First, federally administered health care is not only nidus of large scale fraud, as this news item from Chicago makes clear:
The details of the story are intriguing. While the sum of $25 million is mentioned, there is no dollar figure attached to the criminal indictment. if you've lived in Chicago over the past 10 years and listened to the radio, it was almost impossible to avoid hearing an advertisement for his services. He ran a substantial enterprise, one whose advertising outlays were enormous. Interestingly, the news item represents that the criminal indictment contains merely 3 felony charges. That's enought to obtain a warrant for his arrest as a fugitive, and to compel extradition. Given the coverage that this story has generated, I am surprised that more counts aren't included in the preliminary indictment. I have no doubt that the authorities are anxious to talk to the accused, after which my guess is that they would amend their indictment to include additional charges. Dozens? Hundreds? The press account gives us some basis for speculation. Dr Gupta has not been available to the authorities. To the extent that flight = guilt, it suggests that their allegations have some foundation.
I have been waiting for more follow-up on this item from the BBC about the criminal conspiracy that supposedly bought organs for transplant:
and found this:
The VOA article suggests that neither of those who have been indicted have made themselves available to the authorities.
There are a large number of people who advocate that people should be permitted to sell a kidney. In the view of these people Dr Sonmez is being wrongfully prosecuted, as what he did was technically illegal but not morally wrong. It takes a lot of chutzpah to break these laws; those who do so are either very greedy or very certain that they are in the right (think Jack Kevorkian). The apparent flight of the accused in this situation is more consistent with greed as their motivation than ideology. I am certain that others have or will pick up where they have left off.
The actual state of the relevant legal and regulatory systems is far less perfect than most outsiders realize, as is documented in this NPR story:
The NPR story makes several interesting claims, the most interesting of which are that 10% of transplants take place on the black-market(citing a WHO report, link in the story), and that the anonymity of the organ procurement system enables the criminals who sell organs. First, the WHO report states that money changes hands in 10% of kidney transplants. It seems that this is legal, or not obviously illegal, in several jurisdictions(Romania, Moldova, Egypt, and Turkey according to the story). Secondly, those intent upon breaking the law and earning huge sums of money can and will exploit the features of any system. In this instance, the perpetrators would simply make up a name....Nevertheless, the NPR story is fascinating, consider reading it.
Several of the above items allude to a more sinister operation during the Kosovo war, in which the organs of Serbian POWs were allegedly harvested for tranplantation. There is no disputing that this one is a heinous crime. The EU has commisioned a special task force to investigate these allegations. The alleged crimes happened in 1999. The wheels of justice are grinding slowly and not especially surely here. If these crimes happened, their perpetrators are likely to be dead or dying of old age before they are brought to justice, as was the case with both Nazis and the Khmer Rouge.