The fourth sober home owner to be arrested in five days by the Sober Homes Task Force on Tuesday was granted bail by a Palm Beach County judge.
The judge ordered $42,000 bail for Howard James Fowler Jr., who is charged with 14 counts of patient brokering. Fowler has no criminal record.
Fowler, who has been clean and sober for two years according to his Facebook page, operates Anchorage Sober Living, 705 SW Sixth Ave., Delray Beach, and Limitless Consulting Solutions LLC. Fowler and three other men are accused of receiving kickbacks for brokering sober home patients to Whole Life Recovery, a treatment center in Boynton Beach.
Fowler joins John Dudek and brothers Bryan and Patrick Norquist, who are all accused of entering into patient referral contracts with Whole Life Recovery.
The contracts, called case-management agreements, are commonly used by treatment facilities to circumvent Florida’s patient brokering law, according to the arrest reports from the Palm Beach County task force.
That law makes it illegal to “offer or pay any commission, bonus, rebate, kickback or bribe” in order to persuade patients to go to a particular health-care provider.
For every client with insurance who was referred to Whole Life Recovery, Fowler, Dudek and the Norquist brothers received weekly payments — as long as the clients attended therapy, according to police.
The checks were signed by James Kigar, an owner of Whole Life Recovery, a police report stated. Kigar was arrested Oct. 25 on charges of patient brokering. Christopher Hutson, an operator at Whole Life Recovery, was also arrested and charged with patient brokering.