On Tuesday, federal officials executed search warrants at several California treatment centers operated by Sovereign Health as well as its San Clemente office, according to the LA Times. San Clemente-based Vendanta Laboratories is also being investigated, according to the San Clemente Times. It is unclear what the affiliation is between Sovereign and the toxicology lab. No arrests were made.
In the current climate of increased scrutiny, more treatment centers are coming under investigation for everything from patient brokering to unnecessary urine drug testing.
Industry observers remember that Tonmoy Sharma, currently CEO of Sovereign, had his medical license revoked by Britain’s General Medical Council in 2008 for misrepresenting his professional qualifications, poorly run clinical trials and for performing “unethical drug tests on mentally ill patients,” as stated by the U.K.’s Telegraph newspaper.
Sharma was speaking at a panel discussion in Rhode Island on Tuesday and was not reported to be present during the searches.
Among its U.S. facilities, Sovereign has had ongoing not-in-my-back-yard issues.
Late last year, Sovereign filed a complaint against San Clemente residents who objected to a sober home in their neighborhood and allegedly trespassed on the property and verbally threatened the residents there. In Florida earlier this year, the organization won a legal dispute with the city of Fort Meyers, alleging the city violated zoning statutes related to sober living residences. Sovereign settled with the city for $149,000.
Sovereign Health is accredited by the Joint Commission and is a member of the San Clemente Chamber of Commerce. Its locations include treatment centers in Arizona, California, Utah, Texas and Florida.