This Week in Florida - More Zombies and Molesting the TSA
As mentioned last week, among Florida’s many notable titles, we are the nation’s capital of Medicare and Medicaid fraud. In one year, 72 percent of all Medicare claims for HIV/AIDS treatment were billed out of South Florida. We are also the nation’s leader in federally funded penis pumps for female patients. Preposterous as it is, Medicare/Medicaid fraud costs federal taxpayers an estimated $60 billion (with a “b”) per year, and most of it occurs in just one state.
Florida Governor Rick Scott’s net worth is north of $100 million, and he spent nearly $73 million of his own money to
buy campaign for his present position. How did he amass this personal fortune/war chest? It might be related to Rick's old job as the CEO of a hospital company called Columbia/HCA, during a time when the company systematically committed the largest Medicare fraud in American history and were forced to pay a whopping $1.7 billion in fines and restitution. Rick Scott was never charged with a crime or directly accused of wrongdoing, but that might have been thanks to his crummy memory.
Before you judge us, consider: Who better to run a state where one of our top industries is Medicare fraud than the man who helmed the company responsible for the largest such fraud in history?
Also in Medicare news, for years word on the street has been that the Castro government has deliberately trained and deployed immigrant agents to South Florida to scam our Medicare system. As the story goes, once their con is complete, the Cuban government knowingly harbors these criminals and their ill-gotten gains. Until this week, there had been no solid evidence.
Finally, the feds were allegedly able to trace $31 million ripped off from Medicare directly to banks in Cuba and, a few days ago, they charged a Miami man with running the massive money laundering scheme.
¡Bienvenidos a Florida, mis amigos!
- The state of Florida only officially outlawed bestiality last year, but a loophole was discovered this week, thanks to a Clearwater man who allegedly gave his girlfriend’s three-legged dog a hummer. Turns out the new law doesn’t forbid oral sex with animals.
- A Miami teen is recovering after he was accidentally shot in the head with a spear gun. (That's an actual x-ray of the kid's head. WTF, right?)
- I had no intention of making this a recurring theme in the column, but it seems that Floridians—when we're not stripping naked and publicly masturbating (or eating someone’s face off)—are anxious to burn ourselves and others alive. Last Friday, a jury convicted a Tampa man of attempting to murder his wife by dousing her with gasoline and trying to set her ablaze. Then, on Monday, a man was arrested near Gainesville for trying to light himself and a gas station he used to work at on fire (he failed because none of the customers would let him borrow a lighter). Finally, a jury in Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday convicted 17-year-old Matthew Bent for his role in lighting a young boy on fire in 2009.
- Last year my company, Rakontur, released a popdoc called Square Grouper: The Godfathers of Ganja (shameless plug: currently showing on Showtime and Netflix), recounting three tales of pot hauling in the Jimmy Buffett-riddled days of 1970s South Florida. One of the stories was about Robert Platshorn, America’s longest serving non-violent marijuana prisoner. The feds took nearly 30 years away from the now 69-year-old on trumped up charges, and now, suddenly, they’re looking to take the rest of his years. An overzealous Florida parole officer, apparently unhappy that Platshorn launched "The Silver Tour," a national campaign aiming to garner support from senior citizens for medicinal marijuana legalization, is threatening to put him back behind bars for violating his probation.
- The latest failure in the “War on Terror” occurred this week in Miami. The U.S. Attorneys Office dropped all charges against a former cabbie who, along with his father, was accused of providing financial support for the Taliban in Pakistan. He was held behind bars for a full year before he was even eligible for bail.
- A Fort Myers woman has become a folk hero for giving the TSA a dose of their own molestation. A former TSA agent herself, the woman complained about an inappropriate pat down by illustrating to a supervisor what happened to her. Guess she should have pointed out where she was touched on a doll instead (SVU-style), because she was arrested and now faces misdemeanor battery charges for doing exactly what these rent-a-rapists do to hundreds of thousands of innocent Americans every day.
- The City of Aventura is a wealthy enclave of South Florida built around an epic upscale shopping mall and a luxurious country club. In its 3.5 square miles, there are about 35,000 residents, many of whom are aging retirees, and a police force ready for a full-scale ground battle with al Qaeda, complete with 80 full-time officers, 39 civilian employees, 15 volunteers, a K-9 unit, a dive team, and a S.W.A.T. team. Presumably in an effort to intimidate potential terrorists, the S.W.A.T. team recently posed for a series of action shots where they're doing Steven Seagal shit like this:
- In the latest Florida zombie-like cannibal attack, a crazed Palmetto man, high on drugs, stripped naked and bit a chunk of flesh off another man's arm. We also found out a few days ago that three weeks prior to the now infamous Rudy Eugene "Causeway Cannibal/Miami Zombie" face-eating attack, Miami police tasered a naked, knife-wielding man along a busy stretch of US-1. And, in the latest on the reactionary Whac-A-Mole game of government regulation on “synthetic drugs,” the Miami-Dade Commission has approved a ban on “bath salts.” At least the ones they know of right now. Guess they’ll have to deal with the next billion-plus chemical compounds as they’re delivered to the bodegas.
- The Miami Herald, the only remaining major newspaper in Miami-Dade (whose historic bay front building was sold last year to a Malaysian casino company), has announced yet another forced unpaid furlough for its already depleted, overworked, and underpaid staff. The only writing going on over there these days, it seems, is on the wall.
- Oh yeah, we’re NBA Champs and you’re not.
Previously - Public Masturbation and Girlfriend Arson
Epicly Later'd: Ed Templeton - Part 3
Meeting Earth's Strongest Men at the Top of the World
Welcome to the Bananapocalypse
The Return of Radioactive Man
The VICE Guide to Travel: Miss Camel Beauty Contest
Yakiri Rubio Killed Her Rapist in Self-Defense—Now She May Go to Prison
The VICE Podcast - Akhil Sharma and His New Novel, 'Family Life'
Fire Walk with Me
The Creator of the Greatest Criminal Defense Attorney YouTube Ad Is Also a Battle Rapper
VICE News: Russian Roulette: The Invasion of Ukraine - Part 5