- Christine Stapleton Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
UPDATE: A judge set bond on Thursday at $75,000 for James Tomasso, a drug treatment owner with two prior fraud convictions and 25 new charges of patient brokering.
However, before Tomasso can post bail, he must prove at a court hearing Friday that money to be used to get out of jail did not come from illegal activities.
Tomasso, 57, was arrested on Wednesday after the Palm Beach County Sober Home Task Force raided several of his businesses.
According to the arrest report, Tomasso paid more than $68,000 to the operator of Infinity House sober home, to enroll residents of Infinity House in Tomasso’s treatment programs. The owner and operator of Infinity House gave statements to investigators and have not been charges.
A Palm Beach Post investigation of the county’s $1 billion drug treatment industry found that testing the urine of recovering addicts is so lucrative that treatment centers pay sober homes for patients - a practice that prosecutors say violates Florida’s patient brokering statutes.
Tomasso operated Pathways 2 Recovery in Boca Raton, Inspirations Recovery in Greenacres and Acceptance Recovery Center in Delray Beach from the offices of Global Recovery Resources, another business owned by Tomasso.
Tomasso’s criminal record dates back to 2005 when he was sentenced to three years in prison for defrauding the state’s unemployment agency.
According to court documents, Tomasso used the identity of 30 former employees at Tomasso’s Pizza and Sbarro pizza at the Palm Beach Mall to collect more than $24,000 in unemployment payments. None of the employees realized their names were being used by Tomasso.
Tomasso has no affiliation with Tomasso’s pizza in Lake Worth.
In 2011, Tomasso was arrested again and charged with conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud in a timeshare resale scheme. In that case, Tomasso and three accomplices operated a telemarketing timeshare resale scam that bilked more than $2.5 million from timeshare owners - many senior citizens.
Tomasso was sentenced to 42 months in prison. After his release he formed Global Recovery Resources in December 2015 and got into the drug treatment business.