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Published On: Sat, Oct 20th, 2018

Florida doctor Kenneth Rivera-Kolb pleads guilty to dealing opioids, drugs out of substance abuse treatment facility

The Medical Director of a substance abuse treatment center in Wellington, Florida, pled guilty today to unlawfully distributing controlled substances (opioids, barbiturates, and benzodiazepines).

Ariana Fajardo Orshan, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; Robert F. Lasky, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office; Michael J. De Palma, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI); Jimmy Patronis, Florida Chief Financial Officer; Michael J. Waters, Special Agent in Charge, Amtrak Office of Inspector General (Amtrak-OIG); Isabel Colon, Regional Director, United States Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (DOL-EBSA); and Dennis Russo, Director of Operations, National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), made the announcement.

Kenneth Rivera-Kolb, M.D., 65, of Largo, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to unlawfully dispense and distribute controlled substances (Case No. 18cr80121).  The defendant faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.  Sentencing is scheduled for January 8, 2019, at 9:00 a.m. before Senior U.S. District Court Judge James I. Cohn.

photo/ Darko Stojanovic

According to court documents, in 2013, Rivera-Kolb was hired to serve as the Medical Director of Angel’s House LLC (“Angel’s Recovery”), a substance abuse treatment facility located in Wellington, Florida.  Angel’s Recovery was owned and operated by Tovah Lynn Jasperson and her father, Alan Martin Bostom (Case No. 17cr80194).  In addition to the treatment facility, Angel’s Recovery also operated sober homes that were purportedly in the business of providing safe and drug-free residences for individuals suffering from drug and alcohol addiction.

As the medical director, Dr. Rivera-Kolb was purportedly responsible for evaluating patients and prescribing medically necessary treatment and testing.  In February 2015, Rivera-Kolb had his medical license suspended by the State of Florida for a period of four years.  Despite the absence of a medical license, the defendant continued to serve as the medical director of Angel’s Recovery, and knowingly prescribed controlled substances at the facility.  Jasperson and Bostom were aware of Rivera-Kolb’s license suspension, having hired chauffeurs to transport him to hearings before the Board of Medicine of the State of Florida, but continued to employ him as a treating physician and allowed him to write prescriptions for patients. The defendant continued to serve in this capacity until at least September 2015.

Jasperson previously pled guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud and was sentenced to 78 months in prison.  Bostom previously pled guilty to knowingly and willfully falsifying, concealing, and covering up by a trick, scheme, and device a material fact in a matter involving health care benefit programs and was sentenced to 30 months in prison.

U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan commended the investigative efforts of the Greater Palm Beach Health Care Fraud Task Force. Agencies of the task force include the FBI, IRS-CI, the Florida Division of Investigative and Forensic Services, Amtrak-OIG, DOL-EBSA, and NICB.  This matter was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys A. Marie Villafaña and Alexandra Chase.

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