A South Florida drug treatment provider will spend the next 27.5 years behind bars for operating a multimillion-dollar health care fraud and sex trafficking scheme.
U.S. District Judge Donald Middlebrooks handed down the sentence Wednesday at the Federal Courthouse in West Palm Beach. Kenneth “Kenny” Chatman, 47, of Boynton Beach, pleaded guilty in March to the charges.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Marie Villafaña said Chatman was a relatively small provider in the drug treatment industry, but he was, “the most dangerous.”
“The amount of suffering is unprecedented,” said Villafaña.
Villafaña laid out a gruesome picture of Chatman: Defrauding insurance and money laundering. Prostituting patients and forcing them to get abortions. Withholding medications and food from drug users in treatment.
“Our goal was to shut him down, to get him off the street,” said Villafaña.
Middlebrooks heard statements from parents of children who suffered fatal and non-fatal overdoses before making the sentencing.
“This man ran an addiction brothel,” said Jerry Smith, whose son, Schuyler, was lured to enroll in Chatman’s Reflections Treatment Center in Margate on two separate occasions. “He’s worse than a pedophile.”
Jennifer Flory’s daughter, Alison, came to South Florida from Chicago to enter treatment for a heroin addiction. She was lured into Reflections Treatment Center with the promise of free rent, food and cigarettes.
Alison died from an overdose in one of Chatman’s sober homes in Lauderdale Lakes in October.
“I think he’s going to be able to spend some time thinking about what he did,” said Flory. “He’s going to be old when he gets out … and not able to hurt anybody else.”
Kenny Chatman’s wife, Laura Chatman, was sentenced to three years in connection with the scheme.