Jaime Holley once wrote a Mother’s Day card that’s now part of the federal criminal case against notorious drug treatment center operator Kenneth “Kenny” Chatman.
“The only thing better than having you as a mom is my children will have you as Grandma,” Jaime Holley wrote, drawing hearts throughout.
Holley’s family blames Chatman and his associates for the death of their loved one, who was 19 when she overdosed and died after having been treated at a Chatman facility. A federal judge on Monday sentenced to prison three people who helped Chatman build his South Florida treatment operations into a multimillion-dollar, criminal drug-treatment enterprise.
Chatman’s future isn’t as clear. His lawyer said he’ll need another month to figure out how to defend his client in the sentencing phase, a request a judge rejected Tuesday. Chatman, whose operations were exposed in a December 2015 Palm Beach Post story, has pleaded guilty to charges that he supplied drugs to patients in his treatment program and sober homes, and turned some addicts seeking treatment into prostitutes.
Chatman’s three associates were sentenced to a combined 12½ years in federal prison.
Fransesia “Francine” Davis, who acted as a house mother at Chatman’s sober homes, was sentenced to seven years in federal prison. Michael Bonds, who sent his own patients to Chatman’s corrupt treatment centers in exchange for payments, was given 4.75 years in prison. Stefan Gatt, who processed faked urine samples from Chatman’s patients, was given an 18-month sentence.
Chatman, 46, already has pleaded guilty. His attorney, Saam Zangeneh, said Monday he needs more time to read a sentencing statement of 300 paragraphs that includes “a slew of (sentencing) enhancements that are outside the scope of the plea agreement,” Zangeneh wrote.
A federal judge rejected the request Tuesday. Chatman is scheduled to be sentenced May 17. He faces life in prison. His wife, Laura, faces 10 years.
Victims urged the court to punish both Chatmans and the other defendants in filings made Friday and Monday.
Michelle Holley, Jaime’s mother, blamed Kenny and Laura Chatman for her daughter’s death.
“I ask the court; please sentence them to the maximum penalties allowed by law,” she wrote. “For all the damaged men and women the consequence MUST match the damage done.”
Holley wrote that the Chatmans approach to drug treatment kept her daughter from medications to curb her addiction.
“She did use again, she died,” the mother wrote. “I wonder how many others are on the streets, in alleyways, dead.”
“This has to be stopped.… ‘I’m sorry’ doesn’t bring Jaime back. ‘I’m sorry’ doesn’t right the wrongs for all the other people.”
“The most shocking revelation for me is the conscious decision to do the wrong. To knowingly, willfully behave this way. They watched addict after addict fail. Taking advantage of the sick and suffering who are truly powerless over their addictions. They watched time and again as people used and became shells of their former selves. Yet NOT ONE OF THEM SAID STOP. Not one of them said this is WRONG,” she wrote.
One former patient wrote that Davis and another sober home manager “would see drug use and say ‘just don’t overdose.’” The patient added that Chatman wouldn’t let the patients eat “until we signed multiple forms in the morning.”
Bonds and Gatt also were sentenced to three years of probation and Davis to one year of probation. All three pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit health-care fraud, while Davis also faced a charge of maintaining a drug-involved house. Each must also pay restitution, which, a judge ruled Tuesday, will be decided on July 7.