Sober home operator sentenced for burglarizing sober homes


A former sober home owner, who pleaded guilty last week to federal charges in connection with health care fraud that has gripped some of Palm Beach County’s drug treatment industry, admitted Tuesday he also was responsible for a string of burglaries at homes where people struggle to beat their addictions.

Albert Jones Saye, 29, was sentenced to 5½ years in prison after pleading guilty to three counts of burglary, two counts of petty theft and one count of grand theft in connection with break-ins at sober homes in West Palm Beach, Boynton Beach and Delray Beach. According to court records, there was a string of burglaries at five sober homes, including one in Boca Raton, in a nine-day stretch in November.

As part of a plea deal, Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Laura Johnson agreed the former Boynton Beach resident could serve his punishment on the state charges at the same time he is serving a nearly 6-year sentence on federal charges.

The former sober home operator pleaded guilty last week to charges of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and obstruction of a health care investigation. He admitted he accepted kickbacks in connection with a scheme to defraud insurers by forcing residents of his sober homes to undergo blood, urine and saliva tests that were unnecessary, but lucrative for him.. He was ordered by a federal judge to pay $2.1 million in restitution.

Jones was arrested on the burglary charges shortly before federal agents brought him in as part of a wide-ranging investigation into the county’s sober home industry. Operators of the sober homes told police that residents realized money, credit cards and cell phones were missing after two unidentified men came into the facilities. Jones was caught on surveillance cameras at some of the homes, police said.



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