- By Lawrence Mower Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Kenneth “Kenny” Chatman has agreed to pay back more than $16 million for his fraudulent chain of treatment centers and sober homes, according to an agreement entered in federal court this month.
The money will go to 32 insurance companies, with by far the largest amount — nearly $8 million — going to Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Under federal court stipulation rules, Chatman will share a portion of the responsibility for that amount with seven co-defendants, including his wife, Laura. But he’ll have to pay back at least $9 million out of his own pocket.
Chatman is now in the Coleman medium-security prison in Sumterville, along with his wife, after he pleaded guilty to money laundering, health care fraud and sex trafficking. He’s scheduled for release in 2040, although he’s challenging his sentencing. Laura Chatman has been sentenced to three years in prison for pretending on paperwork to be the real owner of her husband’s facilities.
Kenny Chatman’s story received national attention for how horrifying it was. Chatman turned some of the female patients at his Reflections Treatment Center into prostitutes, holding them in chains in a Mangonia Park home where the windows were screwed shut.
Federal prosecutors called him “the most dangerous” player in South Florida’s widely corrupt drug treatment industry.
“Our goal was to shut him down, to get him off the street,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Marie Villafaña said during Chatman’s sentencing.
His co-defendants, which include two doctors, will also have to pay back some share of the millions. After they’re released from prison, 10 percent of their earnings will go toward paying back the money.