A 50-year-old Boca Raton woman was arrested by the Palm Beach County Sober Home Task Force on Thursday and charged with 35 counts of patient brokering. This is the 27th arrest by the task force since October 2016.
Sarah Muhammad was employed at Chapters Recovery, a substance-abuse treatment facility which also did business as Good Futures Recovery in Delray Beach, between 2015 and at least through early December 2016, according to the report. Good Futures was raided in December by the Palm Beach County Sober Home Task Force. The task force is made up of law-enforcement officials from a dozen state and local agencies.
Muhammad was released from the Palm Beach County Jail early Friday after posting $105,000 bail.
Muhammad was the admissions director at Chapters, and coworkers told investigators she “made all the decisions for” Daniel Kandler, one of the owners of Chapters. Kandler was arrested and charged with 93 counts of patient brokering. The two other owners, David Remland, and Mark Desimone were arrested on May 11 and charged with similar charges.
In the course of six months, Muhammad was connected to more than $155,000 in payments to The Treatment Professionals LLC and Guiding Light Properties sober homes for referring patients to the Chapters’ treatment facility, according to the report. Florida law prohibits treatment providers to pay a commission, a bonus, a kickback, or a bribe for new patients.
As the admissions director, Muhammad had authority over patients coming in, payments to sober home operators and patient marketers. The center’s staff said Muhammad “decided who stayed or go” and was described as “an important person.”
One woman in accounting told investigators Muhammad would tell her to cut checks every Tuesday to certain case managers. The site’s staff told authorities that patient marketers made about $475 for each IOP patient they brought into the recovery center.
In a recorded meeting with a confidential informant, Muhammad said Chapters didn’t have time to visit the sober homes their clients were sent to.
“We don’t pay for clients. We pay for the social work we do,” she said rolling her eyes, according to the report.