Orange County Sober Living Home Owner Faces Federal Indictment for Kickback Scheme


Federal authorities recently arrested Scott Raffa, charging him with illegal activities connected to his Orange County sober living homes. Raffa allegedly paid nearly $175,000 in kickbacks to “body brokers” to attract new patients to his facilities. This arrest occurred at Los Angeles International Airport, and he faces these charges in the United States District Court in Santa Ana.

Scott Raffa is the owner and operator of several sober living homes designed to aid individuals recovering from addiction. Among these are Sober Partners Waterfront Recovery Center, Sober Partners Reef House, and Sober Partners Beach House. These facilities offer comprehensive recovery services, including detoxification, therapy, and aftercare support, focusing on patients with health care benefits through various insurers. This case highlights the critical intersection of health care practices and legal boundaries, emphasizing the responsibilities of those who manage care for vulnerable populations.

Charges and Allegations

Scott Raffa faces 12 counts of illegal remunerations for referrals to his clinical treatment facilities. The federal indictment details how Raffa allegedly orchestrated a scheme paying “body brokers” to send patients to his sober living homes. He reportedly made these payments through checks and wire transfers. To mask the true nature of these transactions, Raffa and the brokers used sham contracts that falsely stated the payments were not based on the number of patients referred.

Mechanics of the Kickback Scheme

Raffa employed a sophisticated method to calculate kickbacks, tailoring payments to align with the expected insurance revenue from each referred patient. He considered variables such as the insurance provider and the duration of treatment. Raffa and the brokers used encrypted messaging services to discuss their transactions, keeping their dealings secret. Additionally, Raffa set a policy that required patients to complete at least 21 days of treatment before he paid any kickbacks, ensuring that each patient generated sufficient revenue to warrant the payment. This policy demonstrates his strategic approach to maximizing profits from each referral, under the pretext of necessary treatment duration.

Federal Laws Violated

The charges against Scott Raffa stem from severe violations of federal anti-kickback statutes. These laws aim to prevent financial incentives from swaying healthcare decisions, ensuring that patient referrals are based on medical needs instead of financial gains. Raffa allegedly participated in a kickback scheme with body brokers, an action that is said to corrupt the healthcare process. Such corruption could potentially compromise patient care and fraudulently inflate healthcare costs.

Potential Consequences if Convicted

Each count of illegal remuneration for referrals that Raffa faces carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison. If convicted on all counts, Raffa could be looking at a substantial time behind bars, reflecting the severity with which the legal system treats such violations of trust and ethics in healthcare.

It is essential to remember that the indictment itself is not evidence of guilt. In accordance with U.S. law, Scott Raffa is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law. This presumption is a fundamental principle of the American justice system, ensuring that all accused individuals receive a fair trial.

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