- Paige Fry Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
10:15 a.m. UPDATE: Judge Caroline Shepherd set Jayeshkumar Rameshander Dave’s bond at $10,000 in a brief court hearing Wednesday at the Palm Beach County Jail. He is also required to surrender his passport and cannot practice in the industry until the case is resolved.
The State Attorney told Shepherd during the hearing that new evidence was found through a search warrant, which could result in additional charges.
ORIGINAL STORY: A sober home owner is accused of patient brokering for giving patients packs of L&M cigarettes and $50 Walmart gift cards for attending intensive outpatient therapy. Drug use was tolerated in the homes as long as the user didn’t overdose, a patient told detectives.
The county’s Sober Home Task Force arrested Jayeshkumar Rameshander Dave, 39 of Parkland, on Tuesday. He is facing two counts of violating the patient brokering law, according to a probable cause affidavit. He was booked late Tuesday into the Palm Beach County Jail. He will appear before a judge Wednesday morning for bond.
According to Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office reports, Dave was the owner of The Wellness Center of Palm Beach on North Australian Avenue.
The task force spoke to a witness on April 25, who had contacted them the previous day about Dave. The witness, who lived in Dave’s sober homes, said that drug use was rampant in the homes and allowed by staff, the report said. Rent was also never talked about or collected in the homes. Overdoses were tolerated and patients weren’t sent to detox for positive urinalysis testing until insurance lapsed. The witness overdosed on four occasions before being sent back to detox, according to the report.
Florida law prohibits treatment providers to pay a commission, bonus, kickback, or a bribe for new patients.
Another witness, a house manager at the wellness center, told detectives he or she was paid to be a house manager in addition to receiving free rent, food cards and cigarettes for attending IOP therapy, the report said.
Detectives also met with a third witness who attended the center in 2017, the report said. The patient received free rent, cigarettes every other day and a $50 Walmart food card every Sunday for attending therapy. The patient told authorities he and some other patients had to attend therapy to receive the benefits and live in the sober homes. Patients could not live in the houses if they did not attend the center. This witness said drug use was accepted if the user didn’t overdose. It was common knowledge among the residents that Dave would pay for client referrals.
On May 30, authorities searched the wellness center, the report said. In Dave’s office, they found cigarettes and multiple gift cards with the names of patients written with a black marker. A search was also done of Dave’s Facebook page — more than 4,700 pages of Facebook messages were recovered. Detectives found pages of airline tickets, Uber car service rentals and other items provided to patients. There are also “countless messages” from patients to Dave that requested Dave run their insurance card information.
Last month, an owner and manager for a sober home west of Lake Worth also was charged with patient brokering. The two worked at True Sober Living on Kirk Road.