Two brothers who ran drug treatment centers in South Florida have been convicted of a $ 112 million fraud scheme, federal prosecutors have said.
Jonathan Markovich, 37, and Daniel Markovich, 33, both of Bal Harbor, were found guilty by a federal jury in the Southern District of Florida after a seven-week trial, the ministry said Thursday. American Justice in a statement.
The statement said the Markovich brothers, who operated Compass Detox, an inpatient drug and accommodation facility, and WAR Network LLC, a related outpatient treatment program, fraudulently billed around $ 112 million for services that did not ‘were never provided or were medically unnecessary, and paid bribes to patients through patient recruiters and received kickbacks from testing labs.
Jonathan Markovich, who owned both facilities, was also convicted of bank fraud in connection with PPP loan applications in which he falsely claimed that Compass Detox and WAR were not behaving unlawfully, the statement said.
Prosecutors said the brothers found patients through recruiters who offered them illegal bribes, including plane tickets, illegal drugs and cash. Patients would be mixed between the two establishments so that the brothers could fraudulently bill as much as possible.
Recruiters gave patients illegal drugs before they were admitted to Compass Detox to ensure they would be admitted for drug treatment, which was the most expensive type of treatment offered by the defendants’ facilities, prosecutors said. .
Therapy sessions were billed but not regularly provided or monitored, and excessive and medically unnecessary urine tests were ordered for patients, prosecutors said.
Patients were also given a so-called “comfort drink” to calm them down and bring them back, along with significant and potentially harmful amounts of controlled substances, prosecutors said. Some patients were also readmitted regularly and were subjected to Compass Detox and WAR multiple times to maximize income, the statement said.
“Their tactics were brazen and the dollar losses immense,” Special Agent in Charge George L. Piro of the FBI Miami Field Office said in a statement. millions of dollars from various health care programs.
The two brothers were convicted of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and electronic fraud. Jonathan Markovich was convicted of eight counts of healthcare fraud and Daniel Markovich was convicted of two counts of healthcare fraud. They were also convicted of conspiracy to pay and receive bribes and two counts of paying and receiving bribes.
Jonathan Markovich was separately convicted of conspiracy to commit money laundering, two counts of concealment of money laundering and six counts of laundering at least $ 10,000 in proceeds of illegal activity, as well as two counts of bank fraud linked to his fraudulent obtaining of PPP loans for both Boussole Detox and WAR during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Defense lawyers for the brothers denounced the verdicts on Thursday.
“What happened today is a miscarriage of justice, and we intend to fight to reverse such wrongdoing,” Jonathan Markovich’s lawyer Vanessa Singh Johannes said in a statement. She added that the government “has focused its prosecution on the hard-earned wealth of the Markovichs, which is not a crime in America.”
“The verdict is totally inconsistent with the evidence presented at trial,” said Marissel Descalzo, lawyer for Daniel Markovich. “I will appeal the verdict. I will continue to fight tirelessly to clear Daniel Markovich’s name.”
The brothers are set to be sentenced on January 13, 2022 and risk decades behind bars. A related trial is expected to open in February for four other people indicted in the case.