Rehab Racket

Number 26067
Subject Fraud
Source Center for Investigative Reporting
State Calif.
Year 2013
Publication Date July 29-31 2013; Sept. 25, 2013; Sept. 26, 2013; Oct. 22, 2013; Nov. 6, 2013; Nov. 20, 2013; Dec. 10, 2013.
Summary Taxpayers spend tens of millions of dollars each year in California on private drug rehab centers designed to help low-income addicts. The clinics make their money billing for every client counseled. But reporters from The Center for Investigative Reporting and CNN exposed glaring and systemic failures in the program, including pervasive fraud – reporting that led to scores of clinics getting shut down. In coverage rolled out over several months, the team showed that taxpayers had spent at least $94 million over two years on Los Angeles-area clinics with clear signs of fraud or questionable billing. Clinic directors pressured counselors to pad bills with “ghost clients” they never saw. Clinic staff bribed some of the region’s poorest residents to show up for counseling they didn’t need. In an ultimate irony, addicts were enticed to attend rehab sessions with gifts of booze and cigarettes. Regulators who could have stopped the abuses instead let misdeeds multiply. CIR reporters Christina Jewett and Will Evans teamed with CNN senior investigative producer Scott Zamost and investigative correspondent Drew Griffin to produce our series, “Rehab Racket,” on multiple platforms. Jewett and Evans wrote the stories for CIR and CNN. The cable network produced video that aired on “Anderson Cooper 360” and both of our websites.
Category Contest Entry
Keywords drugs; fraud
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