The "No Drug Zone," a single-story house with a palm tree out front on a residential street in Boynton Beach, Florida, was supposed to be a safe space for people struggling to get clean.
Instead it was one of dozens of "sober" homes and rehabs across South Florida that milked people addicted to opioids for insurance money, then hung them out to dry. Some, like 24-year-old Mikaya Feucht, ended up dead.
In June, an NBC News investigation revealed a pattern of widespread fraud and abuse in the drug treatment industry in South Florida, and told the stories of its victims . Feucht was one of the young out-of-staters who did not survive what has become known as the "Florida shuffle. " The last "sober" home she lived in before her fatal overdose was No Drug Zone. On Jan. 17 the home’s operator, 26-year-old Albert Jones, pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiring to commit healthcare fraud and maintaining a drug-involved premises — fraud that allegedly cost insurance companies more than $2 million.
To Feucht’s mother, Michelle Curran, Jones’s arrest and guilty plea were a relief.
"I’ve been bringing his name up from day one," said Curran. "I just kept saying, ‘What about Albert […]