Thursday, February 14, 2013

My 300th Post: A Synopsis

     What happened on June 16, 2010 depends on one's point of view.
     I have reported my perceptions, because this is my blog.  I've cast myself as the victim.  But it hasn't been quite fair to represent the several dozen FBI agents who raided my clinic as intrusive perpetrators, or the federal prosecutors in charge of collecting money for the Department of Justice as monsters hell-bent on advancing their careers.  They are people like me, more or less, doing their jobs, following orders.  They got up that morning and carried out their duties, following a script written by someone else.
     Who is that script writer?  I make allusions to "the government," as though it's a stand-in for George Bernard Shaw--but is "the government" someone?  Can the agents of the government be held personally responsible, when orders handed down from on high go haywire?
     I don't blame the FBI agents, or the prosecutors, for their misguided actions against me, or even for my decision to close my clinic.  I do, however, think it's in the best interests of any society for each member to take the trouble to have thoughts, and entertain doubts, about the work they do every day.  Unfortunately, FBI agents and prosecutors are like soldiers:  they don't think, they can't doubt themselves without sacrificing efficacy on the battlefield.  The problem is, this isn't a battlefield.
     Inasmuch as we act out our characters--meaning, we are both actors in a play as well as individuals who identify with certain noble character-traits, from which our sense of identity and the desire to do good arise--we are true to ourselves and can't be blamed for making bad calls, like the one the FBI made.  But what happens when those bad calls have dire consequences for others?
     Thirty or forty FBI agents woke up that June morning, many having traveled (on our dime) from distant parts of the state.  They donned their uniforms and badges, and set off in company cars to enact a raid on my family practice medical clinic, all "in the line of duty."  It is my impression that FBI agents aren't paid to think, or to second-guess their superiors.  They are well-trained in the art of following, and they're good at forceful self-preservation.  They are taught to expect confrontation, and to meet it squarely.  But they don't question their superiors, and in this way they aren't really "American," i.e., helping to make the country better, by challenging its systems.  They are watchdogs, and sometimes they are bullies.
     There was no reasoning with the government agents that day, not with all the guns in their holsters, nor has there been a chink in the armor of the two prosecutors, who should be able by now to state their grounds for sullying my name and impeding my ability to run a business.  They violated certain constitutional rights;  therefore, I am joining forces with four others whose businesses were similarly raided and harmed, in a class-action-type lawsuit aimed at limiting the powers of government agents who otherwise will keep having license to trample on (they call it, "investigate") American citizens.
     The Patriot Act, War on Terrorism, and HIPAA have accorded government agencies far more power than was ever intended by the fathers of the Constitution, except during times of war. 
     Our incipient lawsuit against the government aims:  1)  to seek the return of raided goods and funds;  2)  to seek other damages pertaining to loss of revenues and functionality directly related to the raids;  3)  to seek damages for difficult-to-quantify losses, including losses to our local reputations;  4)  to reinstate important limitations placed on the federal government by the authors of the Constitution;  5)  to reverse liberties that were granted to federal agents and prosecutors when our country was (purportedly) in crisis, after 911--because it is no longer in crisis;  6)  to question the motives of the Department of Justice, and how they are at odds with the stated intentions of the current administration (if Obama wants to encourage small and mid-size businesses as the backbone of America's economy, does it make sense to be ransacking those same businesses without proof of criminality?)
     Twenty months ago my clinic was raided.  Six weeks later all the working capital in my personal and clinic bank accounts was confiscated.  Since then it has been impossible to hire professional staff (doctors, nurse-practitioners) to help run the clinic, because the raid and "investigation" have frightened them away.  Who wants to work for someone under investigation by the government?
     As it turns out (from a report leaked onto the Internet by the government began its investigation of my medical clinic thirty-two months ago, in response to a persuasive but prevaricating report by a woman, Pat McCullough.  She was either an agent of the government (unlikely) or an opportunist, because she purchased my prior clinic in Hawthorne, seized the assets and made them disappear, and failed to pay off loans (that she was deft enough to persuade banks to extend, based on false representations about the clinic's likely profitability after her takeover).  She had no intention of running a clinic.  She used past performance (under my ownership) as "collateral" for loans, with no intention of paying them back.   Not long after she made a down payment for the Hawthorne clinic (but after securing as much loan money as possible) she declared the clinic a failure, accused me of fraud, filed and was granted bankruptcy, and now hopes to profit from a whistleblower suit.  She understood the politics of the DOJ:  Medicare fraud is the crime du jour, so Pat could profit by pointing a finger at me, and at the same time deflect attention from her own wrongdoing.  The government has little to gain, monetarily, by investigating her.
     You'd think thirty-two months would be ample time for the FBI, backed by the money and power of our government, to ascertain the merits of Pat's accusations against me, or even to undertake an inquiry of her.  But when asked for a status update (by my lawyers, or the press) the prosecutors' response is always the same:  the investigation is still in progress.
     I closed my medical clinic two weeks ago.  Today the last items--boxes of charts--were hauled away.  Half a million dollars of equipment was donated to needy clinics, mostly in Guatemala and Honduras.
     I am retiring from medicine at a time when America needs family doctors more than ever.  The government's raid and forfeitures are directly responsible for my decision to go out of business, although my medical license, insurance credentialing, and other certifications are all intact.
     Pat McCullough, the sleuth-like Iago in this drama, has positioned herself very well.  If I should be forced to settle with the FBI (my lawyers suggest it might be expedient), she'd pocket a handy little sum under the whistleblower program.  It doesn't matter that I haven't committed a crime, haven't failed to pay taxes, haven't been fraudulent.  The Department of Justice has instructed federal agents to "go after Medicare fraud."  Perhaps what this means is "go after businesses with money, and find a reason to take it."  Like the soldiers commissioned to go after Iraqi "weapons of mass destruction," our obedient, single-minded federal agents. do what they're told, whether the evidence supports it or not.
     They've got to find something, or it will come out that they're wasting taxpayers' money, and destroying businesses that create jobs, and violating the Constitution, and overreaching, overreaching, overreaching.   


  1. Someone is watching your blog, as in big brother, it seems. Can not comment on some items or issues without being so called barred from the issue...Our Constitution it seems is under attack from within, we the people need to wake up.

  2. Happy belated Valentines Day !

  3. In a similar vein to your experiences, last week I was forced to open my home and my life to a Government social worker, all because they received an "anonymous tip" (meaning they know who made the call, but they won't tell me) that I was neglecting my son's education and not home-schooling him as I had stated was my intention when I withdrew him from public school this past October. Lucky for me, the social worker HAD the presence of mind to harbor reasonable doubt, and when she saw the wonderful education I was providing to my son in our own classroom, she declared that she saw nothing of concern and would recommend to her superiors that the issue be closed. What I find bothersome, though, is the fact that at any time, on anyone's whim, I must go through this same situation again, and again and again (it happened last year during an acrimonious divorce from my ex-wife - clearly, one of her cohorts is trying to sully my name and integrity in a misguided attempt to help her), over and over these erstwhile Jack-booted Government thugs can intrude upon the sanctity of my home, just because they received an "anonymous tip". I say, why all the need for secrecy? What are we, the Stasi or the SS? Nothing purifies like the light of day - if someone is ready to make an accusation, they should be obligated to stand up beside their accusations.

    I am sorry you were forced out of your practice by these horrible, police-state tactics. We The People are getting shafted by the Government we were created to control.