Posted: 8:00 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016
Expensive cars. Flashy watches. Strip clubs. Casinos. Tattoos. Selfies of ripped biceps and b-boy stances.
This is the lifestyle of Eric Snyder, one of a breed of 20-something addicts who came to Florida to get clean and ended up making fortunes by housing and treating fellow addicts and testing their urine.
Armed with little more than GEDs, a year or two of sobriety and no formal training in substance abuse, they assume responsibility for housing and treating other millennials with addiction — the No. 1 killer of their generation.
Two years ago, Snyder, 29, caught the attention of a federal task force investigating hundreds of millions of dollars worth of insurance fraud, kickbacks and patient brokering in Palm Beach County’s drug treatment industry. Snyder landed in headlines when his businesses were raided by the FBI in December 2014 — the second of two high-profile raids by the task force.
Although no charges have been filed against Snyder, grand jury subpoenas went out in December, state investigative records obtained by The Palm Beach Post show.
Three former employees say Snyder’s treatment program staff forged medical records to collect on insurance money, investigative files and legal documents show. A doctor in a recent deposition said much the same thing: His license was used to order urine drug screens without his permission.
How much did Snyder make over the years? More than $50 million, one source close to the investigation said.
Even before the raid, state investigators had uncovered a smorgasbord of troubling practices: medications in unmarked envelopes, patients taking detox medications without a prescription and staff unqualified to dispense the drugs.
Among the more telling discoveries: 200 unrefrigerated urine samples, many without names on labels, in a makeshift lab and ready to be tested at an insurance company’s expense.
No arrests have been made, but Snyder remains on the radar of at least one federal agency, the Internal Revenue Service. In March the IRS filed a lien, saying Snyder owed $2 million in back taxes.