Biogenesis scandal whistleblower says document theft was targeted

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“I was definitely targeted. I’m positive,” Porter Fischer told The Palm Beach Post by phone Thursday. Fischer’s car was broken into outside a tanning salon in March, and documents related to the Miami Biogenesis clinic where he worked were stolen. “People break into cars to take stereos … people don’t break in to steal four boxes of files.”

Fischer said he was in a rush to meet again with Boca Raton police around lunchtime today and was not able to discuss who he thought did the targeting.

Boca Raton Police believe a 20-year-old employee of Boca Tanning broke into Fischer’s car as Fischer went in to get a spray-on tan. According to the arrest report, Fischer was a regular at the salon and an acquaintance of Reginald St. Fleur, the suspected car burglar who had worked at the salon for about four years.

St. Fleur, of Boynton Beach, Fla., is in the Palm Beach County Jail facing one charge of armed burglary. Judge Caroline Shepherd set his bail at $30,000 this morning.

The burglary happened March 25 at the salon and was one of two cars the burglar hit, but only Fischer “wished to report the crime,” according to the police.

Fischer told officers that a .32 Beretta pistol, cash, gym clothes, electronics and documents were stolen from the trunk and inside of his car. The burglar broke the window of the car and left behind blood that investigators sent for DNA analysis.

This week, those DNA results came back and pointed to St. Fleur. St. Fleur denied any knowledge of the crime when interviewed by police.

St. Fleur was represented by Miami attorney Alan Soven, who was hired by the tanning salon and met his client for the first time Thursday morning.

“He’s worked there for a long time, he’s a good kid and they said, ‘Alan help him out,’” said Soven, who said he was unaware of the alleged nature of the documents until reporters filled the courtroom for the morning’s hearing.

Fischer was a central figure in the major leage baseball PED (performance-enhancing drug) story, a scandal that has raised the question of whether New York Yankees superstar Alex Rodriguez and other major leaguers used illegal PEDs.

In November, Boca Raton police said the investigation into the theft of Fischer’s documents was “reopened” based on new information revealed in Rodriguez’s lawsuit against Major League Baseball.

Police offered few details on the open investigation but said detectives had “a lot of leads that they’re pursuing.”

Fischer said he took the documents from Biogenesis of America, the now-closed Florida anti-aging clinic where he worked.

The clinic and its owner, Anthony Bosch, have been accused of providing banned PEDs to Rodriguez and other major leaguers. Bosch agreed to cooperate with baseball’s investigators. On Aug. 5, baseball Commissioner Bud Selig suspended Rodriguez for 211 games for alleged violations of the sport’s drug agreement and labor contract. The players’ association filed a grievance in an attempt to overturn the penalty.

ESPN, citing unidentified sources close to the investigation, reported last month that MLB impeded the Florida investigation.

“MLB investigators knowingly purchased stolen documents in their quest to allow Commissioner Selig to act, for the first time, as if he was tough on PED use in baseball despite striking a cooperation deal with Anthony Bosch who MLB knows is under federal investigation for providing steroids to minors,” Jordan Siev, one of Rodriguez’s lawyers, said in a statement.

MLB repeatedly has denied the accusation.

“The truth continues to be that we did not knowingly purchase stolen documents and there is an active police investigation to determine if the documents were in fact stolen,” the commissioner’s office statement said.

The Miami New Times described Fischer’s panic and then anguish at the theft in a June article:

“In the weeks that followed, Fischer would torture himself about leaving priceless cargo unattended. But the truth was, he didn’t think anyone would have followed him 300 miles from Miami to a storage unit in Ocala and then to Boca Raton. He certainly never imagined a thief would be bold enough to snatch the boxes from his car in such a busy lot.

“He was wrong.”

In this week’s report, Boca Raton police did not detail the documents and made no connection between St. Fleur and the man who later reportedly sold the files to Major League Baseball, Gary Jones.

Fischer worked in the Biogenesis clinic where he contends more than a dozen athletes, most notably Rodriguez, received PEDs from Bosch.