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Wellington woman sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for $4.5 million sober home scheme

Marthe Hippolyte pleaded guilty in January
department of justice DOJ
Posted at 2:30 PM, Jun 29, 2022

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A sober home owner in Wellington was sentenced Wednesday to 30 months in prison for her involvement to solicit and receive illegal kickbacks and bribes in exchange for referring residents of her business to a substance abuse treatment center.

Marthe Hippolyte, 59, of Wellington, owned Turning Point Sober Home Inc. and a related marketing company through which she operated several sober living residences in Florida.

Hippolyte housed individuals in a drug- and alcohol-free environment while they received treatment at substance abuse treatment centers.

Federal prosecutors said Hippolyte accepted about $254,000 in kickbacks and bribes, often disguised as management fees, from Kenneth Chatman, the operator of Reflections Treatment Center (RTC) — a treatment center that purported to operate as a licensed substance abuse treatment center.

In exchange for the kickbacks and bribes, officials said Hippolyte helped bring in patients from outside the state who could be referred to RTC.

The scheme required residents of Hippolyte's sober homes to travel to RTC several times per week to attend purported substance abuse treatment sessions and submit to urine drug testing.

For the residents referred to RTC by Hippolyte, investigators said Chatman and others billed private insurers $4.5 million for substance abuse and bodily fluid testing.

Officials said Hippolyte pleaded guilty Jan. 25 to one count of conspiracy to violate the Travel Act.

Chatman pleaded guilty in 2017 to conspiracy to commit health care fraud, money laundering and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking. He was sentenced to 330 months in prison.