Like the rehab clinic that bussed in unsuspecting foster children for bogus counseling sessions as part of a financial arrangement with their foster homes. According to a former employee at So Cal Health Services, staff members were tasked with falsifying the addiction histories of the foster kids, who showed zero signs of drug use, sometimes relying on blatant racial stereotypes to make their claims plausible.
But that was only the tip of the iceberg. Because unsuspecting children weren't enough to turn a meaty buck, rehab operators also resorted to recruiting people off the streets with the lure of cigarettes and small cash payments. Sometimes they just invented fake patients or charged for those who discontinued drug counseling due to prison terms or death.
Three different patients named "Mike Rotch" allegedly each needed a private room.
Government officials, despite being made repeatedly aware of this systematic hoodwinking, remained enamored with the system and pumped $94 million into 56 different facilities suspected of fraud, making a California regulator the most dangerous dope on the streets. A doctor who oversaw 19 clinics (and has since seen 16 of them shut down due to fraud) would approve treatments for patients he never saw, musing sentimentally that even "a brick can undergo counseling." Higher up the chain of command, a combination of disturbingly weak regulations and complicit regulators even permitted convicted fraudsters to run some of the facilities. One clinic asked employees to distribute gift-wrapped cognac to patients as an incentive to attend counseling. Because crack is really hard to wrap, we suppose.