Florida woman sentenced to 60 months in prison, ordered to pay $17 million in restitution for health care fraud scheme
For Immediate Release
July 29, 2022
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The owner of an addiction treatment facility was sentenced on July 29 to five years in prison and ordered to pay more than $17 million in restitution for her participation in a $58 million health care fraud scheme that billed private health insurers, including Amtrak’s health care plan, for services that were never provided and not medically necessary.
Carie Lyn Beetle, 44, of Lake City, was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida. On April 13, 2022, she was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud, and one count of money laundering. She will also face two years of supervised release once her prison term is complete.
According to court documents, Beetle, with others, billed health insurers for over $58 million of addiction treatment services that were never rendered and/or were medically unnecessary at two facilities she operated: Real Life Recovery Delray LLC, a substance abuse treatment center, and A Safe Place LLC, doing business as Halfway There Florida LLC, a related recovery residence, also referred to as a “sober home.”
Beetle and her co-conspirators recruited patients by providing them with kickbacks and bribes in the form of free or reduced rent, payment for travel, and other benefits in exchange for those patients agreeing to reside at Halfway There, attend drug treatment at Real Life Recovery, and submit to regular and random drug testing (typically two or three times per week) at both locations.
Beetle and her co-conspirators billed the patients’ insurance plans for the substance abuse treatment and urine testing, but in many instances, individual patients did not attend the billed treatment sessions. Under the direction of Beetle and her co-conspirators, employees at both facilities forged patient signatures on sign-in sheets to give the appearance that they had attended treatment. In addition, they billed for expensive medically unnecessary urine testing knowing that the tests were excessive, not used in treatment, and not reviewed by medical professionals. Beetle also laundered the proceeds knowing they were derived from fraud and other crimes when she deposited a check from Real Life Recovery.
In addition to the Amtrak Office of Inspector General, the case was investigated by the FBI, IRS-Criminal Investigation, and the Florida Bureau of Insurance Fraud.
Reports of fraud, waste, or abuse; criminal or unethical acts affecting Amtrak’s property or operations; or mismanagement in Amtrak programs or operations can be made 24 hours a day via the Amtrak OIG Hotline at 1-800-468-5469 or online at https://direc.to/hPAu.