Liveblogging the Civil War False Claims Act: An inspector is sent to Philadelphia to investigate medical fraud

by Ben Vernia | December 11th, 2012

On December 10, 1862, the New York Times reported on continuing allegations of fraud in the U.S. Army’s Medical Department in Philadelphia:

FRAUDS IN THE MEDICAL DEPARTMENT. Surgeon-General HAMMOND left here to-day to investigate the alleged frauds in the Medical Purveying Department, and personally inspect the hospitals. An investigation is going on in Philadelphia into the operations of the Medical Purveying Department in that city. The Surgeon-General, some days since, suspecting from strong evidences that all was not right there, sent Medical-Inspector PERLEY to inquire into the condition of affairs. This officer obtained ample evidence that the Purveyor had been guilty, to use a mild term, of very dishonest and dishonorable practices. The Purveyor, who is a Surgeon in the regular army, has been relieved from duty, and his books and accounts seized by the Judge-Advocate. Surgeon ROBERT MURRAY has been detailed in his place. The operations of the Purveying Department in Philadelphia, in consequence of this discovery of frauds, have been temporarily suspended, but will soon be resumed again.

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