Initially, when these rumors surfaced, the good people of Las Vegas were taken aback that such an elaborate scheme not only involved middlemen and medical malpractice attorneys, but also notable spine surgeons, potentially judges, and local distributors. Yet, all of our readers know the old adage; "where there's smoke, there's fire!" The question that the Spine Blogger must ask is; "how long is it going to take the Department of Justice to move forward with their criminal case against the "Three Amigos" and Blackstone Medical? Many people in our industry and the companies involved are laughing at the DOJ and the FBI. Some believe that this case will never come to fruition. Up until a few years ago, the word on the street was, that the FBI were interviewing every former Blackstone employee to find out what they knew about how this elaborate scheme was hatched. Those of us at The Spine Blogger speculate that there would be many people willing to line up to throw a little more gasoline on the fire to finally burn the Three Amigos! How arrogant were these people?
This fall, the DOJ will get their day in court against the alleged middleman, and the main attorney involved in this case. The scenario that potentially may unfold will deliver a blow to our industry that has never been seen before. Surgeons may be whisked off to a federal penitentiary in ORANGE JUMPSUITS, only to be trailed by conspiring distributors. As this on-going investigation had unfolded, the added twist was the arrest of a sub-rep for a distributor in Las Vegas for allegedly molesting his children in concert with his spouse. This sub-rep had well-known ties to a prominent spine surgeon involved in the on-going investigation. Between the so-called Medical Consultant and the Sub-Rep, the Blogger speculates that someone is going to "roll-over" on behalf of the government. Let's face it, if you were in your 60's or even in your 40's and your defense attorney looks over at you and states, "it's time to make a deal," someone is going to start singing like a Rat Pack saloon singer! Besides, who would be willing to spend jail time without having company?
If and when this happens NASS and AdvaMed (what a joke!) can take great pride in their accomplishments as organizations promulgating ethical standards for the industry. The Spine Blogger wants to know what its readers think?