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CASE UPDATE: Liberation Way CEO, Employees Plead Guilty for Roles in Fraudulent Addiction Treatment Center

August 28, 2019 | Topic: Criminal

HARRISBURG— Attorney General Josh Shapiro is announcing that three Liberation Way defendants, including the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, pleaded guilty for their roles in operating a fraudulent drug and alcohol treatment center based in Bucks County. Attorney General Shapiro and First Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Jennifer Williams announced state and federal criminal charges against eleven people and nine businesses in connection with Liberation Way in March 2019 after a Grand Jury investigation revealed a sophisticated, multi-layered scam that took advantage of vulnerable people suffering from substance use disorder to generate millions in profits.

“These defendants took advantage of the very people they were supposed to help—those suffering from substance use disorder,” said Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “The opioid, heroin, and fentanyl epidemic is devastating Pennsylvania communities, yet the operators of Liberation Way exploited this crisis for their own benefit. I’m proud of the hard work of my Office to hold the defendants accountable for their crimes and I look forward to continuing to work with our federal partners in the U.S. Attorney’s Office to deliver justice for the people of Pennsylvania.”

“These defendants held various positions within the Liberation Way organization, but they all had one thing in common – all had a responsibility to the people they were serving, the people who needed help. They failed in this important responsibility and are now paying the price,” said First Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Williams. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners at all levels to address the opioid epidemic and hold accountable those who would take advantage of this ongoing crisis.”

Jason Gerner, 46, of Shamong, NJ, is the co-founder of Liberation Way and served as the Chief Executive Officer. He and the other employees generated millions of dollars in profits by exploiting individuals with drug and alcohol dependencies as tools to defraud insurance companies. Gerner pleaded guilty today in federal court to Criminal Conspiracy to Commit Healthcare Fraud and Criminal Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering.

Michael Sarubbi II, 53, of Cherry Hill, NJ, is a former employee of Liberation Way who purposely disguised the source of money used to pay for patients’ insurance policies so that Liberation Way was not directly linked to the policies. He pleaded guilty yesterday to state charges of Theft by Deception, Conspiracy to Commit Theft by Deception, and Insurance Fraud.

Dana Fetterman, 35, of Haddon Township, NJ, is the brother of the Liberation Way’s co-founder, the late Dallas Fetterman. Dana Fetterman had a “consulting contract” with Liberation Way and falsely represented that he had a background in the addiction industry, even though he did not. Dana Fetterman pleaded guilty yesterday to a state charge of Conspiracy to Commit Dealing in Proceeds.

Sentencing for Jason Gerner was scheduled for January 13, 2020. Sentencing for Michael Sarubbi and Dana Fetterman was deferred to a later date, not yet specified. Dr. Domenick Braccia, Dr. Ramesh Sarvaiya, and Jesse Peters have pleaded guilty to federal charges and are awaiting sentencing for their involvement with Liberation Way. Litigation against the additional defendants is ongoing.

Deputy Attorney General Robert LaBar and Deputy Attorney General Kristyne Crist are prosecuting the case at the state level and AUSA Nancy Beam Winter is prosecuting at the federal level.

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