A physician charged with fraud has levied bombshell accusations against the Miami U.S. Attorney's Office and the FBI, accusing prosecutors of spying on the doctor's defense team, according to the Miami Herald.
In 2014, Salo Shapiro, M.D., and two others were charged with submitting more than $55 million in fraudulent mental health claims through a Miami clinic. But last week, Shapiro and his lawyers filed court documents alleging the Miami U.S. Attorney's Office and the FBI has been secretly obtaining copies of defense documents through a government-contracted copy service. Shapiro alleged the practice had been going on for "at least 10 years," according to the Herald.
In a response submitted to the court, the government admitted that the copying service, Imaging Universe, did give the FBI a CD containing duplicate files of copies made by the defense attorneys, and indicated both offices were conducting an internal probe, but denied it was a pervasive practice.
Robert Jarvis, a Southeastern University constitutional law professor, was skeptical of the accusations, he noted that they would have broad implications if true.
"It's potentially catastrophic for the government, and I would think that the [U.S.] Attorney General would be swooping in on this," he told the Herald. "There are 95 judicial districts. If it happened in this office, you have to wonder if it's happening in any others."
South Florida has been informally known as the nation's healthcare fraud capital, FierceHealthPayer: AntiFraud previously reported. Fraud schemes in Florida have run the gamut, from pharmacy fraud to therapy services.
To learn more:
- read the Miami Herald article