Drug treatment provider settles false claims allegations

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The operator of nine substance abuse treatment clinics in Connecticut has agreed to pay more than $600,000 to settle allegations that it lied about having a medical director.

Prosecutors said Thursday that The Hartford Dispensary and former CEO Paul McLaughlin falsely told federal and state authorities that the organization had a medical director, as required to provide opioid treatment.

A lawyer for the organization tells The Hartford Courant they strongly dispute the allegations and believe an employee was effectively fulfilling the medical director role, despite not having the title. The lawyer says group did not admit wrongdoing but agreed to the settlement to move forward.

About $113,000 of the settlement money will go to two whistleblowers who raised the allegations.

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