You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myPalmBeachPost.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myPalmBeachPost.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myPalmBeachPost.com.

2nd sober home owner linked to Chatman pleads guilty to health fraud


The owner of Redemption sober homes in Delray Beach on Tuesday pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud for accepting $240,000 in kickbacks from Kenneth “Kenny” Chatman, who is accused in a wide-ranging scheme to use people in recovery to rip off insurance companies.

Michael Bonds, who said he completed a 28-day drug and alcohol treatment program in 2006 before opening his own sober homes, faces a maximum six years in prison when he is sentenced on April 24. His plea comes a day after body-builder and fitness model Stefan Gatt, 27, who worked at a medical lab in Boca Raton, pleaded guilty to the same charge. Dr. Donald Willems, who was a medical director at one of Chatman’s treatment centers, is scheduled to take a plea deal Friday, court records show.

Full coverage: Palm Beach County sober homes

The guilty pleas signal they are cooperating with authorities who have charged Chatman with crimes that could send him to prison for life. Chatman was indicted last month on 17 charges, including sex trafficking for allegedly forcing women who wanted help beating their addictions into prostitution. The indictment of seven people came after a Palm Beach Post investigation of Palm Beach County’s burgeoning sober house industry.

Unlike Gatt, Bonds was also indicted on two counts of money-laundering and a single count of conspiracy to commit money-laundering. In exchange for his plea to health care fraud, prosecutors agreed to drop the other charges, which each carry a maximum 20-year prison sentence.

RELATED: Body-builder pleads guilty to role in massive sober house scheme

Bonds, 45, admitted he accepted kickbacks from Chatman to send roughly 60 insured residents of his sober homes to Reflections Treatment Center in Margate and Journey to Recovery in Lake Worth. He was paid $500 to $525 per patient per week, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Ann Marie Villafana.

He sent residents to the centers knowing that Chatman illegally licensed the treatment centers in his wife’s name because, as a convicted felon, he was barred from owning and operating them, she said.

RELATED: Despite losing grant, health district will help addicts with treatment

Further, Villafana said, Bonds knew residents of his sober homes were continuing to use drugs and alcohol. He gave them free rent and other incentives so they would go to the treatment centers Chatman owned. Chatman, in turn, billed scores of insurers for so-called treatment they received, Villafana said.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Oscars 2017: Jimmy Kimmel surprises Hollywood tourists with Academy Awards visit
Oscars 2017: Jimmy Kimmel surprises Hollywood tourists with Academy Awards visit

During Sunday night’s Academy Awards, host Jimmy Kimmel pulled a prank on a group of people who thought they had taken a bus to tour a museum. Instead, they entered the building to discover that they had been taken to the Oscars. While there, the tour bus riders snapped photos as they were introduced to some stars, including Ryan Gosling, the...
Oscars 2017: 'Moonlight' wins Best Picture after 'La La Land' mistakenly announced
Oscars 2017: 'Moonlight' wins Best Picture after 'La La Land' mistakenly announced

The 89th Annual Academy Awards ended on a confusing note, to say the least, after a mistake in the named winner of Best Picture. Actor Warren Beatty was on stage presenting the award with actress Faye Dunaway and after pausing to read the winner, he looked to Dunaway. She then announced that the award went to musical "La La Land." The filmmakers...
​2017 Oscars: Mahershala Ali makes history as first Muslim to win an Academy Award
​2017 Oscars: Mahershala Ali makes history as first Muslim to win an Academy Award

Mahershala Ali has a lot to celebrate this week. On top of welcoming a daughter with wife, Amatus Sami-Karim, on Sunday, Ali became the first ever Muslim actor to win an Academy Award. He won for his role in the film "Moonlight." During his emotional acceptance speech, Ali took a moment to thank his "wonderful teachers and professors"...
2017 Oscars: Iranian director Asghar Farhadi issues statement on immigration, doesn't appear onstage
2017 Oscars: Iranian director Asghar Farhadi issues statement on immigration, doesn't appear onstage

Director Asghar Farhadi won the Academy Award for best foreign language film for his work on "The Salesman," Sunday, but was not there to accept the Oscar. Vanity Fair reported that instead, the Iranian director sent Anousheh Ansari, the first Iranian and first Muslim woman in space, and Firouz Naderi, former director of Solar Systems...
More Stories