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Terror Alert; Rehab Racket

Aired August 2, 2013 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone.

We begin with breaking news. The signs keep growing that the country is on high alert here and around the world against the possibly of al Qaeda attacks on American, as well as Western targets, the threat, according to officials, credible and serious, three sources telling CNN that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula was in the final stages planning for an unspecified operation.

The response so far, 21 embassies and consulates scheduled to close on Sunday from Algeria to Bangladesh, the State Department issuing a global alert for the entire month of August to Americans traveling abroad. Airlines say they're monitoring developments.

All of this coming after a message surfaced recently online, al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahri calling for attacks on American interests. Meantime, official Washington is buzzing. Senior State Department officials briefing lawmakers today on Capitol Hill telling them they're very concerned about an increase in communications chatter, especially abroad. CNN's Jim Acosta reporting that President Obama has been briefed as well and, according to an official, has directed his national security team to take all appropriate steps to protect the American people.

Joining us now, terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank, national security analyst and former White House homeland security adviser Fran Townsend, and Fran is a member of the DHS and CIA external advisory boards, also Dana Bash and Jill Dougherty.

Jill, let me start with you. What is the latest you're hearing at the State Department about this worldwide alert, 21 posts closed in 17 countries? How credible a threat is this?

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: They believe it definitely is credible. They say they're taking it very seriously. In fact, they say the number of countries where those embassies and consulates are being temporarily shut down could increase, and the length of time which they are shut down could increase as well.

What they're saying is, in light of Benghazi, and I think you're going to hear the word Benghazi quite a bit, they out of an abundance of caution are taking these steps. It refers to routine things that happen at the embassy, giving passports, et cetera, but they do say for Americans that if there is an emergency, they can get in touch with the embassy. That is not a problem. But they're urging Americans, if they're traveling to that region, to register for this program that they have called STEP. You can find it on their Web site and then you can actually get texts and e-mail messages real time about the threat that's out there and anything happening, country-specific.

COOPER: Jill, Britain is closing its embassy in Yemen, and your sources are telling you there may be even more U.S. closings, correct?

DOUGHERTY: There could be. I think this we're told depends upon the information that is coming in.

COOPER: It's interesting, Fran. You don't typically see so many embassies and consulates closing their doors like this.


Imagine in 21 countries, you have not seen one of those governments be critical or disagree with the U.S. move. I talked to two foreign intelligence service sources who said that's because the Americans have shared with them some intelligence, that they too believe it is specific and credible, although not specific to location. Foreign governments are very supportive of the steps the U.S. has decided to take.

COOPER: Paul, a video from al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri surfaced this week calling for attacks against Americans. He also released one 18 hours before the Benghazi attack. Do you see any link between this new video and this worldwide alert?

PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: It certainly brings up the possibility that Ayman al-Zawahri, al Qaeda's leader, had some sort of foreknowledge of whatever is in the works here. It definitely does bring up that possibility.

We have seen in other plots him put out videos beforehand, Anderson.

COOPER: Dana, what are you hearing on Capitol Hill? How seriously is it being taken there?


Republican sources who are read in on this intelligence tell me that the administration is doing absolutely the right thing in taking such sweeping and extraordinary steps to protect Americans. You know that this threat does really appear to be significant.

Another signal as to how concerned they are is a source who was in the room told me that the vice president himself used a previously scheduled meeting a few days ago to inform the congressional leadership and key committee chairmen about the threat. You heard Jill talk about Benghazi. Considering the political backlash on Capitol Hill against the White House for not taking threats to the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi seriously enough before that deadly attack last year, I asked around to sources whether or not -- especially Republican sources, they were ready to say this is kind of a CYA.

The answer I got from Democrats and Republicans was absolutely not. They're not overdoing it at all. This is very real and necessary. And that was bipartisan.

COOPER: Fran, how common is it to share intelligence with countries in some of these countries?

TOWNSEND: It's very common, A. B., when you look at al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen, it's the Saudi government and the Saudi service that has got the best access. They have helped us disrupt numerous plots in the past. You can't imagine really operating effectively without share thing sort of information.

Let's remember, we also have heard reports that Zawahri in the last several weeks has named of his new chief of operation the head of the al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. All of this taken -- what I'm told by sources is take all together. Right? You have got the naming of the chief from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, you have got the video that Paul Cruickshank was just speaking about, plus you have got the intelligence. All this comes together in the last couple of weeks that leads them to take this extraordinary step of closing 21 embassies.

COOPER: Paul, what do you make of the selection of the 21 consulates and embassies? What does that tell you about the threat? Most are in the Middle East, but there are closures as far away as Bangladesh.

CRUICKSHANK: That's right. It's very diffuse.

The last time I checked, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the group in question here, doesn't really have much of a presence in Bangladesh. So this brings up the possibility that different al Qaeda affiliates may be coordinating here in perhaps in days of violence potentially.

COOPER: Jill, in terms of this alert for Americans around the world traveling or universities or hotels, you talked a little bit about ways to keep in touch with embassies. Is there anything else Americans should do?

DOUGHERTY: They're saying to be very, very cautious about your surroundings. But I think you would have to say that getting these updates and also registering your trip with the State Department is another thing that you can do.

The Web site actually is quite good. It's got a lot of links. The most important is to get that critical time-sensitive information. And that's what you can do by registering.

All right, I will leave it there. Fran, thank you so much. Really fascinating stuff. Paul Cruickshank, Dana, Jill, thanks very much.

Let us know what you think. Follow me on Twitter @AndersonCooper.

Coming up next, we have racket results, clinic operators billing taxpayers a bundle from some cases patients who don't even exist. Tonight, the man in charge of the whole operation faces our questions, live.

And, later, you will hear from the woman who knows all too well that Ariel Castro was a brutal, sadistic monster long before he held three young women captive.


COOPER: "Keeping Them Honest" tonight how California's federally funded Medicaid system, Medi-Cal, paid out $94 million, your money, over just the past two years to drug rehab clinics that have shown signs of deception or questionable billing practices.

Among the apparent scams, billing Medi-Cal for phony patients, for treatments never provided or treatments patients didn't even need. In one case, patients were dead. Our "Rehab Racket" series produced in conjunction with the Center for Investigative Reporting is now headline news across California.

"The San Francisco Chronicle," "The L.A. Times," "The Sacramento Bee" all picking up on it. Until the series began airing, officials either turned down interviews or as you will see literally ran from cameras.

Tonight, you will hear live from the official in charge of the program.

First, though, the reporting that has a lot of people talking.

In short, Drew Griffin tonight "Keeping Them Honest."


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): George Ilouno shouldn't even be in California's drug rehab business.

(on camera): You seem to be at the center of fraud allegations here.


GRIFFIN (voice-over): He's been banned from billing Medicaid since 2002, but it hasn't stopped him from billing the state of California.

Tim Ejindu is accused of fraudulent practices at his drug rehab clinic, but it hasn't stopped him from billing the state of California, either.

(on camera): Mr. Ejindu?


GRIFFIN: Drew Griffin with CNN.

EJINDU: And who are you?

GRIFFIN: I just told you. My name is Drew Griffin with CNN. EJINDU: OK.


GRIFFIN: Wait a minute, now. Your former employees say that you are billing for county services you aren't providing, sir.

And then there's this man, Alexander Ferdman, convicted for running an organized crime ring in Texas that ripped off insurance companies. It hasn't stopped him from coming to California, setting up a drug rehab clinic and billing taxpayers even though felons are barred from running drug Medi-Cal centers.

GRIFFIN: Mr. Ferdman, how can a guy with a record like you be operating a drug rehab clinic here in California? You have been convicted of a major insurance car crash scheme in Texas?

ALEXANDER FERDMAN, FORMER CONVICTED FELON: I was convicted, but it's not what it seems.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): In the last two fiscal years, taxpayers spent nearly $186 million supposedly treating drug and alcohol abuse patients in California.

Our investigation with the Center for Investigative Reporting found half of that money, or about $94 million, has gone to clinics that have shown questionable billing practices or signs of fraud.

Joy Jarfors, former drug Medi-Cal supervisor, says she complained to the state for years about all the obvious fraud.

(on camera): We found billing records for people in jail. One person dead. People who said they didn't need this kind of treatment.

Clinics closed on a certain day billing for that certain day. None of this surprises you?


GRIFFIN (voice-over): For more than a month, CNN is asking for an explanation for the state of California and for more than a month, we have gotten nowhere.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I believe the on-camera interview was declined.

GRIFFIN (on camera): Can I ask you -- from you, why?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That wasn't my decision.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): State health officials in one Sacramento building after another refused to be questioned, including Toby Douglas, who oversees drug medical.

(on camera): Will you make sure to provide a response as why this widespread fraud is allowed to continue? (voice-over): Finally, after weeks of calling the state's secretary of health and human services, Diana Dooley, and getting no for an answer, we decided to ask for a response in person.

(on camera): Secretary Dooley, hi, Drew Griffin with CNN.


GRIFFIN: We have been trying to reach you and talk about the widespread fraud that's in the Medi-Cal drug rehab business, but we're told that neither you nor the program director nor anybody at the state of California will talk to us about it.

(voice-over): In an uncomfortable moment, the secretary at first refused to speak.

(on camera): Secretary, do you know Alex Ferdman, a convicted felon who apparently runs one of these clinics and has been billing the state of California for several years despite the fact there have been complaints registered with the department about him? He's convicted of a major insurance fraud in the state of Texas, but for somehow was able to get certified and has been billing.

I'm just wondering if there is anybody in the state of California that is concerned about this fraud.

(voice-over): Then finally answered a question.

DOOLEY: The state of California takes fraud very seriously and there are many investigations that are under way. The allegations, all allegations are given full and fair consideration. And you have caught me running because I'm late for a meeting that I'm chairing.

GRIFFIN (on camera): I wonder if you would just do one thing and maybe ask Toby Douglas to sit down and talk to us and explain to us some of these questions.


DOOLEY: And if you want to give us a little bit of time...

GRIFFIN: We have been giving you about a couple months.

DOOLEY: We have a budget that we're just completing and we have many priorities on our time. Information has been provided, answers have been provided. We have a very...

GRIFFIN: I understand.

DOOLEY: We have a very extensive fraud and investigation unit in Medi-Cal that's one of the best in the country.

GRIFFIN: Let me ask you two quick questions.

DOOLEY: No, that's all I have to say. GRIFFIN: Are you concerned that there is massive fraud because that's what we're finding out and, number two, as secretary of health, could you have Toby Douglas just sit down and talk to us about our specific questions?

DOOLEY: Excuse me.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): But that is hardly the end of the story.

DOOLEY: Would you get security?

GRIFFIN: Our confrontational exchange with California's secretary of health and human services may, in fact, may have been the trigger for a mayor statewide crackdown.

One month later, nearly to the day, the state sent out this news release -- 16 drug Medi-Cal centers are under investigation and temporarily suspended. Just this week, California announced that figure has now jumped to 108 rehab centers.


and last week, California relented to CNN's interview request.

Chief Deputy Director of Health Care Services Karen Johnson tried to explain why it has taken so long.

KAREN JOHNSON, CALIFORNIA CHIEF DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF HEALTH CARE SERVICES: We are going to review all of the drug Medi-Cal providers in the state of California. We are also going to require that they re-enroll in our program so that they become recertified.

GRIFFIN (on camera): Based on that answer, I think it's fair to say that the oversight by the state of California up until now has been seriously lacking. Agree?

JOHNSON: I wouldn't say that's not a fair characterization. Any complaints that were referred to the Department of Justice and to the Department of Health Care Services was investigated.

There are other complaints. Those complaints were investigated. That is going to be part of the ongoing active investigation, and as I mentioned, we are looking at all of the cases and what is emerging is a much larger, bigger picture that we need to address.

GRIFFIN: A bigger picture of fraud?

JOHNSON: A bigger picture of problems.

GRIFFIN: And only now two weeks before these two national news organizations are about to release a major study of what we found was extensive fraud is the state of California doing this extensive review. Coincidence?

JOHNSON: It's not a fair characterization. We have been investigating all along. GRIFFIN: My question is, why has it taken the state so long to catch up to this?

JOHNSON: Look, there are bad people who want to scam this program, and we are going to do everything possible to investigate and deploy the necessary resources to improve and enhance our enforcement effort.

GRIFFIN: So you feel the state of California has done enough?

JOHNSON: Obviously, what has happened and what we see clearly, there is more that needs to be done.


COOPER: Drew joins me now, along with Toby Douglas, director of the California Department of Health Care Services.

Appreciate, Mr. Douglas, you being with us.

I want to start with this. In an editorial today, "The Sacramento Bee" -- and I quote -- "It's not enough to stop payments to problem clinics, as the state belatedly appears to be doing now. Who in state government or at the county level was responsible for years of lax oversight?"

Can you answer that question? Who in the state government or at county level was responsible for years of lax oversight?

TOBY DOUGLAS, DIRECTOR, CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH CARE SERVICES: Anderson, first, thank you for having me on tonight.

I can't talk about the past. What I can...


COOPER: Why not? Why not?

DOUGLAS: What I want to tell you is that this past year, the governor and the legislature transferred authority of this program to the Department of Health Care Services.

Once we received authority, and I, as the director, was accountable, we started a top-to-bottom review of this program. And we have initiated audits, put field investigators on the ground. And what we found so far is appalling. We have found fraud and we have...


COOPER: But you didn't just get born last year. This thing, for the last two years, according to our reporting, you paid $94 million to clinics that have shown signs of questionable billing or fraud. That's half of all the public funding for this program.

You say you have been investigating this for a long time. You have been throwing money away during this time. More than $500 million has been spent over the past six years. You say you can't talk about the past. Can you not answer the question who was responsible for years of lax oversight? You must have studied this.

DOUGLAS: Again, Anderson, the legislature and the governor, Governor Brown, moved the authority of this program directly and responsible accountable to me.


COOPER: And you have no idea what happened in the past? You have no idea who is responsible?

DOUGLAS: Well, what my focus is on now, Anderson, is making sure that I'm rooting out all this fraud, that we have all our investigators. We are putting all resources to root out this fraud.


COOPER: How many clinics have you suspended in the year that you have been in office, before these latest suspensions after our reporting? How many in that whole year of investigation?

DOUGLAS: We have been investigating -- what I can tell you is that we suspended 38 clinics, of which are 108 different locations.

COOPER: Right. You have just done that. I'm saying you said you have been investigating this for a long time. You don't have to wait until -- I assume the investigations are not over. But you have now announced this.


COOPER: But all this time, right, for a year, you have been investigating. Have you not shut down any in that year?

DOUGLAS: I can't give you the numbers on that -- right now.


COOPER: So you can't name one clinic you have shut down in the entire year that you were allegedly investigating?

DOUGLAS: These are open -- no, these are open investigations, Anderson.

And what our job is, is to work with the Department of Justice and to focus on rooting out the fraud.


COOPER: Right. But have you rooted out any fraud in the yearlong that you have been -- you say you investigating.


DOUGLAS: We have suspended 38...

(CROSSTALK) COOPER: Right, this week. I get it. In the wake of our reporting, you have announced this.

But in that year of investigating, can you name one person, one of the felons running one of these clinics that Drew has talked to, can you name one person, one clinic you have actually shut down or stopped paying?

DOUGLAS: Again, the focus is -- again, Anderson, our focus is on rooting out this fraud in this program.


COOPER: Right. And I'm asking you, can you name -- OK, now, clearly, you can't.

Drew, do you have a question? I know you have been trying...



Mr. Douglas, you know as well as I do that the audits and investigations branch of your very department, Department of Health Care Services, has been getting after these fraud allegations for five years, not for the past one year, but for five years.

There were meetings pointing out this fraud. We have heard from the L.A. County health director, Dr. Jonathan Fielding, who said he's been very frustrated in the past over the lax standards of state certification, and the time it has taken the state to investigate and take action from these bad actors.

Now, you have been in senior leadership of the Department of Health Care Services since 2005. What I think Anderson is asking, and what the whole state of California and certainly the federal taxpayers want to know is, there's been evidence of this fraud right under your nose for years. And only now it seems, even if you say in the past year we began investigating, only now is the state going to do something about it.

The question is, why and who is responsible for overlooking all this fraud?

DOUGLAS: Again, the focus now is that now this program is completely under the control of the Department of Health Care Services. I'm accountable for rooting out this fraud. And that's what I'm focused on is putting investigators out there, recertifying all providers, 1,000 providers. And we will work on this until we root out all fraud within the program.

GRIFFIN: When you have been the chief, deputy director since 2009, the director of health care services since 2011, I mean, why would the public have any faith that you are now going to be able to tackle a problem which hasn't been tackled since at least, what, 2008?

DOUGLAS: Again, this program, Anderson, was in another department. It has been now the legislature and the governor directed...

GRIFFIN: A department that was under the Department of Health Care Services.

DOUGLAS: No, it was a separate department, did not report to the Department of Health Care Services.


COOPER: And you have no idea what has occurred in the last six years? You have no idea? You have not a clue in the world...


COOPER: ... possibly responsible for this?

DOUGLAS: What my focus is on, Anderson, is to make sure...


COOPER: I have been at CNN 10 years. I can tell you about stuff that happened at CNN 10 years before that. I can name names of people who worked here.

You can't give me any name? You're saying, oh, we will now we have just joined these two companies together. Time Warner and AOL joined companies together. We still have to come to work and work every day. Your boss, when Drew had to like chase her down, your boss -- her excuse was, well, we have been working on a new budget, so we're very busy.

Now you're saying, oh, actually we have been investigating this all along, but you can't name anybody who has actually been named by your investigation until just now. All of a sudden, you have been able to come up with all these names. Doesn't that at least -- you don't get that that looks really shady?

DOUGLAS: Again, we have been doing -- since we have taken this, we have been assessing this program top to bottom. And we will focus continuously working to root out fraud within this program.

GRIFFIN: Anderson, I don't know what to say.

I just want to remind you, what we're hearing from the staff, this fraud has been reported to Health Care Services. They have an audits and investigation staff supposedly that was having meetings for years, and the problems were being overlooked.

That's what our report says. And that has been verified now by the L.A. County health director, who says he's been very frustrated with the state not taking action on this. So now we have the same people who have basically been in charge and in oversight capacity telling us that they're going to clean it up. I hope that is the case. I hope that is very much the case, Mr. Douglas.

DOUGLAS: Well, again, Drew, we have taken, as we have reported -- 38 clinics have already been suspended in 108 different locations. We're recertifying 1,000 of our providers.

We will continue at this and continue to root out the fraud within this program until it gets to the same integrity of all the other programs that we administer within the Medi-Cal program.

COOPER: I feel bad that -- I appreciate you being on tonight, and I know your boss didn't want to talk and I appreciate you being on.

But you have only -- you have one talking point, and you continue to say it. And, in fact, the fact that you answer every time by saying again just verifies that you are giving the same answer over and over again.

And what I don't understand is your boss said and you have said you couldn't talk before in the many requests that Drew has made to talk to you, you couldn't talk before because of an ongoing investigation. The fact that you're talking now, does that mean the investigation is over?

DOUGLAS: No, these investigations...

COOPER: Continuing.

DOUGLAS: ... will continue on.



DOUGLAS: And we will work with the Department of Justice until we take all these providers -- and to the extent possible, we will take them...

COOPER: So why is it OK to talk now, even though the investigation is still going on, but over the last many weeks that Drew has tried to get an interview, you wouldn't talk because of an ongoing investigation? Now you can talk even though there's an ongoing investigation.

DOUGLAS: There is an ongoing investigation.

And what I want to make sure, Anderson, that everyone knows is that I'm here, I'm accountable, and I am going to fix this program.

COOPER: All right.

We will continue to follow it, Mr. Douglas.

Drew, do you have anything else?

GRIFFIN: No. I will look forward to the follow-ups, Mr. Douglas, and hopefully we can see where your investigations bear fruit and get some names and find out if indeed the felons who are running the clinics are going to be weeded out and the people that have been falsely billing are going to be weeded out as well.

COOPER: All right, Douglas, appreciate your time.

DOUGLAS: Thank you very much.

COOPER: Thank you.

DOUGLAS: Thank you.

COOPER: There you go.

Let me know what you think. Talk to me on Twitter about this -- @AndersonCooper is the address.

Quick reminder, you can make a difference. If you have a tip for Drew on this or any other story, you can let him know by going to

Just ahead, Ariel Castro's former sister-in-law responds to what he said about his sister at his sentencing hearing. She has a message for him tonight.

Also ahead, will George Zimmerman soon face federal civil rights charges for the death of Trayvon Martin? A look at how difficult that case may be to prove ahead on 360, and hear what Martin's parents were reportedly doing this week in their quest for charges.


COOPER: Hey. Welcome back.

Michelle Knight just showed how strong she when she stood just feet from Ariel Castro in a courtroom yesterday and spoke truth to his lies. Her poise and words made a big impression on a lot of people, no doubt about it.

Today, she did something else that's pretty remarkable. She made a surprise visit to Seymour Avenue and just across the street from Ariel Castro's house, she thanked Altagracia Tejeda, the neighbor who gave shelter to Amanda Berry after she escaped.

Tejeda told CNN she used to see Knight through her window and because of her small size, she thought she was a child.

What Ariel Castro said at his sentencing hearing was so shocking, so off-the-charts twisted, it's hard to even wrap your mind around it. Twenty-four hours later, there's still a lot to unpack. Last night, we focused on his outrageous remarks about the three young women he imprisoned and tortured for a decade. He said he didn't rape them. He said the sex was consensual; he said there was a lot of harmony in that house. He said he's not a monster, doesn't have a violent bone in his body.

But his brazen fantasy about his past didn't end there. He's what he said about Grimilda Figueroa, his former common-law wife, the mother of four of his children.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ARIEL CASTRO, CONVICTED OF KIDNAPPING/RAPE/TORTURE: I never had a record until I met my children's mother. My son was on there the other day saying how abusive I was, but I was never abusive until I met her. And he failed to say that at the end, before she passed away, that them two weren't even talking.

So what I'm trying to say is what she's saying that I was a wife beater, that is -- that is wrong, because this happened because I couldn't get her to quiet down. I would continuous tell her, "The children are right there, would you please?" And she would -- responded with "I don't care if the children are there." And she would just keep going, and if the situation would escalate until the point where she would put her hands on me, and that's how I reacted by putting my hands on her.


COOPER: It's unbelievable. Grimilda Figueroa died last wear. I talked to her sister, Elida Caraballo, back in May after Castro's arrest. She joins me again tonight.

Elida, it's good to have you here. When you heard what Ariel Castro said about your sister yesterday, what did you think?

ELIDA CARABALLO, SISTER OF GRIMILDA FIGUEROA: Oh, my God. I was infuriated. All those lies he's saying in that courtroom, it hurt. He beat my sister. He stomped on her head. He kicked her in the stomach. Repeatedly. All the time. In front of her children.

He beat my nephew, Anthony, all the time. And he's saying he never did that? Look at the record.

COOPER: And he seems to be -- as he was doing a lot yesterday -- justifying his behavior, saying, you know, that it was your sister's fault. I want to play part of the hearing yesterday, when the judge addressed Ariel Castro's abusive behavior.


JUDGE MICHAEL RUSSO, CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OHIO: You said that your wife would irritate you; she wouldn't stop talking and that you would respond. Well, my understanding from the records is that she suffered a broken nose twice, she had broken teeth and she otherwise was abused but they were never followed through as a conviction. And that's unfortunate.


COOPER: I think a lot of the people who watched him speak yesterday really -- and the experts we talked to all said, "Look, this guy is a psychopath," that he doesn't have emotions like everybody else. He -- he's a true, true psychopath. Did you always feel that way about him? Did you always feel he was a monster?

CARABALLO: From the very beginning -- very beginning. From the beginning of the relationship, he didn't seem that way. But through all the relationships he started, as soon as my nephew was born.

COOPER: And you blamed him for your sister's death?

CARABALLO: Oh, yes. Yes. All my family blamed him for my sister's death. He put our sister out there (ph).

COOPER: When we spoke in May, you told me that you hoped Ariel Castro would rot in jail. What went through your mind yesterday when you heard the judge tell him that he'd spend the rest of his life in jail?

CARABALLO: I was happy. I was excited. I was thrilled. He's going to -- he's going to see what hell is like now.

COOPER: I was really stunned in the testimony yesterday, he clearly seems to be watching media coverage. I mean, he was talking about his -- the three women who survived the ordeal in his house, who survived the abuse for years, talking about recent appearances they had made in the media. If he happens to be seeing this, is there anything you would want to say to him?

CARABALLO: I want to say, Ariel, you need to rot in jail. I'm glad you're rotting in jail. You're going to -- you're going to see what hell is like. Words can't even explain what I'm feeling right now, and I really want to tell him. It's just words can't even say.

COOPER: Well, Elida, I'm glad there's justice in all of this, some justice. And I appreciate you being on tonight. Thank you.

CARABALLO: Thank you.

COOPER: Trayvon Martin's parents reportedly meeting with Justice Department prosecutors, who are continuing their investigation into the killing of their son. The question is will there be civil rights charges filed against George Zimmerman, and what does his acquittal mean for that investigation? That's next.

And later, the FDA finally says where that tainted salad that made people sick in Iowa and Nebraska came from and the popular chain restaurants where it ended up.


COOPER: Why the widow of an alleged victim called Whitey Bulger a coward -- a coward. Disorder in the court today when 360 continues.


COOPER: Trayvon Martin's parents are reportedly getting new updates on whether there will be federal civil rights charges filed against George Zimmerman for killing their son. This week, Martin's parents met with the FBI and Justice Department prosecutors to talk about the ongoing investigation, according to "The Miami Herald."

Zimmerman's attorney said the killing of Trayvon Martin had nothing to do with race, but some civil rights leaders strongly disagree, as we know. As you know, jurors found Zimmerman not guilty in Martin's killing and going forward with the civil rights case would be a challenge, but it's not unprecedented.

Randi Kaye tonight reports.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Attorney General Eric Holder has made it clear all along that, for any federal charges against George Zimmerman, the bar is high.

ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: For a federal hate crime, you have to prove the highest standard in the law: something that was reckless, was negligent does not meet that standard. We have to show that there's specific intent to be a crime with the requisite state of mind.

KAYE: Neither prosecutors or the defense made race the central issue in the state's case against Zimmerman. But civil rights leaders call the killing of Trayvon Martin a hate crime. They say Zimmerman racially profiled Martin, something Zimmerman and his family has denied.

JESSE JACKSON, CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER: You look at a jury without a black or without a man on it, it certainly was not a jury of Trayvon's peers. The Department of Justice must intervene and take this case, frankly, to another level.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We, the jury, find George Zimmerman not guilty.

KAYE: In response to the verdict and calls for action, the Justice Department released this statement. It reads in part, that the Department of Justice will "continue to evaluate the evidence generated during the federal investigation, as well as the evidence and testimony from the state trial."

Federal prosecutors will then determine if Trayvon Martin's civil rights were violated and if federal prosecution of George Zimmerman is appropriate.

If Zimmerman is charged with violating Trayvon Martin's civil rights, it wouldn't be the first time a failed criminal case gave way to a federal civil rights case. Remember Rodney King? After the four Los Angeles police officers caught beating him on camera were acquitted, the case moved to federal court, where two of the four officers were found guilty of violating King's civil rights. They were each sentenced to 30 months in prison.

It was a similar story in New Orleans after a handful of officers were cleared in the shooting on the Danziger Bridge. In the aftermath of Katrina in 2005, the officers opened fire on a family, killing a 17- year-old. When local prosecutors couldn't deliver a conviction, the civil rights division of the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI began an investigation.

In 2011, a jury in New Orleans federal court convicted five police officers on charges related to covering up the investigation and deprivation of civil rights. Still, regardless of the outcome of those two high-profile cases, George Zimmerman's attorney continues to insist this case was never about race.

MARK O'MARA, ZIMMERMAN'S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: My fear is that, now that they've connected that conversation to his conviction, that his acquittal is going to be seen as a negative for civil rights. Absolutely untrue.

KAYE: Maybe so. But that it seems is now for the United States Department of Justice to decide.

Randi Kaye, CNN, Atlanta.


COOPER: Joining me now, criminal defense attorney Danny Cevallos and CNN legal analyst, former federal prosecutor Sunny Hostin.

So Danny, the jury acquitted Zimmerman, obviously, saying he lacked racial animus, which is a key element in the civil rights case, we just heard. I want to read the actual statute that's involved. It says, quote, "This statute makes it unlawful to willfully cause bodily injury -- or attempting to do so with fire, firearm, or other dangerous weapon -- when the crime was committed because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin of any person."

So Danny, how difficult will this be to prove?

DANNY CEVALLOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I have to go back to what you just said, Anderson. When you started out, you said that the original case involved race. Race was no element of the original case. The original case specifically avoided race, and that's why the -- any civil rights case or any DOJ case is going to be exceedingly difficult.

Why? Because at the criminal trial, the state failed to prove any evil intent. So the Department of Justice would now have to prove not only that evil intent but further, that he was motivated by a racial animus. And that was the underlying evil intent was never proven at the criminal trial, so the federal government would have the additional burden of proving that intent, plus the evil motive and then, on top of that, they would have to prove some connection to interstate commerce or something else that gives it that federal nexus.

That's why it's a very high burden. The federal government does not like to bring cases and lose them. And that's why most commentators agree it's not likely they are very motivated to bring this case.

COOPER: Sunny, you agree with that? The state's attorney said race was not a factor in the Zimmerman trial.

HOSTIN: No, I don't agree with that. I think that Danny's way off base, Anderson. The bottom line here is that the state case has no bearing, no bearing whatsoever on a federal case. The federal investigation has been ongoing. It started in March 2012. There has been no determination, and we know that the investigation is continuing.

So to suggest somehow that whatever happened in state court has some sort of bearing on a federal investigation or any sort of federal crime is just that, way off base.

COOPER: Sunny, let me ask you, though, would a federal investigation by the FBI, would that turn up different evidence than -- than the state investigation did?

HOSTIN: Absolutely. I mean, we're talking about, you know, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and all the resources that the federal government has to bear. We know that they've been out. They've been meeting with witnesses over again. And they may have found even new witnesses, other information about, perhaps, George Zimmerman, whatever racial animus he may have against African-Americans, against others. I mean, this investigation, again, because it's ongoing, we don't know what they have uncovered. We don't know where it's going.

But I think there's a lot to be said by the fact that the government did meet with Trayvon Martin's family, because prosecutors oftentimes do keep victims' families in the loop. Sometimes they interview those families, get additional information from the families. And they do go over potential charges. And so, you know, I think what we know now, that they are meeting with this family, that says something.

COOPER: But Danny, I mean, we know that before the trial, the state trial, the FBI looking into this found no evidence that Zimmerman was a racist. I mean, doesn't that tell you something?

CEVALLOS: It tells me -- Sunny, that's the whole point. It tells me that -- and by the way, what evidence do you think that the federal government -- what evidence do you think the federal government is reviewing, any new evidence? Maybe, but they're reviewing the evidence from the trial court. And they have to review additionally the racially motivated evidence.

So Sunny's right, that they're reviewing additional things, but they have to prove that racial motive, and there was none of that at the state court level. Of course state court decisions are not binding on the federal government. But they have to prove the racial animus.

And Sunny, I challenge you to tell me where the evidence was at the state court level that they're going to be able to jump on and use for that racial animus. Where is it?

COOPER: We're going to end it there. We'll see what happens. Do you have a sense, Sunny, a timeline, I mean, how long they might come before they make a decision?

HOSTIN: You know, every federal investigation is different. I've led federal investigations, of course, having been a federal prosecutor, and there is no science to it. There's no definitive time line. But it has been going on for a year. You do have the culmination of the state trial, but I suspect that it may be ongoing for a little while longer.

COOPER: Sunny, appreciate it. Sunny Hostin, Danny Cevallos, thanks.

Just ahead, they spent 69 terrifying days trapped a half mile underground. So who's to blame for the mine collapse that almost killed them? Details on a new report on the Chilean miners, coming up.


COOPER: Check out the names of the restaurants that served customers tainted salads. Details ahead.


COOPER: Let's get you caught up on some of the stories we're following. Susan Hendricks joins us with a "360 News & Business Bulletin."

SUSAN HENDRICKS, HLN ANCHOR: Anderson, federal health officials say the tainted salad mix blamed for cyclospora outbreaks in Iowa and Nebraska, came from Taylor Farms in Mexico and was eaten by diners at Red Lobster and Olive Garden restaurants. Now, the FDA says it doesn't believe the bagged salad was sold in any U.S. grocery stores.

Well, the CEO of Taylor Farms told CNN his company has no evidence of cyclospora in their products. He said they have distributed 48 million servings of salads to thousands of restaurants in the U.S.

At the Whitey Bulger trial, disorder in the court. The 83-year-old former mob boss told the judge he would not be taking the stand, then called the trial a sham. That didn't sit well with the widow of one of his alleged victims, who called Bulger a coward. She actually yelled that in court. Jurors were not in the room at the time. After order was restored, the defense rested. Closing arguments begin on Monday.

An Army official says at least 55 soldiers have been suspended from their duties as sexual assault counselors, recruiters and drill instructors for violations ranging from drinking alcohol to sexual assault and child abuse. In May, Secretary of State Chuck Hagel -- or defense rather, ordered all military services to rescreen service members who hold sensitive jobs. Secretary of defense.

A "360" follow now. Prosecutors in Chile say there is not enough evidence to file criminal charges in the 2010 mine collapse. It trapped 33 men underground for 69 days. They have closed their three- year investigation. All 33 miners were rescued. Some of the men told CNN they plan to appeal the prosecutor's decision.

Anderson, back to you.

COOPER: Susan, thanks. Zombies on "The RidicuList," next.


COOPER: Time now for "The RidicuList." And tonight, we have your basic, everyday story of zombies on the loose in Denver during a 5K race. Apparently, this is a thing. It's called Zombie Run; takes place in cities around the country.

For some people, the idea of spending a weekend running a 5K isn't scary enough on its own. In the Zombie Run, participants have balloons attached to their waist, life balloons that the zombies try to pop along the way, signifying that the runners are dead, although they still keep running, even though they're dead. It's as simple as terrifying.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So it's the zombie apocalypse, and the runners are running to save their life to get to the finish, to have an after party.


COOPER: What's a zombie apocalypse without an after party>

Anyway, seems like things got a little out of hand at the Zombie Run in Denver. And it wasn't the zombies who were on attack. A woman who played a zombie says she got pummeled by a runner.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was not fun at all. I had a large guy tackle me over a bolder, and just left me there, scrapes, bruises. I wasn't planning on bleeding my own blood that day.


COOPER: Hikes. Paramedics said that another zombie had her nose broken by a guy in a banana costume who punched her in the face. We've actually got a picture of the alleged banana, but I'm not going to show it to you, because we don't know for sure that it is the actual zombie puncher. Could be somebody else dressed as a banana. And we're not in the business of banana slander on this program. And you can take that to the bank.

Anyway, here's an artist rendering of a guy in a banana suit punching a zombie in the face, just to give you a sense of what it might have looked like. By the way, the artist happened to be our very own Tom Foreman. Thank you, Tom. I'll be hanging this in my foyer.

So the founders of these Zombie Runs say their goal is, of course, for no one to get hurt. But you know what? Runners can be scary. And I guess in a way, zombies can be, too.


ANDREW HUDIS, ZOMBIE FUN CO-FOUNDER: It goes both ways. Sometimes there are humans that are too aggressive, and sometimes there are zombies that are too aggressive.


COOPER: Is he 12 years old? Is a 12-year-old really running this race?

Anyway, I'm not surprised by this. Any time you get humans and zombies together, things can get a little intense as anyone who's seen "The Walking Dead" is well aware.




COOPER: That was a good episode. Remember? That was the one where that little zombie girl got shot at the end. Somehow, I find myself rooting for the zombies on that show. Do you?

Is it -- it's just that some of the human characters on that show, they're so annoying; they keep talking and talking. Someone on Twitter said to me it's too much character development and not enough character devourment. And I absolutely agree with that.

Zombies are more fun, even if they are kind of creepy looking. That's me as a zombie. It's a thing you can do on AMC 's "Walking Dead" Web site. It's called "Dead Yourself." Anyway, I'm off track.

The point is, the Zombie Run is happening. It's coming to other cities. So I just want us all to agree. Zombies and mortals and bananas alike, we can all get along and run as one on "The RidicuList."

OK, that's it for us. Thanks for watching.