Whistleblower Reminds Florida of Governor Rick Scott’s Role in Record-Setting Medicare Fraud

STEVE CANNON / APAs Florida voters exercise their democratic right to choose between two unpopular multimillionaires, the cross-accusations of fraud and corruption continue to escalate. This week, political chameleon Charlie Crist released another attack ad to remind voters that Republican incumbent Rick Scott presided over the largest instance of Medicare fraud in history (at the time) as CEO of  Columbia/HCA. The attack ad (which is the video included with this article) takes the form of a televised “press conference” by the whistleblower who exposed the massive Medicare fraud within Rick Scott’s former company. As reported by Reuters:

An “accountant who became an FBI whistleblower in a Medicare fraud investigation against a hospital chain spoke out on Monday, saying the company's former chief executive, Florida Governor Rick Scott, must have known about hundreds of millions of dollars in theft. "Fraud was brewing in the DNA of Rick Scott's company from the very beginning, and he was the father of it," John Schilling said at a news conference organized by the rival gubernatorial campaign of Democrat Charlie Crist. Scott is facing off against Crist in a close election battle, an expensive and closely watched political race for the nation's largest swing state. Scott, a founder of the hospital company Colombia/HCA, was ousted as its chief executive officer in 1997 but not charged in the case. The fraud led to $1.7 billion in federal penalties, which was then the largest healthcare fraud settlement in U.S. history. [...]  Schilling, a Collier County Republican, said he shared in “whistleblower” rewards of about $100 million for exposing the padded billing, kickbacks to doctors and medical providers and improper expense accounting that led to the penalties against Columbia/HCA. [...] Schilling said Scott's company was "keeping two sets of books," one of them marked "do not show to Medicare auditors." Schilling said he left the company in 1995 and went to the FBI, then returned as an informant, sometimes secretly recording meetings and confidentially reporting activities to federal investigators.

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