‘Sober homes’ owner sentenced to 30 months in prison over kickback scheme

Gavel. (Generic) (Photo by EKATERINA BOLOVTSOVA)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A judge sentenced the owner of the Deerfield Beach-based Turning Point Sober Home to 30 months in prison on Wednesday in federal court.

Marthe Hippolyte, who operated several drug-and-alcohol-free residences, had pleaded guilty on Jan. 25, to one count of conspiracy to violate the Travel Act.

Prosecutors accused Hippolyte, 59, of accepting about $254,000 in kickbacks and bribes from Kenneth Chatman, the operator of a substance abuse treatment center who was convicted of a $4.5 million fraud and sentenced to 27 years in prison.

Investigators believe Hippolyte, of Wellington, brought patients from out of state to require them to go to the center several times a week for testing and treatment as part of the fraud.

FBI Miami’s special agents got involved after the Greater Palm Beach Health Care Fraud Task Force started the investigation.

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The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.