Authorities have arrested the owners of a Delray Beach drug testing laboratory on charges they bribed a sober-home owner with at least $150,000 so his residents would undergo lucrative drug screenings.
The arrests mark the first time the owners of a drug testing lab have been arrested under the state’s patient brokering law, a third-degree felony that carries a maximum of five years in prison, said Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg.
Aronberg calls drug-testing labs a “new frontier in the fight to clean up the drug treatment industry.”
Drug-lab operations are more sophisticated, in general, than treatment centers and sober homes, he said. They can have legal teams, accountants and “corporate walls” that make it easier to conceal funds, he said.
“A lot of the corruption in the drug-treatment/sober-home industries stem from the illegal payments to and from these labs,” Aronberg said.
Mark Desimone, 61, of Delray Beach, David Remland, 52, of Boca Raton, and Daniel Kandler, 41, of Boca Raton, were among five people arrested over the past two days on patient-brokering charges, according to an arrest report.
The three men ran Chapters Recovery, a treatment center in Delray Beach, as well as Impact Q Testing, a drug lab located right next door, arrest reports show.
The partners profited off treating patients at Chapters and again by charging insurance companies to perform lucrative drug tests on patients, authorities say.
A sober home employee told police Impact Q Testing earned $800 for each urine analysis, according to the report.
Between September and February, the three partners received nearly $2 million from a bank account associated with the drug lab, records show.
Investigators said they found evidence of patient brokering in connection with the lab while raiding the property of another sober-home owner, James Tomasso, in February.
Tomasso later told investigators he was approached by Kandler, Remland and Desimone in October of last year. They paid Tomasso $150,000 upfront so three sober homes would use their lab for drug testing, records show.
The Palm Beach County Sober Homes Task Force made the arrests. The task force, funded through a $275,000 state appropriation, is made up of more than a dozen investigators, analysts and attorneys working to combat unscrupulous business practices in the drug treatment industry.