Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg announced Tuesday the Sober Home Task Force uncovered a massive multi-state kickback scheme between drug treatment centers and a local drug testing lab.
According to Aronberg, the Coastal Laboratory LLC in Palm Beach County billed $141 million in urine testing from 2015 to 2017 and kicked back at least $6.2 million to 12 drug treatment centers in Florida and Pennsylvania that referred their patients.
Aronberg says 15 people have been arrested in Florida, increasing the total number of arrests by the county’s Sober Homes Task Force to 85 since the Sober Home Task Force originated in 2016.
Furthermore, the task force coordinated its work with law enforcement in Pennsylvania, where 20 people have been arrested in connection with the scheme.
Palm Beach County officials created the task force in an effort to combat the drug epidemic.
The State Attorney’s Office reports that there has been a 41 percent decline in opioid-related deaths from 2017 to 2018.
In 2018 there were 326 opioid deaths compared to 558 in 2017.
The 15 people arrested last week were charged with patient brokering and conspiracy and will be prosecuted in Palm Beach County.