WEST PALM BEACH, Florida (AP) – Actor Lindsay Lohan’s estranged father was arrested on Friday on charges of illegally accepting bribes for referring patients to a substance abuse treatment center.
Michael Lohan, 60, was arrested at Palm Beach County Jail on five counts of brokerage of patients and one charge of conspiracy to commit brokerage of patients, The Palm Beach Post reported.
Authorities said a drug treatment center in the Delray Beach area called Pride Recovery paid more than $ 27,000 in bribes to Lohan directly or to a company he was associated with, Lola Recovery Ventures of Palm Beach Gardens.
Under Florida law, it is illegal for a healthcare provider to pay a commission for referring patients. The practice has been linked to several cases of fraud in which rehabilitation centers are reimbursed for performing expensive and unnecessary tests on patients who have health insurance.
“Patient brokerage corrupts our health care system because decisions are motivated by greed rather than the patient’s needs,” Palm Beach State Attorney Dave Aronberg said in a statement on Friday.
Aronberg said Lohan is the 117th person arrested in connection with the ongoing investigation of a task force on patient brokerage in the area.
Lohan’s lawyer, Heidi Perlet, says his client denies Aronberg’s claims.
“Michael Lohan has helped countless people suffering from addiction problems,” Perlet said in a statement to The Associated Press. “Michael should be applauded for his efforts to save lives, not arrested for them. … Michael is looking forward to having his day in court, where the whole truth, not the narrative presented by the State Prosecutor’s Office, will be revealed. “
Lohan has had several previous disagreements with the law, including allegations of domestic violence. He appeared on Season 5 of “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew”, which aired on VH1 in 2011.