Resurgence Behavioral Health Warns Beware of Addiction Treatment Bad Actors in Orange County California

Costa Mesa, California -

Costa Mesa, CA – Owners and patient recruiters at several substance abuse treatment facilities have been charged with running an alleged “patient-selling network” that paid money for addicts referred to the centers in Orange County, California. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced it had filed criminal charges against 10 defendants, four of whom have been taken into custody.

“Driven by greed, dishonest operators of substance abuse treatment centers have invaded Southern California, but a coalition of law enforcement entities have responded forcefully,” said U.S. Attorney Tracy L. Wilkison. “These corrupt individuals pay illegal kickbacks to obtain insured patients whose health plans pay generous benefits intended to cover legitimate treatments and tests. While many recovery facilities offer much-needed services to addicts, those targeted in this sweep take advantage of our nation’s opioid crisis by fueling a patient-selling network more interested in generating profits than giving help to vulnerable people.”

In announcing the arrests, Wilkison and other law enforcement officials said they were the result of a 10-month-long investigation known as The Sober Homes Initiative. It targeted substance abuse facility owners and patient recruiters who allegedly, among other things, provided kickback payments for the referral of patients to substance abuse treatment facilities, recovery homes, or laboratories.

Investigators charge that the facility owners assigned monetary values to clients based on the type of insurance they had, and then paid recruiters a kickback for each person referred to their addiction treatment facilities. The longer the clients received treatment, the more money the recruiters were paid.

“These cases reflect the continued efforts of the Department of Justice to combat fraud by substance abuse treatment facilities and patient recruiters,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “These schemes take advantage of vulnerable members of our society – addiction patients seeking help. These cases illustrate the government’s commitment to protecting patients and prosecuting those who try to victimize them.”

“Fraudulent kickbacks in the substance abuse treatment field create perverse incentives for patient recruiters that oftentimes leave addicts in a toxic cycle of drug use and treatment,” said Kristi K. Johnson, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office. “The FBI is committed to fighting fraud in the healthcare system so that those struggling with addiction can find legitimate care and encourages patients and employees to report kickback schemes.”

“It is unconscionable when owners and operators of substance abuse facilities abuse the systems designed to help patients recover from addiction,” said Special Agent in Charge Amy K. Parker of the Office of Personnel Management Office of the Inspector General. “We are extremely proud of our dedicated staff and federal law enforcement partner’s commitment to pursuing improper and illegal conduct that places vulnerable health care consumers at risk.”

“The suspects in this case specifically targeted vulnerable individuals in recovery and sold them as a commodity with no concern for their health or wellbeing,” said California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara. “Receiving kickbacks for patient referrals endangers lives and has no place in our health care system.”

Resurgence Behavioral Health, a nationwide network of addiction treatment centers with headquarters in Costa Mesa, California thanks and congratulates the Sober Homes investigators for their swift, thorough action against the operators of this alleged network. Offering treatment to addicts based solely on their profitability to the facilities is unconscionable, it hurts the profession and, most of all, it hurts people in desperate need of help. Offering addiction treatment services to Orange County residents, Resurgence Behavioral Health is pro-recovery.

Anyone in need of treatment for substance abuse and addiction can speak to a treatment specialist at any time by calling (855) 458-0050. To learn more visit Resurgence online at


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