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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Rehab Racket; Bradley Manning Convicted of Espionage; Jail Escape Caught On Tape; Eight Injured In Propane Plant Blast; Clinton, Biden Breaking Bread; "Private Benjamin" Star Eileen Brennan Dies; Who Are The Pink Panthers?; Officials: Driver In Spain Train Crash Was On The Phone; Salad Mix Linked To Cyclospora Outbreaks In Iowa, Nebraska; GAO: TSA Misconduct Cases Grew 26 Percent In Three Years
Aired July 30, 2013 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: He leaked 750,000 classified documents and videos. The question is, though, how much damage did he really do?
Jeffrey Toobin and investigative reporter Glenn Greenwald come at this from two very different places. We'll talk to them both tonight.
And later, believe it or not, $136 million in stolen jewels was only the tip of the iceberg. We'll go inside a heist gang some are blaming for that crime in Cannes and more than 300 other rip-offs. The gang known as the Pink Panthers. It's a fascinating look.
We begin, though, tonight, "Keeping Them Honest," with part two in our special investigative series, "Rehab Racket." We're talking about shady rehab clinics filing bogus claims for phantom patients. Now it's happening in the state of California but because it involves federal Medicaid funding, we are all paying for it. Nearly $186 million in state and federal tax dollars over just the last two years.
A yearlong investigation by CNN and the Center for Investigative Reporting lays it all out. Unscrupulous operators billing the government for bogus clients and getting away with it, but maybe not much longer.
In the wake of our reporting we learned today that 29 clinics have been temporarily suspended, cutting them off from state and federal money, and there is a state senator who, after seeing last night's report, is now calling for a full audit of California's program. We'll talk to him shortly.
But first part two of the investigation. How teenagers say they were roped into the operation.
Drew Griffin tonight, "Keeping Them Honest."
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Outside this drug rehab center in Southern California teenagers from a group home are dropped off, but according to former employees of the Pomona Alcohol and Drug Recovery Center, many of the teens they saw come here over the years didn't have substance abuse problems at all.
A one-year investigation by CNN and the Center for Investigative Reporting found the Drug Medi-Cal program in California, which cost taxpayers more than half a billion dollars over the last six fiscal years, is ripe with fraud and plagued with weak government oversight.
Victoria Byers says she was driven in a van every week with other teens while living in a group home to So Cal Health Services in Riverside, California.
VICTORIA BYERS, USED TO BE IN FOSTER CARE: We used to do drug tests and we would sit in these classes. They would teach us, like, not to do ecstasy, not to do this drug or whatever.
GRIFFIN: But Byers, now 22 years old, thought it was strange because she didn't have a drug problem.
BYERS: I told them, you know, why should, you know, why should I be here? I have no drug issue. But I had to go because all the other girls had to go and they couldn't leave me at the house by myself.
GRIFFIN: We obtained these documents showing where she signed her name. That's a requirement allowing rehab centers to bill the state, and signatures meant money. The more signatures, the more the Medi- Cal system reimbursed the clinic.
Michael Murgich (ph) remembers the trips to So Cal Health Services as well. Murgich, now in college, says he also was driven in a van each week with other teens from a different group home.
(On camera): You've never abused alcohol or prescription drugs or illicit drugs.
MICHAEL MURGICH, USED TO BE IN FOSTER CARE: Not at all.
GRIFFIN: So all the time you spent there for three years, three years, was a waste of your time and a waste of taxpayer's money?
MURGICH: Yes, definitely.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): That doesn't surprise TaMara Shearer, a former manager of So Cal in Pomona with the same operator. She estimated that 30 percent of the teens didn't have a drug or alcohol issue, so counselors just made them up.
TAMARA SHEARER, FORMER MANAGER: It took an audit for me to know how deep it was, how deep of a fraud was going on there.
GRIFFIN: Other whistleblowers came forward and claimed that So Cal was committing Drug Medi-Cal fraud by labeling teens with fake addictions.
(On camera): Riverside County officials told us they didn't have an easy way to prove So Cal was making up addictions, but the county pulled the clinic's funding anyway because so many of its clients were dropping out. That forced So Cal to shut down. (Voice-over): But the other clinic in Los Angeles County, accused of similar practices, remains open. Just last year, a county report on Pomona Alcohol and Drug Recovery Center found significant and serious deficiencies in the program.
The operator of both clinics is a man named Tim Ejindu. He told the county his business is a pillar in our community. The fraud allegations, they came from disgruntled fired ex-employees. Tim Ejindu wouldn't tell us anything.
(On camera): Mr. Ejindu?
TIM EJINDU, POMONA ALCOHOL AND DRUG RECOVERY CENTER: Yes?
GRIFFIN: Drew Griffin with CNN.
EJINDU: And who are you?
GRIFFIN: I just told you. My name is Drew Griffin with CNN.
EJINDU: OK. Well, I don't -- I don't --
GRIFFIN: Wait a minute now.
Your former employees say that you are billing for the county services you're not providing, sir.
(Voice-over): Ejindu soon left with talking to us.
(On camera): Mr. Ejindu, if you have nothing to hide, why are you taking off?
(Voice-over): We found case after case of rehab centers like Pomona with a history of problems that still are allowed to keep billing the state.
Tamara Askew is a former counselor at Pride Health Services, who claims she was told to bill for clients she didn't actually see.
(On camera): Did you have client lists?
TAMARA ASKEW, FORMER COUNSELOR: I had a client list. Yes. I -- when I first got there, I -- they gave me about 20 folders, 20 folders of clients that they had.
GRIFFIN: Did you ever account for the 20 cases that you had in your folders?
ASKEW: No, I never could because --
GRIFFIN: You couldn't find them?
ASKEW: Some were in jail. One was dead. A lot --
ASKEW: One was dead.
GRIFFIN: And still a client of this --
ASKEW: And still listed as a client.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): She says she confronted Godfrey Nwogene, the operator of Pride.
ASKEW: I told Godfrey, I said look, I don't know how you want me to bill for clients I don't see or have, and he basically in a nutshell told me, how do you think these lights are going to get paid?
GRIFFIN: She says he then fired her.
(On camera): Would you describe what you've been through as anything more than just throwing away taxpayer's money?
SHEARER: It is -- yes, just throwing away taxpayer's money.
GRIFFIN: That was in 2009. Regulators have found severe deficiencies at Pride Health Services from 2005 to 2011 including evidence of ghost clients. Two years ago, the county uncovered what appeared to be fraudulent documentation used for billing, a state auditor urged Pride be shut down.
Not only did Pride stay open, it got even more medical money, more than $1 million in a year. In its most recent investigation brought on by yet another employee accusing Pride of billing for ghost clients, county investigators found the allegations unsubstantiated they couldn't prove it but they did find the operation extremely troubling, discovering missing paperwork, signed and dated medical waivers with no client information, and missing treatment plans.
Despite that poor review, Pride is staying open.
If the county investigators couldn't find evidence of ghost patients, maybe they should do what we did. Go there on a Wednesday when they are closed for treatment but apparently still billing. We saw no one entering the center on Wednesdays.
(On camera): OK. We're going to go in.
(Voice-over): So we went in ourselves with hidden cameras.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have rehab going on today?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays? Not Wednesdays? There's no group on Wednesdays? Today is Wednesday.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is no group today? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
GRIFFIN: Even though it's closed for rehab, Pride has been billing for clients on Wednesdays, as these records show, including 60 on the day we went in with hidden cameras and found no clients there.
As for Nwogene, he told the county two years ago that Pride accepted responsibility for deficiencies.
We went looking for Nwogene, seen in this police mug shot for an unrelated arrest in 2003.
(On camera): Hi, Drew Griffin with CNN. How are you doing?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, how are you doing?
GRIFFIN: Is Godfrey in?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Give me just a second.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Godfrey? He's actually not here at the moment.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): Pride counselor Markeeta Jones denied any wrongdoing.
(On camera): But we wanted to ask about an investigation we're doing about ghost patients, people signing names, faking signatures and billing the state, and the county for treatment that's not happening. Do you know anything about that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I don't. Because that's not going on at this office.
GRIFFIN: And Godfrey has never asked you to sign papers a form that says all these patients came here and they didn't?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, sir. He did not.
GRIFFIN: Yes. And you do the counseling yourself?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I do.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I actually see live clients.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): As we waited for Godfrey Nwogene to show up, employees inside called police.
(On camera): They told us that the boss was coming. We've kind of camped out here waiting for him to show up.
(Voice-over): Then abruptly shut down for the day.
(On camera): Did he call back and say he's not coming?
(Voice-over): We never heard from anyone at Pride Health Services again.
COOPER: It's just unbelievable. And I mean, I guess, one of the thing that's most upsetting is that despite repeated times that the county and the state know there's fraud going on, these things stay open.
GRIFFIN: Right. What we're finding is a lack of oversight at a much higher level that we'd like to get to the bottom of. I mean, the regulators, the inspectors, they are finding the fraud. Report after report, they are finding the problems.
GRIFFIN: The problem is nothing ever happens and we can't seem to figure out why, who is it in authority that is allowing -- even after seeing these reports that is allowing these clinics to not only stay open, Anderson, to grow.
COOPER: I want to bring in California State Senator Ted Lieu.
Senator Lieu, how concerned are that state and county auditors have been, as Drew said, finding evidence of frauds from these very clinics for years, yet these clinics have only -- not only remained open but they've increased in value?
TED LIEU, CALIFORNIA STATE SENATE: I'm very concerned. A few days ago I talked to my chief of staff about actually increasing funding through rehabilitation clinics because I believe they are a vital tool to preventing jail and prison overcrowding and reducing substance abuse.
I was literally in the middle of writing my letter asking for more funding when the investigation came on, and two things dawned on me. The first was outrage. I was surprised apparently how easy it was to commit fraud. And second, I began very concerned that not only could I not request more funding, but that if we don't fix this fraud immediately, it would undercut the public support for this entire program.
COOPER: And, I mean, that's one thing that's so terrible because there are obviously people in need of rehab. It does help people and there are legitimate clinics out there, but without proper oversight, we don't know which ones are legitimate and not.
After seeing our report on the program last night you called for an audit on these drug rehab programs. What specifically do you want to see happen?
LIEU: So you're correct, this program has undoubtedly helped tens of thousands of people. Over 60,000 people were treated through Drug Medi-Cal but I request an audit because I want to get to the bottom of what has happened. It's through the state auditor which is an independent audit agency separate from the executive branch.
And I want to know how this happened for so long, how pervasive is the fraud, and more importantly what can we do to change laws or regulations so the fraud doesn't occur in the future.
COOPER: And I know now the state is reacting. So far 29 clinics are temporarily suspended but all that comes only after we told the state what we were finding, what Drew was finding. So can the people of California really trust the state audit? I guess that's the question.
LIEU: Well, I think it's a good step for the administration to suspend payment or shut down their clinics, but I think it's important to have a separate audit agency, independent from the aide department in charge to actually conduct an audit to find out who knew what, when, why something was not done sooner and how do we reduce the weaknesses in the system and what laws or policies may need to be changed.
COOPER: Drew, I mean, we're now seeing some of these clinics temporarily suspended, some of them shut down. Do you think the state is serious?
LIEU: Well, I think the state senator is on to something. I think that it needs to be taken out of the agencies that have been overseeing this, to have an independent audit, to look at the big picture of what is happening in terms of oversight because again the auditors, the investigators found the fraud. Nothing was done.
That's the bottom line as far as our reporting. As for whether or not the state, these agencies, the health agency is now serious about it, tomorrow night you're going to see just how hard it was for us to find that answer, Anderson.
And it was shocking for us to see state officials really refusing to address the problem and refusing to address us.
COOPER: And that's the thing, Drew. I mean, and as we've seen in so many investigations you've done whether there are these bogus charities that claimed to be raising money for cancer and stuff and in fact are just giving money to more fundraisers, you know, if you have nothing to hide, they should grant you an interview.
It's like -- it's like cockroaches scurrying when you turn on the lights. People are just running from you, jumping in their cars and taking off.
GRIFFIN: That's absolutely right. And keep in mind, we are trying to find out what happened to our money.
GRIFFIN: Right? Our money. And these are state public officials paid for with our money. So it's not outrageous what we're asking here.
COOPER: Yes. Drew Griffin appreciate it. Senator Lieu, appreciate it. Thanks. We'll continue to follow your efforts as well. We look forward to part three of Drew's interview -- his investigation tomorrow.
And a quick reminder, you can make -- if you get a tip for Drew on this or any other subject, let him know. Just go to CNN.com/investigate.
And let us know what you think tonight on our report, follow me on Twitter @Andersoncooper.
Also ahead in this hour, some early answers in that mysterious outbreak that's made a lot of people sick to their stomachs. We'll tell you which bug is so to blame and how you can avoid it.
Also tonight the other big story today. Private 1st Class Bradley Manning accused of the biggest security leak in U.S. history, facing charges of aiding the enemy and life without parole. He hears from the judge today. Tell you her verdict and the debate, including investigative reporter Glenn Greenwald who says Washington's power brokers leak all the time and they never pay the price.
COOPER: The sentencing hearing begins tomorrow for Army Private 1st Class Bradley Manning for the biggest leak of classified material in U.S. history. A military judge today acquitting him of the most serious charge, aiding the enemy for turning over three quarters of a million classified documents and videos to the Web site WikiLeaks.
The judge, however, did convict Private 1st Class Manning of numerous other accounts including violating the Espionage Act so he's still facing a maximum of 136 years behind bars.
The Manning case obviously has touched off a furious debate over the actual harm that Manning has done and whether the government initially over stated the damage. Like the NSA leaker Edward Snowden, Private 1st Class Manning has been called a traitor by some and hero by others, and frankly, everything in between.
Let's talk about it with senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin and only on 360 Glenn Greenwald, investigative journalist and columnist for Britain's "Guardian" paper. He broke the Snowden story.
Jeff, let me start with you. What's your reaction to the verdict?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: I thought it was a good verdict. I think the charge of helping the enemy was excessive and I think it was good that the judge acquitted him of that charge, but I think what Manning did was appalling.
I think he betrayed his fellow members of the military. He betrayed the foreign service and he should be going to prison and he will be.
COOPER: Glenn, I know you disagree.
GLENN GREENWALD, THE GUARDIAN: I do. I think the verdict and I also think that Jeff's comments kind of underscore what a lot of people really hate about Washington, which is that if you're sufficiently rich and powerful and well-connected in Washington, the laws don't apply to you. You don't get punished. The only people who do are people like Bradley Manning.
The theory that the government used, one of which was not successful but much -- many of which were, was that he engaged in espionage and helped the enemy because the material that he caused to be published on the Internet ended up being helpful to Osama bin Laden.
Bob Woodward has written book after book after book, and has become extremely rich by publishing secrets way more sensitive than anything Bradley Manning ever published. Nothing that Manning published was top secret, unlike what Bob Woodward publishes.
And yet nobody would ever talk about Bob Woodward the way that Jeff Toobin just did or his sources because he is in good standing in Washington. His sources are high-level officials in the White House. They leak all the time. Washington is nothing about leaks. And yet the only people who get punished for it are people who are marginalized in Washington and that's a broader reflection of how the law is abused.
COOPER: Jeff -- you do have people leaking all the time for political reasons.
TOOBIN: You do have some leaking going on and, you know, I -- we could have a debate on case-by-case basis but Bradley Manning released 700,000 cables including the life's work of a lot of foreign service officers who risk their lives and the people they talk to risk their lives to talk to American officials, and the idea that Bradley Manning has the right, and it was somehow justified, in releasing this material, I think is just completely wrong.
And, you know, Bob Woodward is a separate story and unrelated as far as I'm concerned.
COOPER: Glenn, does the government in your opinion have any right to any form of secrecy, secrecy in their diplomatic cables, secrecy in their -- you know, the foreign policy discussions that go on in embassies overseas? Because those were the things that were in a lot of the cables that Bradley Manning released.
GREENWALD: The government has limited rights to secrecy but it is wildly abused. I mean, the idea -- the argument that people made when these diplomatic cables were released was, while there's nothing really significant or newsworthy or new on these cables, well, then why were they all marked secret?
The reason is because the government just reflexively marks everything secret and the thing that I find most bizarre is that anybody who would go into the field of journalism or call themselves a journalist, who would call for the prosecution and imprisonment for decades of a source like Bradley Manning who, as I said, didn't publish anything top secret the way that most sources for large media outlets in America do all the time, it's baffling.
What Bradley Manning did is the job of journalists which is to bring transparency to what the government is doing and even the Pentagon admits that its early claims about how he has blood on his hands and there was all this damage was wildly overstated. He released very low-level secrets that informed the world about the U.S. government and harmed nobody.
TOOBIN: But it's not up to Bradley Manning to make the decision to disclose this. These are people who -- the people who wrote those cables have devoted their lives to try to make the world a better place, particularly Foreign Service officers. You know, maybe you disagree about that, Glenn, but I admire the Foreign Service a great deal, and, you know, I trust their judgment about what's a secret a lot more than I do Bradley Manning.
GREENWALD: Right, and look, look, Jeff, you can make that argument in every leak case. I mean, people back in the 1960s said Daniel Ellsberg was a traitor. Who was Daniel Ellsberg to decide what should be leaked to the American public.
I trust U.S. generals way more than some Daniel Ellsberg who I never voted for and yet what Daniel Ellsberg did was expose systematic lies on the part of the U.S. government. In the Bush years people said whoever told Dana Priest at the "Washington Post" that the Bush administration had secret CIA prisons who whoever told the "New York Times" that the Bush administration was fine without warrants, what right did they have to disclose secrets?
This is how journalist, investigative journalism works, Jeff, is that people inside the government with a conscience come forward when they find out things that their government is doing that are wrong and they disclose it to the world through media outlets and journalism.
If you think that's criminal, you're essentially calling for the end of investigative journalism. That is what investigative journalism is about.
TOOBIN: No, I appreciate your education to me of what journalism is, but, you know, releasing 700,000 cables in the completely blunder bush way is not the same as the work of Dana Priest and Bob Woodward. I mean, I just think, you know, it is possible to draw --
GREENWALD: How about Daniel Ellsberg?
TOOBIN: Well, Daniel Ellsberg also wrote the Pentagon papers. He disclosed what he wrote, which is very different than -- than Bradley Manning disclosing hundreds of thousands of cables he didn't even read much less right.
COOPER: But, Glenn, you know -- I'm sorry --
GREENWALD: You didn't know that he didn't read them.
COOPER: Jeff, Glenn makes an interesting point, and it is an accurate point that when this was all revealed, you had politicians up and down saying he has blood on his hands. You have people in the Obama administration saying this is causing cataclysmic damage, long-term damage to national security, and then later on in testimony, secret testimony that was revealed in Reuters and other news outlets, they basically all kind of said, you know what, it was embarrassing but it really didn't really amount to much.
TOOBIN: I have no doubt that the government officials here overstated the amount of danger, but that doesn't mean there was no danger. And that doesn't mean that we don't know fully what the danger was, including the risk -- the fact that many people may not talk to government officials anymore as a result of these kind of disclosures.
COOPER: Jeff, what legal precedent do you think this sets, if any, for Edward Snowden?
TOOBIN: A big one. I mean I think Snowden will be confirmed in his desire to stay out of the United States because I think their situations are very parallel in terms of the amount of disclosure that went on, and I think he's likely to face exactly this kind of prosecution and exactly this kind of result and sentence.
COOPER: And, Jeff, what do you make of the way that Bradley Manning was treated, the way he was held, on conditions under which he was held?
TOOBIN: Well, that, as far as I'm aware, was an appalling -- it was too much done. It was inappropriately harsh conditions but that doesn't justify the underlying behavior that led to the case.
COOPER: Glen, you posted on Twitter today, quote, you said, "So weird how most people who claim, I respect Snowden's act if he didn't fled, don't apply that to Bradley Manning."
Explain what you mean.
GREENWALD: Well, I mean, it is interesting. So many people love to start out their sentence by saying, of course, we need more transparency and that they always somehow find a way to attack whistle blowers. So people say, if Snowden hadn't fled, I would respect him, and yet Bradley Manning didn't flee, and yet most of the people attacking Snowden attacked Bradley Manning.
What Jeff said earlier, well, Manning is wrong because he didn't read all the documents that he leaked, I can assure you with 100 percent certainly that every single document that Edward Snowden turned over to us he very carefully read before he gave them to us because they're all in incredibly detailed file systems and every single document is filed according to topic.
So if what Jeff is saying is true, which is my problem with Bradley Manning is that he didn't read all the documents unlike Daniel Ellsberg, he should be praising Edward Snowden, and yet he isn't. He's been a harsh critic of Snowden. It seems like -- people always contrive excuses to attack anybody who brings transparency to the government unless they are powerful officials in Washington in which case it's OK.
TOOBIN: I'm not talking about -- talking about powerful officials. I'm talking about Foreign Service officers who were on the street in every capital in the world and small cities around the world trying to gather information, report it to their superiors.
The idea that Bradley Manning is the only one or Edward -- or Snowden is the only one who has a conscience and who is decent and has -- and has the right to disclose the work of all these people is just probably absurd to me, Glenn.
COOPER: Glenn Greenwald, good to have you on, Jeffrey Toobin as well. Thank you.
GREENWALD: Thanks, Anderson.
COOPER: As always, for more on the story, you can go to CNN.com.
Just ahead an incredible jailbreak caught on camera. Check this out. An armed robbery suspect takes a phone call and hurls himself through an open window and hightails it to the a getaway car. How the audacious escape played out and why authorities think the fugitive had help.
Also tonight, fire officials think they know what may have caused that massive explosion to a propane gas plant in central Florida. Details ahead.
COOPER: The search is on for a man whose dramatic escape from an Arkansas jail was caught on video. Officials said the inmate conspired with several other people to plan this escape right up to the woman who was waiting in the getaway car. Gary Tuchman has the story.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This man is about to escape from jail in the ease with which he does it is breathe taking. His name is Derrick Estelle. He is 33 with an extensive rap sheet, theft, burglary, breaking and entering. This past March, he had to be tear gassed out of an empty apartment after he allegedly stole a vehicle and wrecked it in Garland County, Arkansas. That brings us to the jail. He was here awaiting a court day on his latest charges. He's on the phone, but not necessarily talking to anybody. It's the beginning of his escape plan.
DEPUTY SCOTT HINOJOSA, GARLAND COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: There were only two deputies in the booking room at that time and at that time it was actually also our visitation, Sunday visitation for the inmates. TUCHMAN: Estelle starts running and jumps through a window that he knew would be open and lands in the public lobby. Watch it again. It looks like a bad cartoon. He's then followed by a guard who was caught off guard and the chase begins. Estelle sprints as fast as he can to the parking lot and so do the sheriff's deputy, but there's a car waiting. Estelle gets in it and the car allegedly driven by a woman named Tamara Upshaw, who is now is serious legal trouble, too.
The deputy got up to the car as it was pulling out and hit the passenger window, but they got away. This is the car. It was later located without its occupants. So how did this happen? How did a man now considered armed and dangerous get out of jail in less time it takes to run a 50-yard dash?
First there's that phone call. Inmates are allowed to be on that phone, which is in a good place for a potential escape, close to that open window. Then there is this man, William Harding, he was visiting the jail and the sheriff's office says he's partly responsible.
HINOJOSA: Mr. Harding asked one of the deputies a question at that time they turned their back to go get the information.
TUCHMAN: Harding turned into a sacrificial lamb because Estelle ended up free. Harding who was free is now in custody. And police think Harding and the driver of the getaway car aren't the only ones part of the plot.
HINOJOSA: Seems to be well-thought out and evidently there were several individuals involved.
TUCHMAN: But authorities aren't saying much more than that as everyone here tries to figure out how something that is supposed to be so hard was made to look, so, so easy. Gary Tuchman, CNN, Atlanta.
COOPER: Unbelievable. There's a lot more happening tonight. Isha here is with the 360 Bulletin -- Isha.
ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, human error and equipment failure are likely to blame for the explosion at the propane gas plant in Central Florida last night that's according to a fire official.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHIEF RICHARD KEITH, TAVARES FIRE DEPARTMENT: Last night about 10:30 we had our first ignition over here at the Blue Rhino plant. I live about 2 or 3 miles away from here and it shook my house, so I knew it was bad right off the bad so responded here with crews. We've been here through the night. The fire is out, so you're in no danger here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SESAY: Amazingly, only eight workers were injured. It took firefighters three hours to get the blaze out and nearby residents said it felt like bombs going off. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton breaking bread again in Washington, she had breakfast with Vice President Joe Biden, her potential Democratic rival in the 2016 race for the White House. Now this comes one day after she had lunch with President Obama.
Actress Eileen Brennan has died. She was best known as the drill sergeant in the 1980 film "Private Benjamin" and the TV show with the same name. She also starred in "The Sting" and had guest roles in several other TV shows. Eileen Brennan was 80.
And Anderson, a new mystery at King Richard III under a parking lot in Central England. Archaeologists have found a coffin inside the coffin containing unidentified human remains. This is just fascinating, a lead coffin. They don't know who is in it. They have a hole at one end of it and can see feet.
COOPER: Wow, that's weird.
SESAY: Yes, indeed. There is a hole --
COOPER: I thought they already found his remains, so this is another coffin?
SESAY: You are very right. It's found near where Richard III was buried. They found this coffin and inside is another coffin. They don't know who is in it but --
COOPER: Quite an active parking lot. All right, Isha, thanks very much.
A $136 million in jewels stolen in broad daylight, are the notorious Pink Panthers to blame? The director of a new documentary called "Smash and Grab," all about this gang, talked to five members of the Pink Panthers and she joins me with her take on the brazen heist ahead.
COOPER: Car crashed into a daycare center. The impact, injuries and what caused it all when 360 continues.
COOPER: Crime and punishment, police in Southern France are scouring surveillance tapes for clues in that brazen jewelry heist we told you about last night. The thief made off with $136 million of jewels from the Carlton Intercontinental Hotel in Cannes, the same hotel where Alfred Hitchcock's iconic movie "To Catch A Thief" was filmed. It happened in broad daylight. Police suspect obviously it was a professional job. It's the third gem theft in Cannes since May and it came just days after a member of a notorious gang called the "Pink Panther" jewel thief gang escaped from a Swiss prison.
He's the third "Pink Panther" to bust out of prison in just the last three months. Now according to Interpol the gang is linked to more than 340 robberies in 35 countries. "Pink Panthers" are known for daring and their speed. Back in 2007, they drove two cars into a Dubai shopping mall and through the window of a jewelry store and in less than a minute made off with jewelry worth millions of dollars.
A new documentary about the "Pink Panthers" opens in New York this week. It's called "Smash and Go." The director, Havana Marking, managed to get five of the gang's roughly 200 members to open up about their crimes and the elaborate smuggling networks they use to fence their loot. She joins me now.
The documentary is fascinating. You tracked down five of the "Pink Panthers." What was it like meeting them?
HAVANA MARKING, DIRECTOR, "SMASH AND GO": Each one was different. I mean, each personality was different and each was in a different scenario. One was, I had to go to a deserted war memorial. I wasn't allowed to take a mobile phone and had to go on my own and wait for another car to pick me up and things like that. There were scary moments, but then there were also moments that were extraordinarily relaxed and I couldn't understand that we weren't more paranoid about it.
COOPER: What interested you about this group?
MARKING: It's no coincidence that they all come from the same kind of time and place. They were absolutely straight, clear historical reasons why that part of the world was completely criminalized and why people in a sense were forced to turn to smuggling and crime in Europe, which they were so good at it, it then snowballed to a global scale.
COOPER: You interview in the documentary one of the members, a guy named Mike and talks about what the group is like. Let me play that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
"MIKE," MEMBER OF PINK PANTHERS: I don't have a badge that says Pink Panther on it. We're working together and as I was involved, I became part of it. Everybody has a specific job to do. So we all depend on each other. Those in the inner circle are called family. You get tips from your own supervisor, but there's also a chain of command.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: It took authority as long time to figure out the operational structure. Do they still have a clear -- I mean, do they have a completely clear idea how it works?
MARKING: They are a contemporary crime gang. They are much more flexible than the traditional -- sort of your traditional mafia. There isn't a straightforward hierarchy and the numbers grow and shrink depending on what's happening right there. They can disappear and then they can reappear in different parts of Europe. You know, they have sort of hubs all over --
COOPER: Do they all know each other? MARKING: Most of them tend to come from two particular cities. Most of them grew up together in different parts of Montenegro and Serbia, and they all seem to have forged those connections during those conflict periods of '80s and '90s.
COOPER: Is there somebody at the top?
MARKING: People talk about someone at the top. You know, or an originator of the Panthers. I don't think he would see himself as some sort of boss figure. There are people more experienced than others and there are people that have been doing it for longer.
COOPER: There is more -- I want to play from the same person before, Mike.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE: I don't know why people spend money on diamonds. I don't like showing off. I have a Rolex as a souvenir, the diamonds? They don't attract me. You know, for me diamonds mean good cash, nothing else.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: It's interesting he keeps a Rolex as a souvenir from a heist. Are they rich?
MARKING: I would say, again, it comes down to the individual. There are some that have sensibly managed to invest their money into real estate or something like that, and they like to show themselves off. They are bringing money back into the economy where the government isn't. But I think an awful lot of them also investment into the heroin trade and a lot of it is just spent gambling and playing especially.
COOPER: I mean, the diamonds, I guess are the easiest thing or one of the easier things to sell because diamonds are -- you can take them out of the settings and things like that, but some of these other things they steal are less easy.
MARKING: Yes, I mean, diamonds are their main -- their main currency and they -- I mean, they steal watches, as well and things like that, but essentially diamonds are the key thing that they are most professional at and do the best at, mainly because they have incredible connections to diamond senses. There is a huge European sense of diamond trading.
I was lucky enough to meet a contact of the Panthers, Mr. Green, and he's the person they take the diamonds to. He gets them re-cut. He creates completely new sort of specific origin for them and is able -- he has the connections to then sell them back into the clean market.
COOPER: It obviously too soon to tell with the latest robbery. I mean, do you have any sense of it? I mean, does it have the hallmarks of something they might be involved with?
MARKING: Absolutely. You know, if it was discovered to be a Panther robbery --
COOPER: Wouldn't be surprising.
MARKING: It wouldn't be surprising at all. Also, there are -- again, there are few people in the world that would know what to do with diamonds that valuable.
MARKING: And where -- how are you going to suddenly resale them? How will they disappear? The panther -- if we don't see diamonds suddenly being found somewhere, chances are it's a Panther robbery.
COOPER: It's fascinating. Thank you so much.
MARKING: Thank you.
COOPER: Ahead tonight, a medical mystery partially solved. Officials identified the bug they say is responsible for turning a whole lot of stomachs. We'll be right back.
COOPER: New information tonight about the deadly train derailment and something that may have districted the driver minutes before the crash. Details ahead.
COOPER: Check back in with Isha Sesay in the 360 "Bulletin" -- Isha.
SESAY: Anderson, new details about last week's deadly train derailment in North Western Spain. Officials say the driver was on the phone with rail way staff when the train crashed. He's charged with 79 counts of homicide. Officials also said date recorder show the train was going 95 miles per hour when it derailed on a curve. That's nearly twice the speed limit for that curve.
Health officials in Iowa have linked pre-packaged salad mixes for a stomach bug outbreak that sickened 100 Iowans and 78 Nebraskans since mid-June. They haven't named the salad manufacturer. According to report, federal health officials don't yet know if the salad mix is linked to a wide outbreak of food poisoning affecting 15 states.
And reports on TSA found misconduct cases rose 26 percent over the last three years, more than 3,000, 20 percent dealt with violating security standards such as allowing travelers to bypass screening.
In Kansas City three children and one adult suffered serious injury when an SUV slammed into a car outside a daycare center, pushing the car through the front wall of the building. Two children were trapped inside the building for a time, but were eventually rescued. We wish them well.
COOPER: Yes, it's terrible. Isha, thanks very much. "Ridiculist" is next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
COOPER: Yes, time for the "Ridiculist" and tonight, we have the mysterious case of the surprise lawn ornament that showed up in a woman's yard in Georgia. Now I'm not talking about a tasteful little a garden gnome or some plastic pink flamingo or anything like that. Suddenly out of nowhere, a giant Kentucky Fried Chicken bucket appeared in this lady's yard. That's right a 7-foot tall KFC bucket. The woman was driving passed her house when she spotted the extra large, extra crispy relic and feared she had to be imaging it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I thought for sure that I was hallucinating so I called my teenagers to check and have them go outside.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Sure enough, she wasn't dreaming. The thing was actually there but why? That's the question. She had no idea where it came from or who it belonged to. Was it a message from Colonel Sanders himself from beyond the grave? Could it be a sign from above? No, her landlord just happens to collect vintage signs and bought the bucket and had it dropped off on her property.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That bucket right there, if you had notice it, it don't say KFC. It says Kentucky Fried Chicken. That bucket is probably 40 years old.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: I did not notice that. So the landlord plans to kick the bucket up a notch by mounting it on a pole for permanent display. The giant plastic snow globe your neighbor puts on the lawn around Christmas time doesn't seem so bad. That's one benefit of living here in New York City. We don't have yards so we don't have to worry about those signs. We kind of do, the Seinfeld clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wow, Kenny Rogers Roasters open. Look at the size of that neon chicken on the roof.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is going on in there?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That light.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The red? Yes, the chicken roaster sign, right across the window.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can't you shut the shades?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are shut.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: I have to say the Georgia woman who has an unexpected view of a giant KFC sign is handling the situation well. She's not sweating buckets.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Too often we need something to laugh about so I put it on Facebook and told them I would bring chicken to the next pot luck.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: She points out there are other benefits to being that lady with the giant chicken bucket in their yard. Who needs GPS when you have KFC.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It unusual but it makes really good landmarks. You can say come down to the giant KFC bucket and turn right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That is what I call the power of positive thinking in action. When life throws you a curveball in the form of a 7-foot tall fast food memorabilia in your front yard, make the most of it. We learned the original recipe for happiness. Cross it off the bucket list on the "Ridiculist."
That does it for us. We'll see you again one hour from now at 10 p.m. Eastern another edition of 360. Hope you join us. "PIERS MORGAN LIVE" starts now.