You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

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


Welcome to

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

Addiction treatment center raided; husband and wife arrested

A husband and wife who operate a drug treatment center and sober homes were arrested on Thursday and charged with depositing checks payable to a doctor who did not work for them into their companies’ accounts.

James Durkin, 37, was charged with 13 counts of forgery. His wife, Jaclyn Sue Durkin, 29, of Boca Raton, was charged with two counts of forgery.

Although the checks were made out to a doctor who did not work for them, the back of the checks were stamped with “FOR DEPOSIT ONLY” to Hope Center for Rehabilitation LLC” or for deposit to another company James Durkin controls, Relapse Prevention LLC. According to the arrest report, James Durkin, who founded both companies in 2013 and 2014, endorsed some of the checks.

The checks, payments from insurance companies to a doctor for treatment of recovering addicts, totaled $37,500.

His wife is not a corporate officer in either company. However, bank security video shows her depositing two checks into the companies’ accounts, the report states.

Investigators raided two sober homes, not identified in police reports, and the office of Hope Center for Rehabilitation at 2828 S. Seacrest Blvd. James Durkin was led out of the offices in handcuffs.

An employee who asked not to be named, was shocked by his boss’s arrest. Durkin is a “good Christian family man” who “bent over backwards” for the addicts enrolled in his treatment program, the employee said.

“I don’t trust many people in this industry but I trust him,” the employee said. “If there was one place I would have bet on it was this place.”

Of the 14 arrests made by the Palm Beach County Sober Home Task Force since October, all but the Durkins have been charged with patient brokering.

A two-year-long investigation by the Palm Beach Post found that testing the urine of recovering addicts is so lucrative that treatment centers pay sober homes for patients, a practice the state attorney’s office says violates Florida’s patient brokering law.

The Durkins’ cases are also the among the oldest. The alleged forgeries occurred in 2014 — which answers the question some drug treatment operators have been asking: How far back will the Sober Home Task Force go in rooting out fraud?

The Durkins’ arrests come amid the busiest week for state and federal task forces investigating corruption in South Florida’s drug treatment industry.

In federal court on Monday, Stefan Gatt pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Gatt’s was the first of seven arrested and charged with a scheme to defraud insurance companies operated by Kenneth Chatman to plead guilty.

On Tuesday, Michael Bonds, another member of Chatman’s treatment empire, also pleaded guilty to the same charge. Both face up to five years in prison.

On Wednesday, the task force arrested James Tomasso on 25 charges of patient brokering. According to the arrest report, Tomasso, who has two prior felony fraud convictions, paid more than $68,000 to a sober home operator for clients.

Today, Dr. Donald Willems, a medical director at Chatman’s treatment centers, is scheduled to take a plea deal.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

Couple takes Alzheimer’s curves as they come
Couple takes Alzheimer’s curves as they come

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. — Cheryl Levin-Folio can’t anticipate every new milestone of memory loss as she and her husband, Michael Folio, navigate his Alzheimer’s disease. Sometimes quick thinking comes in handy, as it did when Michael forgot one day to take off his clothes before stepping into the shower. Rather than correct her husband...
Take care of your savings by taking care of your brain
Take care of your savings by taking care of your brain

Grab a bowl of berries and walk up a steep hill. Now you’re ready to learn three other ways to save your retirement fund. Confused? The advice is simplistic and ignores the devastating financial toll dementia-related expenses often add to a person’s struggle with the disease, but if there are some low-cost and relatively easy ways to delay...
Sentara’s Music and Medicine creates a healing duet for patients
Sentara’s Music and Medicine creates a healing duet for patients

NORFOLK, Va. — When the Johnny Cash melody frustrates James Rodriguez, he chuckles, shakes his head and says, “I don’t know.” Tracy Bowdish gently pushes him, taking his hand into hers as she leans closer and sings in bell-clear perfect pitch lyrics from “I Walk the Line.” The goal is to get Rodriguez to find the...
Don’t let your mind wander

Have you ever spent half an hour or more frantically looking for your keys? Is there a book that you know is on one of your book shelves, but for some reason you can’t find it? Do you often have to look for a few minutes before you find your parked car? These are fairly common problem, especially as you get older. You can’t just automatically...
Baby boomers are getting divorced in record numbers

Apparently, baby boomers don’t believe in happily ever after — at least when it comes to marriage. Since 1990, the divorce rate has doubled for U.S. adults 50 years and older, according to government data. This comes at a time when splitting up has actually become less common for the younger crowd. Though younger couples divorce more, their...
More Stories