Addiction Treatment Facility Owner Convicted in $58 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme
A federal jury convicted a Florida woman today in a health care fraud scheme that billed private health insurers more than $58 million for services that were never provided and were not medically necessary.
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Carie Lyn Beetle, 44, of Lake City, with others, unlawfully billed health insurers for over $58 million of addiction treatment services that were never rendered and/or were medically unnecessary at two facilities she operated: Real Life Recovery Delray LLC (RLR), a substance abuse treatment center, and A Safe Place LLC, dba Halfway There Florida LLC (HWT), a related recovery residence, also referred to as a “sober home.”
The evidence showed that Beetle and her co-conspirators recruited patients by providing them with kickbacks and bribes in the form of free or reduced rent, payment for travel, and other benefits in exchange for those patients agreeing to reside at HWT, attend drug treatment at RLR, and submit to regular and random drug testing (typically two or three times per week) at RLR and HWT. Beetle and her co-conspirators then billed the patients’ insurance plans for the substance abuse treatment and urine testing services the patients were purportedly receiving. In many instances, individual patients did not attend the billed treatment session. On such occasions, Beetle and her co-conspirators caused employees and patients of HWT/RLR to forge patients’ signatures on sign-in sheets to make it appear as though absent patients had attended treatment. In addition, Beetle and her co-conspirators caused expensive medically unnecessary urine testing to be billed for patients knowing that the tests were excessive, not used in treatment, and not reviewed by medical professionals.
The evidence further showed that Beetle laundered the proceeds knowing they derived from fraud and other crimes when she deposited a check from RLR.
Beetle was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud, and one count of money laundering. She is scheduled to be sentenced later this year and faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on the conspiracy count and up to 10 years in prison on the money laundering count. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Assistant Director Luis Quesada of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division; Special Agent in Charge George L. Piro of the FBI’s Miami Field Office; Deputy Chief James D. Robnett of IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI); and Special Agent in Charge Matthew D. Line of IRS-CI’s Miami Field Office made the announcement.
The FBI, IRS-CI, the Florida Bureau of Insurance Fraud, and Amtrak Office of Inspector General investigated the case.
Senior Litigation Counsel Jim Hayes and Trial Attorneys Ligia Markman and Reginald Cuyler Jr. of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section are prosecuting the case.
The National Rapid Response Strike Force and Los Angeles Strike Force lead the Department of Justice’s Sober Homes Initiative, which was announced in the 2020 National Health Care Fraud Takedown to prosecute defendants who exploit vulnerable patients seeking treatment for drug and/or alcohol addiction.