Finding sobriety can be the toughest task of a person's life. Getting off of a highly addictive substance, especially one used for extended periods of time, does not come easy.

Road sign that says "sober living"
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Because of the nature of getting sober, many rely on sober living homes to help treat those struggling and get them back on their feet. These are necessary for helping recovering addicts, but what happens when they purposely don't work?

The Deaths

On September 28th, 2022 Carson Leslie, a Native American living in Phoenix, was found dead of apparent alcohol abuse. Leslie was meant to be taken to a group sober home after being found in Flagstaff, but was found dead on the streets of Phoenix after being allegedly already being taken to the home.

Arial shot of Phoenix, AZ
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In March of 2023, Navajo Nation member Fernando Largo was found dead of an apparent overdose in a hotel room in Mesa. Largo was also meant to be a resident of a sober living home in the Phoenix metro area, so why is this becoming a trend?

The Lawsuit

These two deaths caught the eye of the BrewerWood Law Firm who realized that these were not isolated incidents, and instead a coordinated attack against Native Americans in order to scam the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System.

Tax paper with "SCAM" written over it
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The firm came to the conclusion that certain sham sober living facilities would pick up struggling Natives in vans and take them to unlicensed treatment facilities, where they would then collect the check from AHCCCS and return the addicts to where they came from with no treatment.

This scam has cost the lives of two Natives already, and likely dozens more, and BrewerWood is dedicated to making sure those involved are held accountable.

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The State

The state of Arizona doesn't have clean hands in this case either. It was revealed that they had a direct knowledge of these events and allowed them to happen. The state knew these facilities were not up to par, and still gave them the funding they were trying to get.

Man holding his right hand up with fingers crossed behind back
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The lawsuit alleges that Largo and Leslie were intentionally targeted, as their Native heritage offered a larger payout from AHCCCS. This is a gross misuse of state funds, and if discovered that the state had direct knowledge of this and still willingly collaborated, those responsible should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

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