Owner of alcohol and drug rehab center pleads guilty to $48 million Medicaid fraud, operating a drug premises money laundering

Ryan Sheridan, former owner of Braking Point Recovery Centers in Austintown and Whitehall, pleaded guilty to a 60-count indictment. He and five associates were charged in February with conspiracy to commit health care fraud, health care fraud, use of a registration number issued to another to obtain a controlled substance, operating a drug premises, money laundering and conspiracy to distribute controlled substances. The government alleged  Sheridan and his co-defendants billed Medicaid $48 million for drug and alcohol recovery services, many of which were not provided, not medically necessary, lacked proper documentation, or had other issues that made them ineligible for reimbursement.

Co-defendants Jennifer Sheridan, Kortney Gherardi, Lisa Pertee, Thomas Bailey and Arthur Smith previously entered guilty pleas to charges in the indictment.

In addition to any prison time, the government seeks restitution of  $24.48 million from the defendants on behalf of the Ohio Department of Medicaid. Sheridan  could face up to 14 years of incarceration if sentences are applied concurrently rather than consecutively. He faces a related case in Columbiana County that could impact the sentencing.

Sheridan also owned and operated numerous other businesses, including Breaking Point Health and Fitness LLC and Braking Point Recovery Housing LLC, which owned recovery houses for individuals attempting to maintain abstinence from drugs and alcohol. Braking Point submitted approximately 134,744 claims to Medicaid for more than $48.5 million in services it claimed to provide between May 2015 and October 2017. The claims caused Medicaid to pay Braking Point more than $31 million. Medicaid suspended payments to Braking Point on Oct. 18, 2017.