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Whistleblower Successes

Whistleblower reward laws and whistleblower reward programs enable qualifying whistleblowers to recover anywhere from 10 to 30 percent of the government’s recovery. These whistleblower reward laws include: the federal False Claims Act; State False Claims Acts; the Securities and Exchange Commission Whistleblower Program; the Commodity Futures Trading Commission Whistleblower Program; and, the Internal Revenue Service Whistleblower Program. We have collected summaries of recent successes in cases brought by whistleblowers, and you can read them below.

Members of the Constantine Cannon Whistleblower Lawyer Team have served as lead counsel on cases that have recovered roughly $1.3 billion for the government and $240 million in whistleblower awards. You can read more about the results we have achieved for our clients in Our Successes.

If you believe you have information about fraud which could give rise to a claim for a whistleblower reward, please contact us to speak with one of our experienced whistleblower attorneys.

February 14, 2020

Tennessee-based Cookeville Regional Medical Center Authority (CRMC) has agreed to pay $4.1 million to settle allegations of violating the Anti-Kickback Statute, Stark Law, and False Claims Act from 2012 to 2017.  In a qui tam suit that initiated the investigation, an unnamed whistleblower alleged that CRMC submitted claims to Medicare and TennCare that arose from improper financial arrangements with physicians at its wholly owned subsidiary, CRMC MSO-Sub 1, Inc., d/b/a Tennessee Heart.  $3.6 million of the settlement proceeds will go to the United States, $453,000 will go to the State of Tennessee, and $779,000 will go to the whistleblower.  USAO MDTN

February 11, 2020

Tenet Healthcare Corporation and its affiliated hospital, Desert Regional Medical Center, have agreed to pay $1.4 million to settle allegations that they knowingly charged Medicare for medically unnecessary cardiac monitors, in violation of the False Claims Act.  According to former DRMC employee, Michael Grace, the devices were implanted between 2014 to 2017, exposing beneficiaries to unnecessary risk and causing the government unnecessary expenses.  For exposing the fraud, Grace will receive a $240,789 share of the recovery.  DOJ

February 4, 2020

Southeastern Retina Associates (SERA), which operates in parts of Tennessee, Georgia, and Virginia, has agreed to pay $1.5 million and enter into a five-year Corporate Integrity Agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for allegedly defrauding Medicare and Medicaid.  The investigation was launched by a qui tam suit filed by an unnamed whistleblower, which alleged that between 2009 to 2016, the practice improperly billed exams at a higher rate than appropriate, and used a billing code called Modifier 25 to bill for exams that were not separately billable from other services billed the same day.  For exposing the misconduct, the relator in this case will receive a $270,000 share of the settlement.  USAO EDTN

January 31, 2020

A bidder in the sale of a loan from the Department of Energy has agreed to pay $29 million to resolve allegations of colluding to rig the auction of the loan, thus depriving the agency of a fair bidding process and reducing the amount recovered by the agency.  The allegations that Hybrid Tech Holdings LLC, Hybrid Technology LLC, and Ace Strength International LTD exerted pressure on two other bidders to suppress their bids during the live auction were made by whistleblowers William Baldiga and the FAH Liquidating Trust in a qui tam suit.  The relators will share in $5.2 million of the recovery.  DOJ; USAO DC

January 15, 2020

ResMed Corp. has agreed to pay $37.5 million to resolve five whistleblower-brought lawsuits alleging that the durable medical equipment (DME) manufacturer paid illegal kickbacks to suppliers, sleep labs, and other health providers, in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute and False Claims Act.  $6.2 million of the settlement will be split amongst the whistleblowers, who had revealed that ResMed improperly provided or helped provide free or below cost call center services, patient outreach services, medical equipment and installation, and interest-free loans, in exchange for business.  DOJ; USAO EDNY; USAO NC; USAO NDIA; USAO SC; USAO SDCA

January 6, 2020

A now defunct behavioral health clinic, Tree of Life, Inc., and its owners and operators, Ada and Victor Vidal, have agreed to pay $1.65 million to settle a whistleblower's claims that they violated the False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback Statute in claims to Pennsylvania's Medicaid program.  According to Erika Desjardins, the former Clinical Director, Tree of Life billed for therapy sessions where either the patient or therapist could not possibly have attended (in some cases due to a patient’s hospitalization or death), as well as therapy sessions provided by unqualified individuals.  To facilitate the fraud scheme, it created fake records, including forged signatures, and improperly paid a social worker for patient referrals.  As part of the settlement, the Vidals have been excluded from future participation in federal healthcare programs, and Desjardins, who had been fired for reporting internally, will receive $330,000 as their share of the recovery.  USAO EDPA

January 6, 2020

NASA contractor United Paradyne Corporation has agreed to pay $375,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by a former employee, Steven Walker, which alleged the company violated the False Claims Act by submitting claims for work it failed to perform.  According to the settlement agreement, United Paradyne had agreed to fabricate ground support equipment to NASA's Space Launch System (SLS), but failed to maintain certain cleanliness standards and falsely certified to having conformed to NASA's contractual requirements.  For his role exposing the fraud, Walker will receive $75,000.  USAO MDFL

January 3, 2020

Following a qui tam lawsuit alleging fraud against the Post-9/11 GI Bill in violation of the False Claims Act, Caldwell University has agreed to pay more than $4.8 million to the United States.  The alleged misconduct occurred between 2011 and 2013 and involved falsely claiming to the Department of Veterans Affairs that classes were developed and taught by the university, when in fact they were developed and taught by an unapproved subcontractor.  Caldwell had also charged the Post-9/11 GI Bill up to 30 times the prices charged to others for the same courses, leading the government to pay over $24 million in tuition.  USAO NJ

January 2, 2020

Two physicians in the San Diego area have agreed to pay nearly $1 million to settle allegations that they violated the False Claims Act by improperly billing Medicare for care provided by an uncredentialed physician.  The fraudulent conduct by Drs. Mark Smith and Fane Robinson of San Diego Retina Associates was revealed in a qui tam lawsuit by fellow ophthalmologist and former partner, Dr. Atul Jain, who will receive $170,778 of the settlement proceeds.  USAO SDCA

December 19, 2019

The CFTC will pay a $1 million award to an anonymous whistleblower.  The CFTC stated that the whistleblower first provided the information through their employer's internal compliance program to another regulator, and subsequently provided the information directly to the CFTC.  Furthermore, the CFTC stated that the whistleblower was eligible for the award even though they did not identify the exact wrongdoing ultimately charged by the CFTC, because the whistleblower's information led the CFTC directly to evidence in support of the CFTC's claims.  CFTC
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