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Palm Beach County Arrests: Rehab Center CEO In Cuffs

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Palm Beach County Arrests RehabBoynton Beach, FL – By some estimates, Palm Beach County has a $1 billion drug treatment industry. While many facilities and sober homes are committed to helping those in need, there are others who are exploiting vulnerable addicts and alcoholics.

After a months-long investigation, two staff members at a facility called Whole Life Recovery were arrested on Tuesday, following a raid of the treatment center. They were accused of patient brokering, a third-degree felony charge.

Palm Beach County Arrests

The back story

These particular Palm Beach County arrests are the first of its kind, but Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg says investigations will continue.

Many advocates around the county have encouraged these kinds of arrests, hoping to impede and prevent practices like insurance fraud, patient brokering and other illegal kickbacks. As the Post reports, at one point, “Corruption was so rampant that Cigna stopped selling policies on Florida’s insurance exchange.”

Finally, in June, an investigation was launched after a confidential informant notified a Delray Beach detective that James Kigar, CEO of Whole Life Recovery and one of the men arrested on Tuesday, was paying the informant for bringing addicts with medical insurance to the facility for treatment.

Through secret recordings, police were able to gather enough evidence to warrant two arrests: one for Whole Life’s operations consultant Christopher Hutson, who arranged the alleged patient brokering with the informant; the other for CEO James Kigar who signed the checks.

For Huston, the arrest is particularly alarming, as this is not his first run-in with legal troubles relating to addiction treatment practices. In 2011, he pled guilty to conspiracy racketeering charges that were part of a larger $40 million “pill mill” operation.

Exploiting those in need

There was a time when operating a sober living home was a financially risky move. By and large there was little money to be made. But since insurance companies got involved, things have changed dramatically.

For many patients, insurance provides necessary financial assistance to get the care they need. But, as the Palm Beach Post reports, for some greedy people, insurance proved to be a cash mine. It allowed them to conduct questionable (at best) urine tests, sometimes unnecessarily and incessantly, in order to rake in millions of dollars. And the insurance companies fought back. Just last year, there were multiple lawsuits brought against South Florida treatment providers and drug test companies alleging misconduct.

A systemic problem

Unfortunately a few bad apples are disparaging an entire industry. The truth is there are many people in the rehab business trying to make a quick buck – as evidenced by District Attorney Aronberg’s ongoing investigative efforts. But there are others who are genuinely committed to helping people.

Getting help from a vetted source

If you’re looking to get care for alcoholism or an addiction to drugs, whether for yourself or for a loved one, it’s more important than ever to find a reliable treatment facility. A dependable treatment center should be accredited and hold proper licensing, and should always be willing to show you around.

If you have questions about where to start, we can help. Give us a call today to learn more: 1-800-861-1768.Palm

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