Partner in Crime
Once the verdicts were announced, the media began prowling for followups. Healthcare industry trade magazines and newspapers, including my hometown Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, interviewed me. It was therapeutic to finally be able to discuss the stress and sacrifices my family and I endured for the last five years. My story made the front page of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Sunday, August 8, 1999.
The headline read, “FBI mole dug up huge Medicare scam.” Reporter Joe Manning described me as a bookish-looking CPA who “…may have done more to curb Medicare fraud than all the hard-nosed, steely-eyed federal agents in the country.” The last line read, “He blew the whistle, and health care giants rocked.” For the first time in more than three years, I was able to publicly share my belief that rampant and profitable healthcare fraud hurt not only the healthcare system but impacted every American because it drained state and federal resources intended for the poor and elderly.
My family was pleased with the article, and our neighbors and friends were quite surprised to see my picture on the front page. At work the next day, colleagues approached me offering congratulations and asking about the details. My qui tam case and the criminal trial also provided a platform to discuss healthcare fraud at several training seminars when the FBI and U.S. Attorney's Offices asked me to conduct cost reporting fraud training seminars for their staffs.
But the increased exposure spurred more paranoia in our family. Kir-