The operator of a sober home in Boynton Beach was arrested on Wednesday and charged with patient brokering — the 11th arrest made by the Palm Beach County Sober Home Task Force since October.
Leonard Reginald Dobard, 49, owner of House of Chance at 309 SE 36th Ave. in Boynton Beach, accepted 10 checks totalling $3,102 from Whole Life Recovery for enrolling residents living in his sober home in Whole Life’s programs, according to a police report.
He was released early Thursday from the Palm Beach County Jail on a $3,000 bond, records show.
James Kigar, the owner of Whole Life Recovery, signed the checks, according to a police report. Kigar, also the owner of Yoga South in Boca Raton, faces 95 counts of patient brokering. He has pleaded not guilty.
Dobard created Lindashouseofchance.com LLC in 2013, state records show. The website does not exist. Dobard’s criminal history includes a felony conviction in 2009 for possession of drug paraphernalia and cocaine with intent to sell.
Dobard’s arrest mirrors those of other sober home owners and operators, all charged with patient brokering for accepting payments from Kigar for each addict they enrolled in Whole Life Recovery. Like the others, Dobard of Delray Beach, was paid $500 a week for as long as an addict attended programs at Whole Life Recovery.
Prosecutors say Kigar’s Whole Life Recovery center in Boynton Beach ginned up business by paying sober home operators to send him their residents for outpatient treatment. The payments were labeled as “case-management fees.”
An addict with good insurance can be worth big bucks. In addition to whatever the insurer will pay for treatment, urine drug tests used to detect the presence of drugs have been wildly lucrative.
Federal investigators also arrested six people in December, including two doctors, tied to treatment centers operated by Kenneth “Kenny” Chatman.
Kigar had changed how payments were made to sober homes after Whole Life Recovery operator Christopher Hutson attended a meeting of State Attorney Dave Aronberg’s Sober Home Task Force.
But Chief Assistant State Attorney Al Johnson, who heads the task force, emphasized as recently as September that any “bonus, rebate or kickback” to sober home operators was illegal — a third degree felony — no matter how it was structured.