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West Palm Beach Criminal Attorney > Blog > Criminal Defense > Marlins Pitcher Goes Down in Sober House Fraud

Marlins Pitcher Goes Down in Sober House Fraud


Former Marlins pitcher, Justin Wayne, and his brother were charged with multiple counts of insurance fraud for their part in an insurance fraud scheme that involved sober living apartments. The pair were forced to repay insurance companies $3.8 million. While the brothers were not themselves the masterminds behind the scheme, their part was sufficient enough to warrant Justin Wayne serving nearly 4 years while his brother Hawkeye, who was heavily involved with the fraud was given 5.

The lenient sentences were handed down because the brother cooperated with prosecutors and investigators involved in the investigation. Their main target was Kenny Chatman who became an icon for South Florida’s corrupt drug treatment programs. The function of Chatman’s programs was to milk insurance companies for millions by keeping his clientele hooked on the very drugs they were attempting to escape. According to prosecutors, Chatman turned his sober living houses into “brothels” in order to turn out the women who had come for treatment. Chatman is serving a 27-year sentence for his role in the scheme but could be facing a longer sentence if more information comes to light.

More Indictments are Likely

The brothers were given leniency in order to bring down more players in Chatman’s scheme including the doctor at Reflections Treatment Center, Dr. Arman Abovyan. The other is Tina Marie Barbuto who acted as the clinical directors for the treatment center. This pair is charged with prescribing dangerous and addictive drugs without medical justification.

The brothers ran a lab called Smart Labs LLC that billed insurance companies on fraudulent grounds. Other than the sheer cruelty involved in the plan to use drug addicts’ addiction to turn a profit, it wasn’t at all dissimilar to a number of kickback-related insurance schemes that you see plaguing the healthcare industry. The brothers funded their business through referrals from Chatman’s “treatment facilities” and “sober homes”. In return, they paid bribes to Chatman for the business. Logistically, this is no different than any kickback scheme.

But the worst part of getting into bed with a man like Chatman is that you become a surrogate for the outrage that is rightfully directed at him. It’s hard to imagine anything more cruel than preying on those who are trying to get their lives back in order by making them an offer they can’t resist.

Chatman himself was not only found guilty of insurance fraud, he was also found guilty of sex trafficking. The brothers paid Chatman to quite literally send them the urine of addicts. They would test this urine and mail the results back to treatment facilities and each time they did, they billed the patient’s insurance at a rate of between $1500 and $2000 for a single tox screen. It was an incredibly profitable arrangement. Chatman pushed his employees to force their patients to get urine samples sometimes three or four times a week.

Talk to a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney

If you’ve been charged with fraud, you need an attorney who understands how fraud is prosecuted. The Florida attorneys at the Skier Law Firm P.A. have handled numerous fraud cases securing excellent results for our clients. Give us a call or talk to us online and we can discuss your options.




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