The Obscene Power Of Careerist Prosecutors To Ruin Honest Citizens' Lives
Howard Root is a highly successful businessman with the money to fight malicious government, well, persecution pretending to be justified prosecution.
He writes about what was done to him in the Minnie Star Tribune:
Since I had not committed any crime, you would think hearing the jury return that verdict at the end of my trial a week ago would give me faith in our criminal justice system. But that's not how I feel. Let me explain why.
I took the entrepreneurial plunge in 1997 when I started Vascular Solutions. Over the last 20 years, I've led the company in developing over 100 new medical devices that are used worldwide to improve the lives of patients suffering from vascular disease. In the process, we've created more than 500 well-paying American jobs and never received so much as a warning letter from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
But over the past five years, the Department of Justice has tried to convict me of a felony that could have put me in prison for years. My "crime"? The prosecutors thought it was "off-label" for our salespeople to talk with physicians about using just one version of just one of our more than 100 medical devices to treat perforator varicose veins rather than saphenous varicose veins.
They believed this was a felony even though our device was FDA-cleared for treating all varicose veins, over two-thirds of our salespeople never sold even one unit of it, sales constituted only 0.1 percent of our total sales and not a single patient was harmed.
Why would federal prosecutors spend five years pursuing something so wrongheaded and so insignificant?
It all started when one of our salesmen became upset he didn't receive a promotion. So he quit and filed a baseless complaint with the U.S. attorney's office in San Antonio, alleging a multitude of offenses to try to justify a $20 million claim. Simply by hiring a lawyer and making wild accusations, this former employee with an ax to grind became entitled under the law to receive 20 percent of whatever money the government could "recover" from Vascular Solutions.
The government lawyers reviewed his allegations and chose to pursue just one. I offered to meet with them to correct their misinformation, but two days before that scheduled meeting, they called my lawyer and canceled it. And they never would reschedule. So before deciding to bring criminal charges, these prosecutors never heard my side of the story.
Instead, they subpoenaed over 2 million pages of our documents and interviewed over 60 customers and employees. In the process, they received evidence that conflicted with the story told by that money-motivated former employee. But instead of changing their conclusions to fit the evidence, these prosecutors engaged in obscene tactics to try to change the evidence.
...Why would prosecutors act this way? The answer is pretty simple. They started with bad information, jumped to a conclusion, and then, in these prosecutors' own words, they had "invested their blood, sweat and tears" in this case and "needed a body" in return.
You think prosecutors search for the truth? The Department of Justice rewards its prosecutors for convictions, not exonerations. The government agent who conducted our investigation said "it's not my job to make the defense's argument" when interviewing witnesses. A senior government lawyer publicly boasted that our case was "hand-picked" by prosecutors who "went on the offensive" because they had such a strong case. Search for the truth be damned.
To defend against these false criminal charges, we hired lawyers -- lots of lawyers. All told, we hired 10 different law firms, with over 100 lawyers billing us a combined $25 million. I can't imagine the millions of taxpayer dollars wasted by these prosecutors.
I've seen this happen to two dear friends and to one acquaintance. In each case, it was quite clear they weren't guilty. However, that didn't matter to the government, because careerist government employees saw it all as a big video game they were vying to win.
What was done to Root was obscene. Again, what's different about his case from so many is that he had the money to say "fuck you; we're innocent" to the government -- until they finally got that "not guilty." $25 million of his company's dollars later -- and, as he notes, who knows how many taxpayer dollars.
This is just one arena of government overreach, so it's easy to shrug off. But if you look around, you see overreach in so many areas, from executive branch overreach to free speech rights being rolled back on campuses, to the TSA and beyond.
And since few notice, complain, or do anything about the abuses -- and the erosion of our constitutional rights, it sends a message: "HEY, ABUSERS -- KEEP DOIN' WHAT YOU'RE DOIN'!"