The owner of sober homes in Delray Beach and Lantana is facing 16 counts of steering patients to drug-treatment centers operated by his brother, according to an arrest report.
Ronald Louis Tomasso, 59, was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail on Monday night and was being held on $48,000 bail Tuesday after appearing before Judge Dina Keever-Agrama.
James Tomasso, Ronald’s 58-year-old brother, pleaded guilty to 21 counts of patient brokering in September. He was sentenced to 18 months in jail and ordered to pay more than $107,000 in fines.
The Tomasso brothers, both residents of Boca Raton, entered into a “marketing employment contract” on Dec. 1, 2016, that “was actually for the referral of patients from Ronald’s sober home” to a substance-abuse facility run by James Tomasso’s wife, the report said.
Marketing employment contracts, like the one the Tomasso brothers signed, are used by treatment facilities to circumvent Florida’s patient-brokering law, which states “it is unlawful for any person to offer or pay any commission, bonus, rebate, kickback, or bribe … to induce the referral of patients or patronage to or from a health care provider,” according to Delray Beach police, which investigated the case.
The arrangement between the Tomassos was uncovered after agents with the Palm Beach County Sober Home Task Force raided several business operated by James Tomasso on Feb. 8, 2017. Tomasso owned treatment centers in Boca Raton, Greenacres and Delray Beach.
Ronald Tomasso allegedly received $29,700 in kickbacks in a little over a month between December 2016 and January 2017.
Three of the sober homes operated by Tomasso are in Delray Beach and a fourth is in Lantana.