Changing SidesIn the spring of 2003, Moye left Fowler White Boggs Banker -- a firm that has made a name for itself in part by defending companies accused of health care fraud -- to begin prosecuting violators instead. Attorney General Charlie Crist described Moye as the ideal candidate to crack down on wrongdoers in the industry. "It is rare that the taxpayers get the opportunity to benefit from the experience and expertise of someone as talented as David Moye," Crist stated in a prepared release last year. "Health care fraud and economic crimes are reprehensible activities because they steal from our most vulnerable citizens, and I know David will do an outstanding job leading our drive to stop con artists and scammers throughout our state." But critics such as Leonard, the whistleblowers' lawyer, see things differently. They point out, for instance, that it was just a few months after Moye joined the attorney general's office that the government officially declined to join the whistleblower lawsuit against Caremark. The complaint, originally filed under seal in January 2003, accuses Caremark of shortchanging government customers and even endangering them byselling restocked drugs that were returned through the mail but never tested for damage. Leonard claims the company continued to resell drugs for seven months without the state ever warning customers about a potential health threat. He says that Caremark changed its practices only after learning of the whistleblower complaint when it was unsealed last summer. "The state was asleep at the wheel," Leonard says. "Nobody ever did anything."
Heat RisesFor its part, Florida simply claims that married Caremark pharmacists Michael and Peppi Fowler should no longer direct the whistleblower lawsuit because at least one of them could soon face an administrative hearing, involving alleged misconduct, over which the state would be presiding. The state made its decision after learning from Caremark that the Fowlers couldwind up appearing before the Florida Pharmacy Board for allegedly stealing confidential patient information and improperly obtaining narcotics. "Caremark affirmatively has asked the Office of the Attorney General to intervene in this case for purposes of resolving as quickly and efficiently aspossible whatever business/partnership issues exist between Caremark and the state of Florida under their PBM contract," the company stated in its own legalfiling. "Caremark looks forward to a quick resolution of these matters." Now, though, other states have launched their own probes of Caremark's business practices. The company said Friday that attorneys general in 19 states, led by a prosecutor in Washington state, are formally seeking documents from the company under their consumer protection laws. Twenty states -- including Florida -- recently scored a big settlement against Medco ( MHS), a Caremark rival accused of similar transgressions. But the attorney general's office in Florida said on Friday that it didn't know whether it is part of the group that is now similarly pursuing Caremark. Meanwhile, Caremark declined to say whether Moye himself had ever represented the company while at Fowler White Boggs Banker. A Caremark spokesman instead suggested contacting the attorney general's office, which failed to respond to a series of questions for this story. Still, Moye apparently sought Caremark's consent -- a step recommended by the Florida State Bar when prosecutors pursue a former client -- before filing his motion. The state's motion clearly states that Caremark did not oppose the government's intervention. A Florida legal expert spotted potential reason for alarm. "If he represented Caremark and is now representing the consumers of the state of Florida