Pennsylvania AG accuses treatment firm of exploiting addicts, insurers

The Associated Press
In this Aug. 14, 2018, file photo, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro walks to the podium to speak about a grand jury's report on clergy abuse in the Roman Catholic Church during a news conference at the Capitol in Harrisburg.

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania attorney general’s office is charging the co-founder and executives of an addiction treatment firm and accusing them of profiting off addicts by fraudulently billing insurance companies for tens of millions of dollars.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced the charges Monday against 11 people and nine corporations. The case revolves around Liberation Way, a for-profit treatment company with centers in suburban Philadelphia that was sold to a private equity firm in 2017.

Shapiro says the two-year investigation found more than $44 million in profits from fraudulent schemes.

Those alleged schemes include billing for substandard, nonexistent or unnecessary treatment, generally targeting out-of-network insurance carriers.

Shapiro also says the company got kickbacks from insurance coverage of unnecessary urine lab tests and warehoused addicts in poorly run unlicensed inpatient facilities.

More:Gripped by addiction, Dallastown man hoped to help others. Now it's his family's cause

More:After the overdose: A family’s journey into grief and guilt