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

CHAPTER TEN
FBI Raid and Aftermath

Driving to the office the morning of July 16, 1997, I tried to control my excitement. I arrived as usual at 7:30 A.M., dressed conservatively in dark trousers, a red tie, and a crisp white shirt. Sitting in my parked Plymouth Acclaim, I gathered my thoughts. Avoid arousing suspicion, I told myself. As my glasses slid part way down my nose, I realized I was sweating profusely. Shoving them back into place, I quickly glanced in the rearview mirror, nervously running my fingers through my hair. I couldn't shake the feeling I was being watched. Stop being paranoid; it's just another acting job, I told myself as I walked into the office.

The night before, Joe Ford had phoned to tip me off to the FBI's planned raid of Columbia/HCA offices at 9 A.M. Ford swore me to secrecy and said I was the only civilian to know what the FBI planned. While my wife knew the raids were imminent, even Kirsten was in the dark. Needless to say, I didn't sleep much that night.

I had to admit that the accounting job at Southwest Florida Regional Medical Center had proven useful, both to our family and to the government. Consulting work wasn't terribly lucrative, and without a regular paycheck, Kirsten and I often worried about our bills. Besides the financial security this new job offered, I knew it would allow me to aid Ford's investigation. In addition, although I had misgivings about working again for Columbia/HCA, even temporarily, I knew the job was a perfect fit. Unfortunately, the position did not offer much prestige. The office was

-80-

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