Authorities have charged a man with patient brokering for the second time in six months.
Scott Robert Gillis, now 28, of Boynton Beach was booked the morning of May 9 at the Palm Beach County Jail on 30 charges of violating the patient brokering law. He was released that evening after posting $15,000 bond.
Gillis, reached Monday, declined to comment.
Police said Gillis is owner of the Delray Beach-based Gallup House sober home, also spelled Gallop in some documents.
According to a Delray Beach Police report assembled in April, Gillis received checks totaling $14,400 to refer Gallup patients to Proactive Recovery Center in Delray Beach.
The report said Mustafa Sandhu, whose father owned Proactive, told investigators in February that he agreed in August 2016 to pay Gillis $400 a week for referrals. Checks were written either to Gillis or to Total Serenity Florida LLC, the corporate parent of Gallup House.
The police report said investigators had statements from at least four people saying Gallup House gave them free rent in exchange for attending Proactive.
Florida law prohibits drug-treatment centers from paying a commission, bonus, rebate, kickback or bribe for new patients.
Sandhu told investigators that at one point Gillis stopped making referrals, but sometime in 2017, Gillis returned. Sandhu said he told Gillis that, with the Palm Beach County Sober Homes Task Force having made several arrests, Sandhu did not want to pay Gillis directly, and Gillis said he didn't want to be paid "on the books" anywhere.
The two agreed Sandhu would make payments through Gillis’ fiancée, Bronwyn Finnegan, 28. At the time, Gillis and Finnegan were living at a home in Delray Beach.
Sandhu told police he then hired the woman at $120,000 per year to run therapy groups and help get him certified, but said her big paycheck “was contingent on Gillis continuing to refer patients solely to Proactive.” Sandhu said he himself earned only $45,000 a year.
He said Gillis and Finnegan agreed to close their facilities and use only Sandhu’s sober homes. He said that arrangement continued until the day Gillis and Finnegan were arrested Oct. 19.
Gillis was one of six sober home operators charged that day with patient brokering. By then, the task force already had made 41 arrests in just a year. Police charged Gillis and Finnegan received $9,000 for referring residents to Good Future, a Delray Beach treatment center also known as Chapters Recovery.
The April police report said Gillis made a call from jail to Finnegan, who’d already gotten out, in which he said, “I kind of figured this was coming a long time ago.” The report said he suggest Finnegan “flip” on people, including himself, in order to get her charges dropped, and he told her, “I’m not going to beat this.”
Sandhu "early on went to the State Attorney’s Office," Jeffrey Lynne, Sandhu's attorney, said Monday. He said Sandhu "was never arrested and was never offered a plea deal to 'flip' on those being arrested. After recognizing that his own behavior may have violated the law, he immediately started an effort to educate others on the patient brokering act and to clean up the industry."
In a separate Delray Beach Police report about Gillis, assembled in January, after alleged treatment center operator James Tomasso was arrested in February 2017, he told investigators he paid numerous sober home owners kickbacks to refer patients to his operation, “Acceptance Pathways and Inspirations,” owned by his live-in girlfriend, Elizabeth Bowman.
The report said investigators eventually determined that from September 2015 to September 2017 alone, Tomasso wrote at least 25 checks, those totaling $61,6000, either Gillis or to Total Serenity.
Gillis also has been charged with lying to the court following his October arrest. The report says a judge declared Gillis indigent after he submitted signed forms claiming he earned about $10,000 a year. Instead documents revealed he earned from various sources more than $207,000, the police report said.