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Drug rehab owner, associates arrested for alleged Medi-Cal fraud

The owner of a Los Angeles-based drug and alcohol rehabilitation center and five of her associates have been arrested for alleged Medi-Cal fraud, the state attorney general’s office announced Tuesday.

Tatyana Yakovenko, the owner of New Beginnings Recovery Treatment Center Inc., and five members of the center’s upper management were arrested Tuesday on charges of felony grand theft and filing false Medi-Cal claims, according to the attorney general’s office.

The maximum sentence for conviction on both felonies is three years in state prison.

"These individuals stole tens of thousands of dollars from the state's alcohol and drug treatment programs," California Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown said in a statement. "In this time of economic crisis, it's brazen and offensive that these individuals chose to rip off public health programs instead of helping substance abusers get their lives together."

Between July 1, 2005, and May 30, 2009, Yakovenko and her associates submitted 1,642 fraudulent claims totaling more than $68,000 to the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, Brown's office claims.

New Beginnings, which operated four treatment centers in L.A. County, provided alcohol and drug treatment services to Medi-Cal patients. The center recently closed its operations, said Dana Simas, a spokesperson for the attorney general’s office.

-- Carla Hall

Comments () | Archives (4)

this equals about $41 per fraudulent claim over 4 years. this is the real crime here. i don't know what claims were being made but the total amount of $68000 is barely more than enough for treatment for 1 client for a year. this government is not helping its own addicted population here.

We grieve for the Alumni and families who now have even less quality alternatives for recovery in California. Dr. Dan rehabed Saint John's Hospital's inpatient alcohol and drug programs and developed a very successful hospital based outpatient facility for Saint John's in Santa Monica in the late 80's. He then founded lower cost freestanding family cures outpatient clinics. Whole Family oriented alcohol and drug abuse programs are rare but Dr. Dan has made these services available worldwide. They are available on the internet www.drdancelebrityshrink.com. The cost? 90 days for $399. Again, the whole family participates and support is 24/7. We know there are a lot of dedicated professionals as well as many families who are now lost in LA with the closing of all four New Beginnings programs. Our best to the recovering community who will pick up the pieces. I agree with Andrew Brin's post but do not expect the government will do anything but continue the stupid codependent war on drugs and continue to cage innocents, addicts, mentally ill and citizens suffering from what Dr. Dan has defined as Adolescent or Adult Fetal Alcohol/Chemical Syndrome (AFACS).

I worked for New Beginnings as a counselor. I filed a claim against that agency with the County of Los Angeles, and if I am not mistaken with the State of California as well. Not only did they deal in fraudulent practices, but they gave clients cigarettes to attend groups on alcohol and drug prevention and sobriety. I had a supervisor at one time who was a cab driver and he did not know the name of the employees under him. He was a "figurehead". At one point, right before I quit, an employee who brought in her underaged daughter to work on files, a huge breach of confidentiality.

The county claimed there was no basis to my allegations. My expereience with filing complaints with the County of LA Alcohol and Drug Administration is that they do not attempt to resolve complaints as they would loose funding from the states. when I worked at New Beginnings, an auditor gave us notice that she was coming and we knew in advance which files to "get in order".

I also suggest that you check out Blessed Alcohol and Drug treatment Centers and Total Family Support Clinics. Many of these individuals who are from Africa and Russia are in the business for profit. They are not trying to help individuals with substance abuse problesm. I quit Blessed Drug and Alcohol after working for them for 4 hours. The coordinator wanted me to falsify documents. I also filed a complaint against Total Family support Clinic. If you want a real story, I suggest you have someone go under cover and receive services from them.

These kind of people deserve twice the punishment.
Once for depriving those that should be helped, and again for deceiving those helping them.


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