Michael Lohan, the estranged father of troubled actress Lindsay Lohan, was one of hundreds who were arrested in an alleged recovery clinic kickback scheme in America’s recovery capitol in southern Florida.
Lohan, 60, was booked at the Palm Beach County Jail on five counts of patient brokering and one count of conspiracy to commit patient brokering for referring patients to a substance abuse treatment center, according to the Palm Beach Post.
Authorities said Pride Recovery, a Delray Beach-area drug treatment center, paid Lohan more than $27,000 in kickbacks for steering addicts in search of treatment to their facilities.
Under Florida law, it is illegal for a health care provider to pay a commission for the referral of patients.
Court documents show that Lohan was listed as the president of Lola Recovery Ventures in Palm Beach Gardens, which referred addicts seeking treatment to the Pride facility. Lohan is accused of cashing in on a total of $27,750 between December 2017 and April 2018, according to an affidavit filed on April 19.
“Mr. Lohan was investigated by our Sober Homes Task Force and he’s being charged with receiving kickbacks for referring patients to drug treatment,” Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg said in a statement, according to the New York Post. “Patient brokering corrupts our healthcare system because decisions are motivated by greed instead of a patient’s needs.”
The uptick in fraudulent referral cases for bogus private insurance reimbursement lead to the formation of the Sober Homes Task Force program, which has investigated similar recovery clinic con operations, hunting predatory care providers for about five years.
“Since its first arrest in October 2016, our Sober Homes Task Force has targeted the patient brokering and insurance fraud in the drug treatment and sober home industries that helped fuel the opioid epidemic and a surge in overdose deaths,” Palm Beach State Attorney Dave Aronberg said in a statement. “The Task Force’s crackdown on corrupt rehab centers and rogue sober homes have helped clean up the industry in Palm Beach County.”
Lohan’s attorney said her client, a 2011 guest on VH1's "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew," with a lengthy rap sheet, including allegations of domestic violence, denied the allegations.
"Michael Lohan has helped countless individuals suffering from addiction issues," defense attorney Heidi Perlet said in a statement to The Associated Press.
"Michael should be applauded for his efforts in saving lives, not arrested for them. Michael is looking forward to having his day in Court where the whole truth, not the narrative put forth by the State Attorney's Office, comes out."
Two other men were arrested in connection to the Pride Recovery Clinic con job.
Jarryd Ageloff, of Delray Beach, and Roy Brian Ageloff, of Boca Raton, were charged and accused of signing off on the kickback payments while operating the facility in 2019.
Pride reportedly paid $20,000 for patient referrals to the operator of several sober homes collectively called House of Hope, according to the Palm Beach Post. Investigators said they have a direct link connecting Lohan to payments from Jarryd Ageloff.
The mother of a scam victim told investigators that she was “deceived” by Lohan, and was tricked into sending her son to Pride Recovery, even though he was not addicted to drugs and really needed to see a mental health professional, according to court documents.
Lohan allegedly told the woman that Pride Recovery had “state of the art equipment” that could “scan her son’s brain to figure out how to treat him,” and her that her insurance would cover everything.
She told authorities she ended up getting saddled with a $10,000 bill to meet the deductible, and her son was “not seen by the psychiatrist, threatened suicide, and ran away from Pride Recovery due to the lack of treatment he was receiving.”
Another victim told investigators, “Lohan is a monster and will do anything for money,” the affidavit reads.