FTC vs LabMD : Who Committed the Original Sin?

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12 Jan FTC vs LabMD : Who Committed the Original Sin?

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The FTC has accused and sued LabMD for doing allegedly terrible things.  Way back in 2008 file sharing software named Limewire was found linked to one folder on one LabMD workstation that contained two files containing patient billing information of 9000 patients. The media took the bait and reported this as if our entire network of nearly one million patients was exposed. That was absolutely not the case. Limewire created potential access to nothing more than a single folder. Tiversa, a company describing itself as a cybersecurity firm later proven to have stolen the file, pretended they had found it and wanted to make us aware. However, what they really wanted was money, as they would not give us any information unless we paid them $475 per hour. This was later shown by Congress to be a scheme of lies, blackmail and extortion. The FTC, who was working with Tiversa, kept their involvement in this racket hidden until I exposed their lies six years later.

Not adequately protecting our patient’s information was a faux accusation that killed the medical facility. And now, finally, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has stayed the FTC’s case, stating LabMD has a high likelihood of winning. Later rather than sooner, people are finally considering the facts rather than believing the accusations. LabMD has had to survive reputation assassination via the FTC. This is an example of the FTC’s playbook, a foundational tactic used by the US Government to exploit the trust of Americans. LabMD was destroyed in their wake. Once caught red handed, rather than admit they’ve done something terribly wrong, the FTC doubled down by trying to bury the truth.

When the Tiversa/FTC relationship was exposed, after the FTC had rested their case, the FTC took the flimsy remaining allegations and blew them out of proportion. They had no choice. It was all they had if they weren’t going to admit they were wrong. And bureaucrats will never admit they are wrong. The FTC cavorted with and trusted criminals, using this fake information to go after 86 companies…and it’s appalling that this original sin is repeatedly tossed aside. Frankly, I am baffled this isn’t focused on more by media and the legal profession.

Over the past five years I have seen lawyer after lawyer and journalist after journalist report what the FTC accuses LabMD of as if it were true. These people clearly spent little time researching. Taking my word for it isn’t necessary. The cold hard facts are all in the House Oversight Congressional Report, trial briefs, testimony and exhibits. A Tiversa insider was given criminal immunity by the Justice Department. The FBI raided Tiversa. Yet they ignored this evidence as if it was all untrue and assumed LabMD must have done SOMETHING to deserve all this. When this level of corruption and damaging behavior can go on right under our noses and is considered just another day in DC we have a very big problem; a problem larger than the LabMD case.

LabMD’s accusations sounded unbelievable…so they remained that way…unbelievable. What is really unbelievable, terrifying actually, is all the facts are now lying out for the entire world to see while these people still don’t bother to look. What’s even more terrifying is the FTC court would not allow LabMD to have discovery on the very case we were being tried on. This baked in the cake lack of accountability is a recipe for government corruption. The FTC lawyers, current and former, who now reside in major law firms across the country, are masters of silence. The silence is intentional and unethical.

Why have these facts been barely skimmed? Does it take time to confirm and that is time they don’t have?  Are they only reporting for marketing purposes? Is corruption and working with criminals not a news story? I suspect many writers and attorneys want to be seen as experts so you’ll read their columns or hire them for their services and they don’t want to get on the bad side of the FTC. Therein lies the frustration. The FTC consciously and willingly destroyed a 700,000 patient cancer detection center to advance their agenda to become Cyber Security Cop.  That is just too terrifying an accusation for some people to believe. I’ve had to bite my tongue as the company collapsed, as real people were hurt, and as everyone else whistled passed the graveyard. And it has required millions of dollars and years of patience to finally get out of the FTC’s biased system, a system built to drain you dry, before being released to federal courts in a weakened and tortured state. But we survived…and once out of the FTC’s corrupt and biased system, built and approved by the courts and Congress, LabMD starting winning. How does this happen? Where do the 700,000 patients go to complain about their clinical process being interrupted by power grabbing lawyers?

I’ve learned that most people, even lawyers, don’t clearly understand the powers and procedures of government agencies. 20th century congresses made the FTC judge, jury and prosecutor. There is neither outside oversight nor judicial jurisdiction allowed until the FTC is finished with their entire investigation and internal court procedures. This allows the agency time to beat you to a pulp with the referee locked outside the ring.  And these bureaucrats, who also have qualified immunity, use that time to treat you like a prisoner in the coliseum, attacking you like lions. This behavior is so foreign to what Americans believe is how our justice system operates that upon hearing this they think I am exaggerating, misspeaking or they’ve not heard me correctly.

The choice to fight is dark and bleak on both sides. Either surrender for business reasons and then walk through life knowing a huge injustice has occurred (that nobody will believe) or stand up and allow the government agency’s unelected rule makers to come after you with guns blazing. They will hold you in their own biased system that is allowed to keep you away from an outside court and their outside tentacles of power will try to snuff you out. And during that time employees will be terrified that the company has a bleak future. They will resign and your company will die from the inside out. Congress and the public must understand what’s really going on here. A cancer detection center was destroyed…and the bureaucrats are fine with it as others stare into space.

LabMD is finally entering the fourth quarter of this very long, very destructive game. The federal appeals court, only now being allowed to intervene, has looked at the facts and stayed the case. The truth will eventually win out. The wounded, cornered and panicked FTC has lobbed accusations at LabMD which will be proven false.

But LabMD can’t come back again. A LabMD legal victory will be a win for no one, especially former doctors, patients and employees. You can burn a house down in one hour but you can’t rebuild it in even one year. This is what happens when government keeps bags over the heads of its citizens via silence, active tentacles of power and intimidation.  Please help me shed light on the legal changes needed to protect the public from rogue bureaucrats and cybercriminals. Until we get educated technologists running the show rather than rogue lawyers, the security of our nation will be compromised. The wrong people are guarding the door.

Michael Daugherty
mdort@aol.com

Michael Daugherty is President & CEO of LabMD, an Atlanta-based clinical and anatomic medical laboratory with a national client base. Mike founded LabMD in 1996 after 14 years in surgical device sales with U.S. Surgical Corp. and Mentor Corporation. Outside of LabMD, enjoys playing tennis, travel, and flying his Cirrus SR22 Turbo single engine aircraft.