Public Notices and Press Releases

Man Sentenced for Multistate Patient Brokering and Bribery Scheme

Baltimore man receives a 12-month and one-day prison sentence for defrauding health insurance companies through a patient brokering scheme.

NEW JERSEY - John Devlin, a 37-year-old man from Baltimore, Maryland, was sentenced to a year and a day in prison for his role in a conspiracy that defrauded health insurance companies. Devlin, along with his co-conspirators, orchestrated a multistate patient brokering scheme that involved bribing drug-addicted individuals to enroll in drug rehabilitation centers in exchange for referral fees. U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced the sentencing.

Devlin pleaded guilty via videoconference to one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud before U.S. District Judge Peter G. Sheridan, who imposed the sentence on May 14, 2024.


Six other individuals have also pleaded guilty for their roles in the scheme:

  • Peter Costas
  • Seth Logan Welsh
  • John C. Devlin
  • Akikur Mohammad
  • Lauren Philhower
  • Anastasia Passas

Details of the Scheme: 

Devlin, along with Welsh and their associates, operated a marketing company in California that facilitated the scheme across New Jersey, Maryland, California, and other states. The marketing company engaged a network of recruiters to bribe individuals addicted to heroin and other drugs to enter drug rehabilitation centers, generating referral fees for Devlin and his co-conspirators.

The marketing company had contracts with several drug treatment facilities, including those run by Mohammad, Philhower, and Passas. These facilities paid referral fees ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 per patient. Devlin and his associates shared the proceeds among themselves, while recruiters like Costas received a portion for each patient they brokered.

To entice individuals to enroll in rehabilitation programs, recruiters offered bribes of up to several thousand dollars. Once patients agreed, the conspirators arranged and paid for their travel to the treatment centers. Recruiters monitored patients to ensure they stayed long enough to generate referral payments.

The conspiracy caused millions of dollars in losses to health insurers.

Additional Sentencing: 

In addition to the prison term, Judge Sheridan sentenced Devlin to three years of supervised release.

The case was part of a broader investigation into healthcare fraud and was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office.

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