tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN July 30, 2013 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT
good evening. everyone, part two of our keeping them honest series. rehab racket, clinical operators billing taxpayers for a bundle and how teenagers who don't need rehab at all, they are being recruited to help, as you see, our investigation is getting results. judgment day for private first class bradley manning. he leaked 750,000 classified documents and videos. the question is, how much damage did he really do? and later, believe it or not, $136 million in stolen jewels was only the tip of the iceberg. we'll go inside a heist some are
blaming for in cannes from a gang known as the pink panthers. we begin with part two of our series, "rehab racket." shady rehab clinics filing bogus claims for phantom patients. because it involves federal medicaid funding, we are all paying for it, nearly $186 million in state and federal tax dollars over the last two years. the year-long investigation from cnn lays it all out. unscrupulous operators billing the government for bogus clients and getting away with it. in the wake of our reporting, we learned that 29 clinics have been temporarily suspending, cutting them off. and a state senator, who after seeing last night's report, is calling for a full audit of california's program. but first, part two of the investigation. you teenagers say they were
roped into the operation. drew griffin tonight, keeping them honest. >> reporter: outside this drug rehab center in southern california, teenagers from a group home are dropped off. but according to former employees of the pomona alcohol and drug recovery center, many of the teens they saw coming here over the years didn't have substance abuse problems at all. a one-year investigation by cnn and the centers for investigative reporting found the drug mehdical program in california, which cost taxpayers over $6 billion, is ripe with fraud. victoria says she was driven in a van every week with other teens while living in a group home to the health services in li riverside, california. >> we used to do drug tests and they would teach us not to do
this drug or whatever. >> reporter: but she thought it was strange, because she didn't have a drug problem. >> i told them, why should i be here? i have no drug issue. but i had to go because all the other girls had to go and they couldn't leave me at the hospital by myself. >> reporter: we obtained these document where is she signed her name, and signatures meant money. the more signatures, the more the system reimbursed the clinic. michael mergets remembers the trips, as well. now in college, he says he also was driven in a van, each week with other teens, from a different group home. you never abused alcohol or prescription drugs? >> not at all. >> so all the time you spent there for three years, three years, was a waste of your time and a waste of taxpayer money? >> yes, definitely.
>> reporter: that doesn't surprise demara sheera, a former manager with the same operator. she estimated that 30% of the teens didn't have a drug or alcohol issue. so counselors just made them up. >> it took an audit for me to know how deep it was. how keep of fraud was going on there. >> reporter: other whistleblowers blame forward and claimed that they were committing drug/alcohol fraud by labeling teens with fake addictions. they said they didn't have an easy way to prove they were making up addictions. but the county pulled the clinic's funding any way, because so many clients were dropping out. that forced so. cal to shut down. but the other clinic in the county remains open. just last year, a report on
pomona drug and alcohol recovery center found serious issues in the program. the operator of both clinics is a man named tim agendu, who said the allegations came from disgruntled ex-employees. he couldn't tell us anything. drew griffin with cnn. >> who are you? >> reporter: i just told you. your former employees say you're billing for services that you're not providing. he soon left without talking to us. if you have nothing to hide, why are you taking off? we found case after case of rehab centers like pomona with a history of problems that are still allowed to keep billing the state. tamera askew is a former counselor, who claims she was
told to bill for clients she didn't see. did you have client lists? >> i had a client list, yes. when i first got there, yeah, they gave me about 20 folders, 20 folders of clients that they had. >> reporter: did you ever account for the 20 cases that you had in your folders? >> no, i never could because -- >> reporter: you couldn't find them? >> some were in jail, one was dead. >> reporter: and still a client? >> and still listed as a client. >> reporter: she says she confronted the operator of the clinic. >> i said look, i don't know how you want me to bill for clients i don't see or have. and he told you, how do you think these lights are going to get paid? >> reporter: she says he then fired her. would you describe what you've been through as anything more than just throwing away taxpayer's money? >> it is -- yeah, it's just
throwing away taxpayer's money. >> reporter: that was in 2009. regulators have found severe deficiencies at pride health services, from 2005 to 2011, including evidence of ghost clients. two years ago, the county uncovered what appeared for fraudulent documentation used for billing. a state auditor urged they be shut down. not only did they stay open, it got even more money. more than $1 million in a year. in its most recent investigation brought you by yet another employee accusing pride of billing for ghost clients, investigators found the allegations unsubstantiated, but found the operation troubling, discovering missing paperwork, signed waivers with no client information and missing treatment plans.
despite that poor review, pride is staying open. if the county investigators couldn't find evidence of ghost patients, maybe they should do what we did, go there on wednesday, closed for treatment. we saw no one entering the facility on wednesdays. so we went in ourselves, with hidden cameras. do you have rehab going on today? >> reporter: today is wednesday. there's no group today? >> no. >> reporter: even though it's closed for rehab, pride has been billing for clients on wednesdays, as these records show. including 60 on the day we went in with hidden cameras and found no clients there. he told the county two years ago that pride accepted
responsibility for deficiencies. we went looking for him, seen in this police mug shot for an unrelated arrest in 2003. hi, drew griffin with cnn. how are you doing? is godfrey in? >> he's right here. >> reporter: markita jones denied any wrongdoing. we wanted to ask about an investigation we're doing about ghost patients, people signing names, faking signatures and billing the state and the county for treatment that's not happening. do you know anything about that? >> no, i don't. because that's not going on at this office. >> reporter: godfrey has never asked you to sign a form that says all these patients came here and they didn't? >> no, sir, he did not. >> reporter: and you do the counseling yourself? >> yes, i do. >> reporter: as we waited for them to show up, employees inside called police. they told us that the boss was coming and we've been camped out
waiting for them to show up. then abruptly, shut down for the day. could he call back and say he's not coming? we never heard from anyone at pride health services again. >> it's just unbelievable. one of the things that's most upsetting is despite repeated times that the county and state know there is's fraud going on, these things just stay open. >> reporter: right. what we're finding is a lack of oversight at a much higher level that we would like to get to the bottom of. the regulators, the inspectors, they are finding the fraud. report after report, they're finding the problems. the problem is, nothing ever happens. and we can't seem to figure out why, who is it in authority that is allowing, even after seeing these reports, that is allowing these clinics to not only stay open but to grow. >> i want to bring in senator
ted lew. how concered are you that auditors have been finding evidence of fraud for years, yet they've not only remained open but increased in value? >> i'm very concerned. a few days ago i talked to my chief of staff about increasing funding to rehabilitation clinics, because i believe they're a vital thing. first, i was surprised how easy it was to commit freud. and second, i became very concerned that not only could i not request more funding, but that if we don't fix this fraud immediately, it would undercut the public support for this entire program. >> that's one of the things that are so terrible, because there are obviously people in need of rehab, and there are legitimate clinics out there. but without proper oversight, we don't know which ones are legitimate. i know on the program last
night, you called for an audit on these drug rehab programs. what specifically do you want to see happen? >> you are correct, this rprogrm has undoubtedly helps tens of thousands of people. but i request an audit because i want to get to the bottom of what has happened. it's to the state auditor, which is an independent audit agency, separate from the executive branch, and i want to know how this happened for so long, how pervasive is fraud, and more importantly, what can we do to change laws and regulations so the fraud doesn't occur in the future. >> for 29 clinics they are temporarily suspended but only comes after we told the state what we were finding. so can the people of california really trust the state audit is the question? >> i think it's a good step forward to suspend payments or shut down the clinics. but it's important to have a separate audit agency
independent from the department in charge to conduct an audit, find out who knew what when, why something was not done sooner and what laws or policies may need to be changed. >> drew, we're seeing some of these clinics suspended and shut down. >> i think the state senator is onto something. it needs to be taken out of the agencies overseeing this, to have an independent audit, to look at the big picture of what is happens in terms of oversight. the investigators found the fraud, nothing was done. that's the bottom line as far as our reporting. as for whether or not the state, these agencies, the health agency is now serious about it, tomorrow night you'll see how hard it was for us to find that answer, anderson. and it was shocking for us to see state officials refusing to address the problem and refusing to address us. >> that's the thing, drew, as
we've seen in so many of the investigations you have dope, whether there is these bogus charities giving more money to fund-raisers. if you have nothing to hide, they should grant you an interview. it's like cockroaches scurrying when you return on the lights. people are just running from you. >> that's absolutely right. keep in mind, we are trying to find out what happened to our money, our money. and these are state public officials, paid for with our money. so it's not outrageous what we're asking here. >> drew griffin, appreciate it. senator, thank you. if you've got a tip for drew on this or any other subject, go to cnn.com/investigate. and let us know what you think tonight. follow me on twitter. also ahead, some early answers in that outbreak that's made a lot of people sick to their stomachs.
also tonight, the other big story tonight, private first class bradley manning accused of the biggest security leak in u.s. history, facing charges of aiding the enemy and life without parole. he hears from the judge today and her verdict. the average fast-food dinner is over $6.50 a meal. this kraft dinner from walmart is less than $3.10 a serving. replacing 1 fast-food dinner a week, saves your family of 4 over $760 a year. save money. live better. walmart.
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bradley manning. a military judge today acquitting him of the most serious charge aiding the enemy for turning over 750,000 classified documents and videos. but he was convicted of violating the espionage act. so he's still facing a maximum of 136 years. the manning case has touched off a serious debate over the harm that manning has done and whether the government initially overstated the damage. like the nsa leaker edward snowden, manning has been called a traitor by some, a hero by others. let's talk to jeffrey toobin and what ask your reaction? >> i thought it was a good verdict. i think the charge of helping the enemy was excessive and it was good the judge acquitted him of that charge. but i think what manning did was appalling. he betrayed his fellow members
of the military and the foreign service and should be going to prison and others. >> glenn, i know you disagree. >> i do. i think the verdict and jeff's comments underscore what a lot of people really hate about washington, which is if you're sufficiently rich and powerful and well connected in washington, the laws don't apply to you, you don't get punished. the only people that do are people like bradley manning. the theory that the government used was that he engaged in espionage and helped the enemy because the material he caused to be published on the internet was helpful to osama bin laden. bob woodward has written book after book after book and has become extremely rich by publishing secrets way more sensitive to anything manning ever published. nothing he ever published was top secret, but nobody would ever talk about bob woodruff the way jeff toobin just did because he's in good standing in washington.
they leak all the time. washington is all about leaks, but the only people who get punished are people who are marginalized. >> jeff, you do have people leaking all the time. >> you do have some leaking going on. we could have a debate on a case by case basis. but bradley manning released 700,000 cables, including the life's work of a lot of foreign service officers who risked their lives, and the people they talked to risk their lives to talk to american officials. and the idea that bradley manning has the right, and it was somehow justified in releasing this material i think is just completely wrong. you know, bob woodward is a separate story and unrelated. >> glenn, does a government have any form to secrecy in their foreign policy discussions that go on in embassies overseas?
because those were a lot of the cables bradley manning released. >> the government has limited rights to secrecy, but it is so wildly abused. the idea, the argument that people made when these diplomatic cables were released, there's nothing significant or new in these cables. why were they all marked secret? the reason is because the government just marks everything secret. the thing most bizarre, anybody that would call them selves a journalist who would call for the prosecution and imprisonment for bradley manning is baffling. what he did is the job of journalists, which is to bring transparency to what the government is doing. even the pentagon admits that its early claims how he has blood on his hands was wildly overstated. he released low-level secrets that informed a the world ant
the ums government. >> but it's not up to bradley manning to make the decision to disclose this. the people who wrote those cables have devoted their lives to trying to make the world a better place, particularly foreign service officers. maybe you disagree about that, glenn, but i admire the foreign service a great deal. i trust their judgment about what's a secret a lot more than bradley manning. >> look, jeff, you can make that argument in every week case. people in the '60s said daniel elsberg was a traitor. who was he to decide what should be leaked to the public. but what he did was expose systematic lies in the government. in the bush years, whoever told the new york times that the bush administration was spying without warrants, what right did they have to disclose secrets? this is how investigative
journalism works is people inside the government with a conscience when they come forward and disclose it through journalism. if you think that's criminal, you're calling for the end of investigative journalism. that's what it is about. >> i appreciate your education to me of what journalism is, but releasing 700,000 cables in a completely blunder bust way is not the same work as bob woodward. >> how about daniel elsberg? >> he also wrote the pentagon papers. he disclosed what he wrote, which is very different than bradley manning disclosing hundreds of thousands of cables that he didn't even read, much less write. >> you don't know that he didn't read them. >> glenn makes an interesting point and it is accurate, that when this was all revealed, you hood politicians up and down saying he has blood on his hands. you have people in the obama
administration say thing is causing cataclysmic damage to national security. and then later on in testimony, secret testimony that was revealed in reuters and other news outlets, they staid, it was embarrassing, but it didn't amount to much. >> i have no doubt that the government officials here overstated the amount of danger. but that doesn't mean there was no danger, and that doesn't mean we don't know fully what the danger was, including the risk -- the fact that many people may not talk to government officials anymore as a result of these kind of disclosures. >> jeff, what legal precedent this sets, if any, for edward snowden? >> a big one. i think snowden will be confirmed in his desire to stay out of the united states, because i think their situations are very parallel in terms of the amount of disclosure that went on. and i think he's likely to face exactly this kind of prosecution and exactly this kind of result
and sentence. >> jeff, what do you make of the way bradley manning was treated and the conditions which he was held? >> that was an appalling -- it was too much done. it was inappropriately harsh conditions. but that doesn't justify the underlying behavior that led to the case either. >> glenn, you posted on twitter today, so weird how most people claim i would respect snowden's act if he fled. don't apply that to bradley manning. explain what you mean. >> so many people say, of course, we need more transparency. people say if snowden hadn't fled i would respect them. but bradley manning didn't flee. look what jeff said earlier. manning is wrong because he didn't read all the documents he leaked. i can assure you that every single document edward snowden turned over to us he read before
he gave them to us, because every document is filed according to topic. so if what jeff is saying is true, which is my problem with bradley manning, he should be praising edward snowden, yet he isn't. people all contrive excuses to attack anybody who brings transparency to the government unless they're powerful officials in washington. >> i'm not talking about powerful officials. i'm talking about foreign service officers who are on the street in every capital in the world. and small cities around the world, trying to gather information, report it to their superiors. the idea that bradley manning is the only one or edward snowden is the only one who has a conscience and who is decent and has the right to disclose the work of all these people is just absurd to me, glenn.
>> thank you. >> thanks, anderson. for more on the story, go to cnn.com. just ahead, a jailbreak caught on camera. a suspect takes a phone call and hurls himself through an open window and high tails it to a get away car. how the escape played out. details ahead. [ male announcer ] ah... retirement. sit back, relax, pull out the paper and what? another article that says investors could lose tens of thousands of dollars in hidden fees on their 401(k)s?! seriously? seriously. you don't believe it? search it. "401(k) hidden fees."
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whose escape from an arkansas jail was caught on jail. officials say he conspired with several people to plan the escape. gary tuchman has the story. >> reporter: this man is about to escape from jail. and the ease with which he does it is breathtaking. his name is derek estelle, he's 33 with an extensive rap sheet. this past march, he had to be tear gassed out of a glding. that brings us to the jail. he was here waiting a court day on his latest charges. he's on the phone, but not necessarily talking to anybody. it's the beginning of his escape plan. >> there were only two deputies in the room and it's also our sunday visitation. >> reporter: estelle starts running, jumps through a window and lands in the public lobby. it looks like a bad cartoon.
he's then followed by a guard, who was caught off guard, and the chase begins. estelle sprints as fast as he can to the parking lot, and so do the deputies. but there's a car waiting. he gets in it. the car allegedly driven by a woman named tamara upshaw. the deputy got up to the car as it was pulling out and hit the passenger window, but they got away. this is the car. it was later located without its occupants. so how did this happen? how did a man now considered armed and dangerous get out of jail in less time than it takes to run a 50-yard dash? first, there's the phone call. inmates are allowed to be on that phone, which is in a good place for a potential escape, close to the open window. then there's this man, william harding. he was visiting the jail and he's partly responsible. >> he asked one of the deputies a question and at that time they turned their back. >> reporter: harding turned into a sacrificial lamb, because
while estelle ended up free, harding who was free, is now in comedy. police think harding and the driver of the car aren't the only ones part of the plot. >> seems to be well thought out. evidently there were several individuals involved. >> reporter: but authorities respect saying much more than that. as everyone here tries to figure out how something that is supposed to be so hard was made to look so, so easy. gary tuchman, cnn, atlanta. >> $136 million in jewels stolen in broad daylight? the director of a new documentary, all about this gang, talked with five members of the pink panther and joins me on her take, ahead. in djibout. vietnam in 1972. [ all ] fort benning, georgia in 1999. [ male announcer ] usaa auto insurance is often handed down from generation to generation. because it offers a superior level of protection and because usaa's commitment to serve military members,
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hitchcock's "to catch a thief" was filmed. it's the third gem theft there and it came days after the pink panther gang escaped out of prison. the gang is linked to more than 340 robberies in 35 countries. the pink panthers are nobody for their daring and speed. in 2007, they drove into cars into a dubai shopping mall. and in less than a minute, made off with jewelry worth $1 million. a new documentary called "smash and grab." the director managed to get five of the gangs to open up about their crimes and the networks they use to fence their loot. she joins me now. the documentary is fascinating. you track down five of the pink panthers. what was it like meeting them? >> each one was different. each personality is different and each was in a different
scenario. one was, i had to go to a deserted war memorial. i wasn't allowed to take a mobile phone and i had to sit and wait for a war to pick me up. so there were scary moments. but also some moments that were also extraordinarily relaxed and i couldn't understand that they weren't more paranoid. >> what interested you about this group? >> it's no coincidence that they all come from the same time and place. they were absolutely straight, historical reasons why that part of the world, the balkans was completely criminalized. and why people were forced to turn to smuggling and crime in europe, which then they were so good at it, it snowballed to a global came. >> you interview in the dock --
documentary a man named mike. >> it took authorities a long time to figure out the operational struggle. do they have a completely clear idea of how it worked? >> they are a sort of contem contemporary crime back. they're much more flexible than your traditional idea than a mafia. there isn't a straightforward hierarchy. and the numbers grow and shrink depending on what's happening right there. they can disappear and reappear in different parts of europe. they have hubs all over the place. >> do they know each other?
>> most of them come from two particular cities. most grew up in different parts of montenegro and serbia and they have forged those connections in those conflict periods in the '80s and '90s in the balkans. >> is there someone at the top? >> they talk about an originator of the panthers, but i don't think he would see himself as some sort of boss figure. there are people that are more experienced than others and people that have been doing it for longer. >> there's some more i want to play from mike. >> it's interesting he keeps a rolex as a souvenir from one of
the heists. are they rich? >> i would say that, again, it comes down to the individual. there are some that have managed to invest their money into real estate or something like that. and they like to show off as the robin hoods that they're bringing back money into the economy where the government isn't. but a lot of them also invest money back into say the heroin trade and a lot of it is spent gambling and playing, essentially. >> the diamonds i guess are the -- probably the easiest thing or one of the easier things to sell, because you can take them out of the settings and things like that. but some of the other things that they steal are less easy. >> yeah. diamonds are their main currency. i mean, they steal watches, as well and things like that. but diamonds are the key thing that they are most professional
at and do the best at, mainly because they have incredible access to diamond trading. i was lucky enough to meet a contact of the panthers called mr. green who is a fence. he's the person who they take the diamonds to. he gets them recut and creates new certificates of origin for them, and is able -- he has the connections to then sell them back into the clean market. >> it's obviously too soon to tell with this latest robbery that took place in cannes. do you have any sense of it? does it have the hallmarks of something they might be involved with? >> it absolutely -- if it was discovered to be a panther on -- robbery, it wouldn't surprise me at all. there are very few people in the
world that would know what to do with diamonds that valuable. how are you going to suddenly resell them? how are they going to disappear? if we don't see diamonds suddenly being found somewhere, chances are, it's a panther robbery. >> fascinating. thank you so much. >> thank you. ahead tonight, a medical mystery partially solved. officials identify the bug they say is responsible for turning lot of stomachs. we'll be right back. meet the newest member of the quicken loans family: j.d. power and associates has ranked quicken loans
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but for all these symptoms, you also take kaopectate. new kaopectate caplets -- soothing relief for all those symptoms. kaopectate. one and done. "ridicu-list" just ahead. but first, isha sesay joins us again. human error and equipment failure are likely to blame for the explosion at a propane gas plant in central florida last night. amazingly, only eight workers were injured. it took firefighters three hours to put the blaze out. residents said it felt like bombs were going off. new details about last week's train derailment in spain. the driver was on the phone with railway staff when the train crashed. he's been charged with 79 counts
of homicide. the train was going 95 miles per hour when it derailed, nearly twice the speed limit. health officials in nebraska and iowa have linked salad mixes to a stomach outbreak. authorities are trying to determine where it was sold and under what brand. they don't know if it was linked to a wider outbreak of food poisoning. and tsa workers found misconduct cases rose 26%. children, one adult suffered serious injuries when an suv slammed into a car outside a daycare center, pushing the car
through the front wall of the building. two children were trapped inside the building for a time but were rescued. anderson? >> isha, thanks. in tonight's "american journey," here's tom foreman. >> reporter: the royal decision to call the new baby george is playing well in the uk where that name is popular with many parents. but on this side of the pond -- >> no, not in a million years. >> reporter: one expected mom after another after new york's prenatal center told us george would never make their list of baby names chosen with care. >> i think it's important, because this is something you'll carry your whole life. that reflects on your personality. >> reporter: 100 years or so ago, george was a hugely popular name in america. but these days, it is barely on
the charts, despite two recent presidents named george and a movie star, too. >> we've really seen a revolution in american baby naming that no one wants to see ordinary. you hear, i don't want my daughter to be one of four jennifers in her class. while parents want kids to stand out, kids are happy to fit in. >> reporter: so while some families may cozy up to pop culture names, many others are striking a delicate balance, choosing something not too traditional, and the most popular girl names last year were sophia, emma and isabella. for boys, jacob, mason and ethan. but here is the thing, none of these names is as popular as the most popular names once were because we are collectively choosing from a much wider pool of possibilities.
perhaps the only thing that remains constant, picking the right name is still not easy. >> if it's a boy, jack henry. a girl, i have a list 18 miles long, so i don't know. >> the "ridicu-list" is next. i'm beth... and i'm michelle. and we own the paper cottage. it's a stationery and gifts store. anything we purchase for the paper cottage goes on our ink card. so you can manage your business expenses and access them online instantly with the game changing app from ink. we didn't get into business to spend time managing receipts, that's why we have ink. we like being in business because we like being creative, we like interacting with people.
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time for the "ridicu-list." tonight, we have the case of the surprise lawn ornament that showed up in a woman's yard in georgia. i'm not talking about a tasteful garden gnome or anything like that. out of nowhere, a giant kentucky fried chicken bucket appeared in this lady's yard. the woman was driving past her house when she spotted the relic of finger licking goodness and
figured she had to be imagining it. >> i thought i was hallucinating. so i called my teenagers who were at home and had them go outside. >> sure enough, she wasn't dreaming. it was actually there. but why? she had no idea where it came from. was it a message from colonel sanders himself? no, her land lord bought the bucket and had it dropped off. >> that bucket don't say kfc, it says kentucky fried chicken. it's probably 40 years old. >> i didn't notice that. so the land lord plans to kick the bucket up a notch by mounting it on a pole for permanent display. sudden my the giant plastic snow globe your neighbor puts on his lawn doesn't seem so bad, doesn't it? that's one good thing about living in new york city, we don't have yards. >> wow, kenny rogers, finally
open. look at the size of that neon chicken on the roof. >> what's going on in there? >> what? >> that light? >> oh, the red. yes, the chicken roaster sign across from my window. >> can't you shut the shade? >> they are shud. >> i have to say, the woman who has apunexpected view of a kfc sign is handling it well. >> too often we need something to laugh about. so i put it on facebook and i'll bring chicken to the next potluck. >> there are other benefits, too. who needs g.p.s. when you have kfc? >> it's unusual, but it makes good land marks when people come to our house. you can just say come down to the giant bucket and turn right.
>> that is the power of positive thinking in action. when life throws you a curveball, just make the most of it. we just learned the original recipe for happiness. we can cross that one off our bucket list on "ridicu-list." erin burnett "outfront" starts now. next, bradley manning found guilty of charges for releasing classified information. but he got off on even greater charges. so, win or a loss? what does it mean for america's security? then, a brazen escape caught on tape. this one, you have to see to believe. so, you will. and sleeping on the job. stealing the contents of our luggage. this is what's happening at the tsa. a special report. let's go "outfront." ♪ good evening, everyone. i'm erin burnett. tonight, a verdict for spy