Palm Beach Post (Florida)
Sober-home fraud scheme doctor receives an 8-year term; Judge: Dr. Mark Agresti enabled $31.3 million insurance swindle
By Jane Musgrave
May 28, 2022
With his wife and 90-year-old mother looking on, a once-respected Palm Beach County psychiatrist was handcuffed and led from a federal courtroom on Friday to begin serving an eight-year prison sentence for exploiting people struggling with addiction.
Dr. Mark Agresti’s quick transformation from free man to federal prisoner was unusual. Typically, white-collar criminals are allowed to remain free, get their affairs in order and then report to prison. But U.S. District Judge Rodolfo Ruiz II rejected a request from Agresti’s attorneys for the typical treatment.
“The time has come for him to serve his sentence,” Ruiz said before hastily leaving the courtroom after a two-hour hearing…
At Bailynson’s direction, Agresti ordered hundreds of expensive urine tests for insured residents of a sober home Bailynson operated out of a rundown apartment complex on Georgia Avenue in West Palm Beach, federal prosecutors said.
Instead of a simple test, Agresti ordered labs to screen the samples for 80 different types of drugs, most of which were not addictive. He did so knowing that instead of receiving about $300 for each test, insurance companies would pay at least $1,500, prosecutors said.
By testing residents at least five times a week for drugs that were not likely to be in their systems, the money piled up…