breaking news

Secret Service: Lantana air rules tough, but needed to protect Trump

BREAKING: Chatman drug treatment associates owe millions


Conspirators in Kenny Chatman’s sprawling drug treatment criminal enterprise are on the hook for millions of dollars, with one man expected to pay his share of $5.6 million in restitution.

Chatman’s operations had a horrifying human cost but most of the money came from insurers. Family members blame his operations for loved ones’ deadly relapses, and prosecutors told how Chatman screwed shut a home’s windows to keep women from escaping forced prostitution.

Friday’s court filings show how prosecutors are now seeking an accounting.

In three filings, lawyers for Chatman’s co-defendants agreed with prosecutors that they are jointly liable for millions of dollars they scammed from insurance companies. A judge agreed to the restitution amounts Friday.

Chatman, subject of an NBC profile, was not known as one of the biggest sober home operators. But his victims could tell stories like, “I first met Kenny Chatman in 2015 at age 19. Kenny Chatman kidnapped me.” The Palm Beach Post first exposed Chatman in 2015, leading Chatman to consider suing the paper.

In the case of Michael Bonds, who owned the Redemption sober homes in Delray Beach and took kickbacks from Chatman for referring patients, that tally is $5.6 million. More than $3.1 million in losses are to Blue Cross Blue Shield alone.

Cigna, which pulled out of Florida’s federal health insurance marketplace because of “an exponential increase in fraudulent and abusive” drug treatment practices, was hit for more than $780,000, a filing says. United Health Care lost more than $614,000; ValueOptions, almost $150,000; and Humana, more than $117,000.

Bonds, sentenced to 4¾ years for his role in the enterprise, signed a statement acknowledging the level of fraud. Stefan Gatt, a body builder who got an 18-month prison sentence because he took kickbacks for unnecessary urine tests, is on the hook for a share of nearly $3.7 million in restitution.

Barry Gregory, a onetime licensed mental health counselor who was Chatman’s clinical director, was prosecuted in a separate federal case and is to pay a share of nearly $3.2 million. Blue Cross Blue Shield accounted for $1.8 million of those costs. Gregory admitted he knew 90 percent of his patients might still be on drugs. He was given a five-year sentence.

Chatman, who ran the Reflections Treatment Center in Margate, was sentenced to 27½ years in prison. He and his wife, Laura, have not reached agreement on restitution. They face an Aug. 2 hearing on the matter.

Named in the restitution filings are Gregory, Kenny and Laura Chatman, Bonds, Joaquin Mendez, Dr. Donald Willems and Fransesia Davis.

Half of any wages earned in federal prison jobs must go to the restitution. After release, the defendants will have to pay restitution at the rate of 10 percent of monthly gross earnings.

Davis’ restitution hearing has been rescheduled for Aug. 3. Willems is seeking to have his Aug. 30 restitution hearing moved to Miami. The prosecution of Mendez continues.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Drugs, self-defense claims at heart of death penalty case of Miami man
Drugs, self-defense claims at heart of death penalty case of Miami man

Flakka, alcohol, jealousy over an ex-girlfriend and bad living arrangements were all terrible pieces of baggage for John Chapman and Vanessa Carmen Williams to bring into their final, fatal encounter on an April morning nearly three years ago. On that, at least, everyone agreed. Why and how Williams ended up dead, on the other hand, emerged on Tuesday...
In suit, Riviera employee details sexual misconduct of 2 ex-officials
In suit, Riviera employee details sexual misconduct of 2 ex-officials

A Riviera Beach Public Works employee has sued the city, her former department head and a former interim city manager, alleging the officials sexually harassed and assaulted her and that supervisors did nothing about it. The advances of former Interim City Manager Danny Jones and former Public Works Director Brynt Johnson led to loss of dignity...
Solar tariffs forecast to lead to job losses, increased costs
Solar tariffs forecast to lead to job losses, increased costs

A leading solar industry trade group decried President Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on imported solar modules and panels, saying the move will result in job losses in the U.S. However, a Riviera Beach-based solar panel manufacturer could benefit and experience increased demand. The tariffs set to take effect Feb. 7 and resulting costlier...
Secret Service: Lantana air rules tough, but needed to protect Trump
Secret Service: Lantana air rules tough, but needed to protect Trump

Ever since Donald Trump — even as president-elect in late 2016 — began vacationing in Palm Beach, the U.S. Secret Service has established flight restrictions for those visits that have hampered commerce at Palm Beach International Airport and other area air facilities, and effectively shut down the Lantana airport. In an interview Tuesday...
Florida woman: Burglar lived in home, stole underwear and purse
Florida woman: Burglar lived in home, stole underwear and purse

A Florida woman says a burglar took up residence in her home for several days while she and her husband were away.  Maritza Williams of Orlando told WKMG that her husband arrived home to find the unexpected surprise after he was away for work and she was visiting grandchildren in Michigan.  Her husband found a broken front door, an opened...
More Stories