First Page: Coming of Age/Romance
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I'd been a salesman for Live Well for close to a year when I started hearing rumors. After collecting our commissions at the home office another agent would pass something on, about the FBI, about our founder, Don Broadnax, having his house searched, his bank account seized. The next thing you know it's on the front page of the Chronicle, a three-column story about how he and other people in the company were involved in fraud, the criminal not civil kind you buy your way out of. Our founder and other men whose names I didn't recognize made unlawful collections from Medicare and Medicaid, the article said. More invoices were "manufactured" than turned in by people like me. The day the newspapers hit the lawns they closed us down. The door of our two-story building was padlocked, a notice plastered on the glass, the F B I so big you could read those letters from across the street. Some people did, but most were on our side, reading every word. Humiliating for those of us who had been proud of our company, the bathroom aids we ourselves sold to old people. And everybody, including me, was out of a job.