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Man who ran Community Recovery Colorado sober living centers charged in $176M fraud scheme

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Posted at 1:33 PM, Nov 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-11 15:33:28-05

LOS ANGELES – The man who ran unlicensed sober living centers throughout the U.S., including in Colorado, and left town without paying his employees now faces fraud charges for the $176 million fraud scheme.

For more than a year, Denver7 detailed how Chris Bathum, the so-called “Rehab Mogul,” defrauded drug and alcohol addicts seeking treatment by buying health insurance policies in their names and submitting millions in phony insurance bills.

He also faces charges stemming from his alleged sexual assaults of former clients.

In August, Bathum left Colorado and closed up Community Recovery Colorado without paying his employees and leaving his clients without a place to stay.

In previous reports, Bathum, who is a convicted felon, denied allegations of sexual battery and drug use with some of his clients in California.

The California Health Department filed a lawsuit in June to shut down his operations, alleging he is operating "unlicensed alcoholism or drug-abuse recovery or treatment facilities."

For more than a year, Denver7 has exposed Bathum's unpermitted sober living homes in Colorado.

Bathum sold Community Recovery to Commonwealth Global. It had operate more than a dozen sober-living homes in the Los Angeles area, 15 of which were raised by Insurance Department investigators Thursday.

Community Recovery executive Kirsten Wallace was also arrested in the roundup.

It’s unclear which charges Bathum will face first.

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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