The owner of Morningside Recovery, an now defunct chain of addiction treatment centers in Orange County, has been indicted by a large federal jury. Justice Department announced on Friday that it was trying to fund millions of dollars from Affordable Care Act programs in several states.
Raymond Jeffrey Yates, 52, of Santa Ana, worked with others to fraudulently enroll customers in Obamacare health insurance plans to maximize their own profits.
Yates and two men – Jeffrey White and his son Nicholas White from Twin Peaks – used spoofed addresses to get insurance for customers in Connecticut and other states whose health agencies offered the most generous reimbursement for addiction treatment. Then, the men sent these clients on morningside recovery addiction treatment to commit conspiracy, healthcare fraud, and email fraud, the U.S. Department of Justice said.
Morningside then paid the whites for each patient admitted, the prosecution said.
Yates' lawyer, Joseph Martini, said he had no comment on Friday's indictment.
Last year, Jeffrey White and Nicholas White pleaded guilty to the healthcare fraud conspiracy and admitted that their venture led to losses in excess of $ 27 million for Obamacare plans across the country. These include Connecticut, Arizona, California, Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas.
The new indictment accuses Yates of seven cases of healthcare fraud, one case of healthcare conspiracy, and five cases of postal fraud. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 20 years for each conspiracy and number of email fraud cases and a maximum of 10 years for any number of health fraud cases, according to the DOJ.
The charges were lifted on November 13 and come from the US law firm in the Connecticut district. Yates was released on bail in Connecticut until his pending indictment, the DOJ said. The white people are waiting for their conviction.
The scheme outlined in the indictment was detailed in by the Southern California News Group more than two years ago as part of an investigation into the world of more than 1,000 drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers in Southern California, one of the largest in the region known in the industry as "Rehabilitation Riviera".
Morningside was discussed controversially. In 2015, partial liability was found for the death of Brandon Jacques, who was brought to Morningside's Newport Beach Center for treatment. Jacques developed dangerously low electrolyte levels and was reportedly taken to the First House detoxification center in Costa Mesa without the knowledge of his parents. Jacques suffered a cardiac arrest in the First House and later died in Hoag Hospital.
A jury blamed Morningside 20 percent for the death of Jacques and 80 percent for First House LLC. According to the family's lawyers, Morningside resigned to the family for $ 3.7 million.
In 2012, the state revoked three Morningside Recovery LLC locations on the Costa Mesa.
Morningside's website is still functional, but is now part of a rehab group called Lighthouse, said a man who answered the phone via the referral line. Yates is not a member of the group, he said.
Court records show that Yates previously had contact with law enforcement agencies. In 1996, Yates pleaded guilty to driving drunk, holding a suspended or revoked driver's license, and avoiding arrest. He was sentenced to 360 days in prison.
Yates was back in court in 2018 to file more DUI charges and did not plead guilty. His trial is still pending. In November 2012, the police came to his home in Santa Ana for domestic violence. Yates was shown 30 days of community service.