Undercover: How I Went from Company Man to FBI Spy--And Exposed the Worst Healthcare Fraud in U.S. History

By John W. Schilling | Go to book overview

Prologue

Tuesday, May 8, 1997 Fort Myers, Florida

He drove a dark, nondescript Chevy, its interior strewn with coffee cups and gum wrappers. The four-door sedan badly needed a wash, but I recognized it right away and slid into the front passenger seat. There on the floor lay a 10-millimeter Glock, snug in its brown leather holster. I grimaced and gingerly shifted my feet to avoid touching it. I adjusted the air-conditioning vent to find relief from the stifling tropical heat. The driver flashed me a reassuring grin and stepped on the accelerator as we sped out of the Wal-Mart parking lot. We were in Fort Myers, Florida, and today's mission was to tour each Southwest Florida site that would be targeted. I wondered why this was necessary, but my handler explained that in his experience, guessing only leads to mistakes. He obviously had a lot of experience.

Although the tourist season was over, the traffic was unusually slow for a Tuesday afternoon. The familiar flickering of red emergency lights indicated an accident scene ahead. After we maneuvered past the sheriff's squad cars at the crash site, we arrived at Gulf Coast Hospital, located at a busy intersection. Ford pulled the car into an empty space in the parking lot and produced a yellow legal notepad.

Then he said, “Tell me everything you know about these offices, John. Where are the executive offices and the financial documents?”

As I spoke, he drew small diagrams, mapping the layout of the admin-

-1-

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