St. Petersburg Times Online: Business

Weather | Sports | Forums | Comics | Classifieds | Calendar | Movies

Executive accused of patient brokering

The Pinellas man joins a group of more than 50 people already charged in the federal investigation.

By GRAHAM BRINK

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 16, 2001


TAMPA -- A Pinellas County executive has been charged with illegally brokering patients into treatment centers in Largo and Tarpon Springs, becoming the latest in a long line of defendants charged in the 7-year-old investigation.

Barry J. Goldstein is accused of conspiracy to defraud the government by paying or taking kickbacks for referring Medicare patients.

Goldstein and associate Douglas A. Miller initially were indicted by a federal grand jury in June. That indictment and the new charge also name Anclote Psychiatric Hospital, a 130-bed facility renamed the Manors before going out of business several years ago, and Goldsel, Anclote Inc., the general partner of Anclote Psychiatric Hospital.

The grand jury accused Goldstein and Miller of making illegal payments to broker Amtrak staffers, Northwest Airlines employees and others into treatment. In one case, Goldstein and Miller allegedly signed an agreement to supply patients to Anclote Psychiatric Hospital through a company called Care Options for $195,000 a month.

In November federal prosecutors dismissed the conspiracy charges against the two men. A short time later, they filed a new charge against Miller for allegedly making an illegal payment to a union official who supplied patients. Miller pleaded guilty and agreed to pay $500,000 in restitution.

The newest charges filed against Goldstein outline many of the same allegations in the indictment from last June, including taking thousands of dollars in kickbacks and illegal payments. Goldstein also allegedly disguised the illegal nature of the business by entering into fraudulent contracts.

Goldstein could not be reached for comment.

So far, more than 50 people have been charged as part of the investigation of patient brokering.

© Copyright, St. Petersburg Times. All rights reserved.