MIAMI (CBS4) – As Major League Baseball doles out penalties to Alex Rodriguez and a dozen other baseball players who were clients of Tony Bosch and his steroid peddling clinic Biogenesis, the question arises: Why hasn’t law enforcement been more involved?
It is a question the whistle blower in the case, Porter Fischer, has been asking for months. In January, after Miami New Times published the inside story about Bosch’s Coral Gables clinic, Fischer expected state and federal agents were going to be lining up to talk to him about Bosch.
“So we run the story and I’m waiting and I’m waiting and I’m waiting for somebody with a badge to come knock on my door,” Fischer told CBS4 investigator Jim DeFede.
But nobody came.
“Nobody cared,” he said. “Nobody wanted to touch this.”
As he former marketing director and investor in Biogenesis, Fischer has more than 800 pages of documents exposing a variety of illegal activities inside the clinic. Fischer hoped the focus would be on the Bosch. But the press became fixated instead on the ballplayers.
Eventually, an investigator for the Florida Department of Health contacted Fischer and wanted to meet. The investigator, Jerome Hill, told Fischer he wasn’t interested in the ballplayers. He wanted to investigate Bosch for operating as an unlicensed doctor.
“He was building a case for the illegal activity, so I was all behind him,” Fischer said. Fischer gave Hill both records and a detailed sworn statement. (Just before one of their meeting, Fischer said his car was broken into and some of the documents were stolen. He believes someone was trying to stop the investigation.)
Then one day Fischer said he got a call from Hill.
“Inexplicably the Department of Health told him to drop the case,” Fischer recalled.
In April, the Health Department issued Bosch a $5,000 fine.
In a statement to CBS4 News, the state agency wrote: “The Florida Department of Health (DOH) was notified of possible unlicensed activity involving Anthony P. Bosch, and the Department’s unlicensed activity unit initiated an investigation. After completing its investigation, the Department issued a cease and desist order to Anthony Bosch, along with a citation for the unlicensed practice of medicine and pharmacy. The Department has referred this matter to law enforcement.”
Fischer said he was stunned and called health department officials
“I said, `I can’t understand why you are doing this.’ And I said, `Here’s the thing you don’t seem to figure out. I’ve rattled a big cage now and apparently I’ve pissed off some people that supply steroids. So you guys aren’t going to pursue this? There is no law enforcement going to pursue this? You guys have just signed my death warrant and put a big bull’s eye on me now,’” he said.
Fischer believed the clinic used steroids that came from illegal sources and that those individuals might seek retaliation against him or attempt to silence him. He believed that if law enforcement wasn’t actively investigating that he would be easier to target.
The Health Department said they referred the matter months ago to the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office.
But state attorney spokesman Ed Griffith said they only received the material yesterday.
“Just got it yesterday,” Griffith said.
The Health Department released documents showing they did send the Miami Dade State Attorney’s Office a copy of the complaint and fine it rendered against Bosch. But DOH did not include the supporting material.
Prosecutors wrote DOH asking for more info but nothing more was sent.
And even though the stories about Bosch and the clinic had been in the news for months, Griffith said they were only now going to start looking into it.
“Well I think everybody has to be concerned about steroid related abuse and that’s why it is illegal and that’s why both state and federal agencies investigate these cases,” Griffith said.
But Fischer still wonders why it took everyone so long to get involved. It appears, he said, neither the State Attorney nor the Health Department were interested in this case and did a minimal amount of work.
Recently the U.S. Attorney’s Office also contacted Fischer wanting to talk.
Fischer said he will cooperate with anyone in law enforcement. He still believes Bosch should be prosecuted.
Asked if he is afraid for his life, Fischer said absolutely. This is why he now carries a gun.