The Scheme

The best place to hide a needle is in a haystack of needles.

From the time my children were old enough to doubt there really was a Santa Claus until the older two were grown, I can only recall one year that none of the three found where I was hiding their Christmas presents – the year I wrapped their gifts and set them under the tree.

Frankly, I was surprised they didn’t figure out my scheme; but nowhere near as surprised as I was the OIG couldn’t find the scheme to shift cost to the NFIP – much less as shocked as I was to learn investigators from MID couldn’t find it either.

Maybe both investigations were looking for a needle in a haystack when every element of the scheme was in plain view, a needle hidden in a haystack of needles. Pick them out one by one, put the elements together and you’ll see what the Rigsby sisters saw – the scheme.

My kids made looking for their gifts an insiders game with a legitimate reason ready to cover if they were caught. One searched the car, I can’t find my math book; another the closets, I’m looking for my sweatshirt; the little one they sent under the beds, I’ve lost my tennis shoes.

Wind versus water is an insiders game, too. It can be played as a word game or a mind game, a blame game, a power game; even a monopoly game with players swapping property cards purchased with printed paper that passes for money. Continue reading “The Scheme”

“The Scheme” – you lived the movie

You’ve lived the movie, read the OIG report and MID Market Conduct Exam – and, now know exactly what Faulkner meant when he wrote, facts and truth really don’t have much to do with each other.

Which is my way of introducing SLABBED readers to a series of upcoming posts – The Scheme, a step-by-chapter description of the scheme uncovered by the Rigsby sisters, the basis for their Qui Tam claim.

The first chapter will post tonight and the others as each is done.

A late-day but heartfelt tribute – Veteran’s Day

Max Cleland is someone I’ve admired for a long time.  Consequently, as interesting as I found the Kos report on the Georgia run-off for his former Senate seat, I’ve just pulled this excerpt to post. I suppose it’s my way of saying that nothing should distract from our appreciation of those who defend our freedom, particular those who fight unpopular wars on our behalf.

On April 8, 1968, during the battle of Khe Sanh, Captain Joseph Maxwell Cleland was severely injured by a fellow soldier’s grenade, so severely that he would lose both of his legs below the knee, as well as his right forearm.

It takes a special kind of person to recover from such a tragedy, but Max Cleland is just that kind of person. Rather than letting his injuries hold him back in life, Cleland went home to Georgia and continued to devote his life to public service. He was elected to the Georgia Senate in 1971, and subsequently served as Administrator of Veterans’ Affairs (the precursor to VA Secretary) in the Carter Administration. Upon Carter’s defeat, Cleland won election as Secretary of State of Georgia, and in 1996 – nearly 30 years after the ordeal which nearly ended his life and left him in a wheelchair for the rest of his days – Max Cleland was elected to represent the state of Georgia in the United States Senate.

His life of sacrifice and service reminds us of our obligation to be deserving of such. Say thank you whenever you have the opportunity to do something for the family of someone on active duty – and, if you can find an opportunity, create one.