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Recovering Addict Who Pledged To Help Others Through Treatment Centers Facing Bribery, Kickback Allegations

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- It's said Joe Lubowitz "saw it all."

A successful, young entrepreneur from Upper Dublin, who had been to the depths of addiction turned his life around, launching treatment centers to help others. He has even been seen with Pennsylvania's Attorney General — on staying clean.

So it would come as a shock to many, Lubowitz is entangled in a federal indictment with three other men.

He's accused of receiving bribes and kickbacks in exchange for funneling patients from the Delaware Valley to treatment centers in Palm Beach County, Florida.

He was known as a patient broker and earned a commission.

Court records show Lubowitz is also the owner of Humble Beginnings Recovery Center in Cherry Hill. The business, with another location in Willow Grove, has initiated a full internal investigation, according to a statement obtained by CBS3. They declined further comment.

Unsealed two weeks ago, the indictment revealed a government crackdown on drug treatment centers across the Sunshine State.

In terms of the Lubowitz case, it's claimed a four-year-long scheme did business in excess of $58 million. Also charged are Eric Snyder, Paul R. Materia and Christopher Fuller.

The companies, a web of limited liability corporations, allegedly received $20 million in insurance reimbursements.

Efforts to reach Lubowitz were unsuccessful.

Ed Shohat, an attorney in Miami tells CBS3 he will vigorously defend the charges and enter a not guilty plea.

At the treatment centers in Florida, it's alleged doctors ordered unnecessary and expensive tests, some were double billed.

The indictment claims staffers "....treated uninsured patients differently than insured patients by giving them different laboratory tests based only on their method of payment."

Lubowitz is free on bail. The case will be tried in federal court of the Southern District of Florida.


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