentenced for fraud

Former owners of Florida substance abuse recovery center sentenced to prison and ordered to pay $4,045,364 in restitution for health care fraud. (Image: MGN)

The former owners of Angel's Recovery in Delray Beach are sentenced to federal prison for defrauding health care benefit programs.

Tovah Jasperson pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud. She was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison.

Her father, Alan Martin Bostom, was sentenced to two-and-a-half years, after pleading guilty to knowingly and willfully falsifying and concealing a material fact in a matter involving health care benefit programs.

The pair was also ordered to pay $4,045,364 in restitution.

"Health care fraud victimizes the individuals involved and the community at-large," said Isabel Colon, DOL's Employee Benefits Security Administration Regional Director in Atlanta. "Fraudulently inflating healthcare bills for unnecessary or non-existent treatment passes the costs on to others wishing to obtain health insurance."

Angel's Recovery is a residential treatment facility for substance abuse.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Jasperson and Bostom hired a medical director despite knowing the Florida Board of Medicine had suspended his medical license. He was allowed to examine and treat patients; prescribe controlled substances and bodily testing; and create pre-signed prescriptions, which allowed other recovery center employees to provide prescriptions for controlled substances illegally.

Investigators also found that Jasperson and Bostom paid kickbacks to the owners of other recovery residences in exchange for access to patients, who would generate bills that could be charged to the patients’ insurance companies. Jasperson and Bostom also paid kickbacks to patients, who agreed to reside in the recovery center and participate in the treatment and screening sessions in exchange for free rent and insurance premiums paid on their behalf.

Along with their co-conspirators, Jasperson and Bostom prepared and submitted fraudulent insurance claims attesting that the treatments were reimbursable as medically necessary. The claims failed to acknowledge that the treatments were based on kickbacks and bribes; that some patients never paid their required co-payments; and that the medical director had a suspended license, making Angel’s Recovery’s license invalid.

Colon said, "The U.S. Department of Labor remains committed to ensuring that benefits are not abused, and anyone found guilty of committing fraud is held accountable."

The investigation was a combined effort of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration , the FBI, the IRS, the Amtrak Office of the Inspector General, the Office of Personnel Management-Office of the Inspector General, the Florida Department of Insurance Fraud, the Martin County and Palm Beach sheriff’s departments, and other local police departments.

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