In the News

SACRAMENTO BEE: Editorial: Why wasn't the 'rehab racket' caught earlier?

August 02, 2013

It is years and tens of millions of dollars too late, but the state of California now appears to be serious about cracking down on massive fraud in its drug and alcohol rehabilitation treatment programs.

The state has suspended payments to some 38 clinics in recent days and has announced plans to require all clinics that receive public support to be recertified.

DAILY BREEZE: Lawmakers want to ensure San Pedro LPG tanks are safe

August 02, 2013

An explosion at a propane gas plant in Florida this week has triggered calls by South Bay lawmakers to take a closer look at San Pedro's Rancho LPG tanks that critics say pose a similar -- if not worse -- threat to surrounding homes, schools and businesses.

The facility at 2110 N. Gaffey St. also faces a lawsuit from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over alleged violations of the Clean Air Act that stem from safety risks at the tank farm.

KMJ NOW: Fraud Sparks Audit of Rehab Clinics

August 02, 2013

FRESNO, Calif. (KMJ) -- Reports of fraud have sparked a statewide audit of taxpayer-funded drug rehab facilities.
State officials have investigated more than 60 companies, after reports surfaced showing millions of dollars in fraudulent activity.

CALIFORNIA HEALTHLINE: California Officials Suspend Medi-Cal Payments To 29 Clinic Operators

August 02, 2013

This week, the California Department of Health Care Services completed investigations of 66 companies that operate alcohol and drug treatment clinics in the state, resulting in the suspension of Medi-Cal payments to 29 companies operating a total of 83 clinics, CNN reports (Jewett/Evans, CNN, 8/1).

Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.

The actions coincide with a Center for Investigative Reporting and CNN investigation, which found evidence of fraudulent billing practices at such centers (Megerian, Los Angeles Times, 8/1).

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Official calls for federal review of San Pedro gas storage site

August 01, 2013

A local congressman is urging federal officials to more thoroughly investigate the safety of a San Pedro butane storage facility that has become controversial because of its location near homes, schools and shopping areas in San Pedro.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: California officials reviewing rehab centers in wake of fraud reports

August 01, 2013

SACRAMENTO — California officials are conducting a statewide review of taxpayer-funded drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers in the wake of reports detailing fraud in the multimillion-dollar program.

"We are deeply concerned," said Toby Douglas, director of the California Department of Health Care Services. "We have to put all our resources into fighting fraud in this program."

PALOS VERDES PATCH: Lieu Asks for Investigation Into Tank Farm Near RPV

July 31, 2013

State Sen. Ted Lieu has asked the Office of the State Fire Marshal to conduct an investigation and risk analysis of a liquid bulk storage facility owned and operated by Rancho LPG Holdings LLC in San Pedro.

According to a letter from Lieu to Chief Tonya Hoover, the facility stores more than 25 million gallons of hazardous material, including butane, in what are described as "two large 40-year-old tanks" and propane in other tanks. 

CNN: Rehab racket: Frauds, felons and fakes

July 30, 2013

(CNN) -- Next to a smoke shop deep in the San Fernando Valley, employees at Able Family Support pull back the metal gates and open the doors to catch an unfettered flow of government money.

The clinic, reimbursed by taxpayers for each client it sees, offers in-person drug and alcohol counseling.

And Able Family is thriving, according to its billing records. In real life, on this hazy Southern California day, business moves at a slower pace.

CNN ANDERSON COOPER: Rehab Racket Part 2, Interview with Sen. Ted W. Lieu

July 30, 2013

A year-long investigation by CNN and the Center for Investigative Reporting finds the drug Medi-Cal program in California, paid with state and federal money, is rife with fraud, allowing rehab centers to stay open despite serious problems. Former clients say that, as teens, they were taken in vans from group homes to rehab even though they had no drug problem.

CNN's Drew Griffin and California State Senator Ted Lieu discuss the results of the investigation.

MALIBU BEACH RECOVERY CENTER: State Senator Lieu Tells Anthem: No More Provider Checks to Addicts, Alcoholics

July 30, 2013

Malibu Beach Recovery Center and the Brentwood House have a new hero.  Meet California State Senator Ted Lieu, who represents a district that includes Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Redondo Beach and more.