OC home of CEO of closed rehab chain is now a detox center – NBC Los Angeles

Orange County-based Sovereign Health was once one of the largest rehab and behavioral health companies in the country. But the business shut down in 2018 after an FBI raid and multiple lawsuits.

Now the multi-million dollar home of Sovereign CEO Tonmoy Sharma is operating as a licensed residential treatment facility.

Dana Shores Recovery in San Juan Capistrano promises “expert and private addiction and mental health recovery” on its website. But nowhere does it indicate the home’s owner is Tonmoy Sharma, who lost his medical license in the UK in 2008 and then set up shop in California as Sovereign Health, operating a chain of treatment facilities.

“We serve 15,000 patients, not all of them will be happy,”  said Tonmoy Sharma

That’s what he told the I-team in 2017. 

But the business closed about a year after an FBI raid that included Sovereign’s treatment facilities, its San Clemente headquarters and Tonmoy Sharma’s home in San Juan Capistrano.

It was really kind of terrifying… (an FBI raid) is something you see on TV. You never think it’s going to happen in your neighborhood.

Neighbor of Tonmoy Sharma

“It was really kind of terrifying,” a neighbor of Sharma’s told the I-team. “It’s something you see on TV. You never think it’s going to happen in your neighborhood.”

Another neighbor told us she came home and saw the FBI raid underway.

“I asked them if I should be concerned,” she said. “They couldn’t give me any information.”

These neighbors asked that we conceal their identities. Last month they discovered Sharma’s home is now operating 24/7 as a detox and mental health facility.

“I was stunned,” said one neighbor. “Even though I knew who Sharma was, even though I knew his history, it was his primary residence.”

“This has all happened in the last few weeks, with what appears to be a full-blown business in a residential community,” said another neighbor. “I think all the neighbors are really concerned.”

According to records filed with the Secretary of State, an LLC owns Dana Shores Recovery. The CEO is listed as Charles Hohman. And, in fact, that’s who answered the door when the I-Team knocked to find out more about the business. Hohman did not want to talk on camera, but during a nearly 10-minute long conversation, he repeatedly said he has no idea who Tonmoy Sharma is.

Documents from the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) obtained by the I-Team show Hohman is paying $10,000 a month rent to Galahad Asset Management and Trust. And while there is no mention of Tonmoy Sharma, Galahad Asset Management is an LLC managed by Sharma.

How is it that the state of California, knowing everything it knows about Tonmoy Sharma and his history with Sovereign Health, is allowing him to continue to profit off a business that’s related to addiction treatment or mental health?

Laurie Girand, Advocates for Responsible Treatment

As for Charles Hohman, the I-Team learned since 2018 Hohman’s been involved in ongoing litigation with the city of Montclair for his business, Green Lotus Entertainment, which ran an illegal marijuana dispensary called Secret Garden in town. Montclair municipal code prohibits such dispensaries, but Green Lotus is suing, challenging that.

Hohman’s new, state-licensed business, Dana Shores Recovery, promises treatments including for “marijuana addiction.” And while it touts “a diverse team of therapists, counselors and medical staff,” there are no names of any professionals mentioned on the site at all. 

A search of Dana Shores Recovery on a public DHCS database only shows that is licensed and certified to treat six residents. The I-team did not discover any violations for Dana Shores. But its location is concerning to some.

“How is it that the state of California, knowing everything it knows about Tonmoy Sharma and about his history with Sovereign Health is allowing him to continue to profit off businesses that’s related to addiction treatment or mental health?” asked Laurie Girand.

Girand helped found “Advocates for Responsible Treatment” after a Sovereign Health Facility started causing problems in her neighborhood.

“There were 19 calls in 9 months in 2016,” Girand recalled. “We had people running away from the house multiple times.”

Assemblymember Laurie Davies recently introduced legislation calling for more transparency about these facilities.

“It requires treatment centers that have been found guilty on a violation from the state, that they have to go ahead and post that on their website,” said Davies.

But she recognizes the challenges of reigning in the industry. Ultimately, she says people looking for treatment should have access to more answers from the state about who’s operating these facilities.

“Are they professional? Are they trained? What is their background? And they’re not doing that right now,” said Davies.

“There are virtually no standards for who can open and operate a recovery or mental health house in the state of California.” said Girand. “Basically, there’s no fingerprinting, there’s no review of criminal history. There’s nothing that will protect vulnerable individuals from being preyed upon.”

Rose and Allen Nelson’s son Brandon killed himself at one of Sharma’s Sovereign Health facilities six years ago this month.

“You’re dealing with people’s lives, these are people that are vulnerable that may not make it through,” said Rose Nelson.

They say they trusted Sovereign’s promises of quality mental health services. 

“It was marketed like that. It was all lies,” said Nelson.

The Nelsons recently settled with Sharma and Sovereign Health’s insurance company for $11 million. As they work to draw attention to the potential dangers within the industry, the Nelsons are sickened to learn Sharma’s own home is now operating as a treatment center. 

Insurance company Healthnet recently won a $45 million verdict for fraud and racketeering against Sharma and the now defunct Sovereign Health, but that’s on appeal. The I-Team’s efforts to speak with Sharma were unsuccessful.

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