Owner of facility linked to Kenny Chatman gets 14 year-sentence


The owner of a Broward County-based drug treatment center linked to Kenny Chatman was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison on Wednesday after pleading guilty to illegally prescribing drugs.

Chatman had contracted with Richard Fernando Botero, the owner of Deerfield Medical Center and New Life Treatment Center, to provide treatment for patients at Chatman’s corrupt drug treatment center, Reflections, according to Botero’s plea agreement.

Two of Botero’s employees also were sentenced Wednesday. Anna Julia Cuartas, who described herself as a nurse but wasn’t licensed and had no training, pleaded guilty to illegally prescribing drugs and was given a 12-year sentence. Katherine Gonzalez, a receptionist, was sentenced to time served after pleading guilty to obstructing a federal health care investigation.

Botero hired two doctors whose medical licenses were revoked. One of them was Dr. Donald Willems, an osteopath. Botero contracted with Chatman to have Willems work at Chatman’s facility, where Willems later admitted to signing off on unnecessary drug, allergy and DNA tests for Chatman’s patients. Willems was sentenced to 10 years in prison in June.

Cuartas filled out prescriptions for painkillers without the patients ever seeing a doctor, according to Botero’s plea agreement. She and Botero also ordered prescription pads for both doctors even though they knew neither doctor could prescribe controlled substances.

Without the help of Willems and other doctors, Chatman could not have turned his small-time treatment center into a multimillion-dollar operation, with a second location in Lake Worth and sober homes throughout South Florida.

The treatment centers were shams, with phony doctors assigning phony treatment to patients, some of whom overdosed and died while in his care. And Chatman’s sober homes were houses of horror, where some female patients were held captive and forced into prostitution.

His treatment centers, first exposed in a 2015 Palm Beach Post investigation, have since generated national attention. Chatman is appealing his 27-year prison sentence.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Bill Murray resurrects 'Caddyshack' character in Facebook series about baseball
Bill Murray resurrects 'Caddyshack' character in Facebook series about baseball

Carl Spackler is back. Bill Murray played the hilarious golf course groundskeeper in “Caddyshack,” determined to keep a pesky gopher from ruining his lush fairways. He will play a similar role in “Bill Murray and Brian Doyle Murray’s Extra Innings,” an unscripted series that debuts Monday on Facebook, Entertainment...
Robert Mugabe expelled by Zimbabwe's ruling political party
Robert Mugabe expelled by Zimbabwe's ruling political party

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe was dismissed as leader of ZANU-PF, the country’s ruling party, on Sunday, Reuters reported. He was replaced by Emmerson Mnangagwa, the deputy Mugabe fired this month, sources at a special ZANU-PF meeting to decide Mugabe’s fate told Reuters.“He has been expelled,” one of the delegates said...
JUST IN: One hurt in three-vehicle crash in Wellington
JUST IN: One hurt in three-vehicle crash in Wellington

One person is hurt after a three-vehicle crash in Wellington, according to Palm Beach County Fire Rescue. The incident happened on Stribling Way and State Road 7 on Saturday night. The injured person is being airlifted to the hospital, Fire Rescue said.
NEW: Florida man wanted for slaying of unborn baby, shooting pregnant woman
NEW: Florida man wanted for slaying of unborn baby, shooting pregnant woman

When a 27-year-old pregnant woman was shot three times in the upper torso on Nov. 3, doctors were forced to deliver the baby because her functions were shutting down. Heidy Bowen, who was eight months pregnant, remains hospitalized but her baby died after 12 days.  Miami-Dade police released a wanted poster Friday seeking Wayne Collier, 28, on...
Trump in Palm Beach: Wall of school buses to protect the president
Trump in Palm Beach: Wall of school buses to protect the president

Among the arsenal being assembled to protect President Donald Trump when he arrives next week for Thanksgiving are…school buses. The yellow school buses are parked end-to-end along a fence at Palm Beach International Airport where Air Force One is parked while the president is in town. Presumably, the buses would foil an attack from the access...
More Stories