DOJ Fraud Settlements

The Department of Justice is the principal federal agency authorized to enforce the laws and defend the interests of the United States. As such, it oversees the enforcement of the False Claims Act, the foundation of the American whistleblower system, and by far the most widely used statute by whistleblowers to report corporate fraud and misconduct.

The agency traces its origins to the Judiciary Act of 1789 which created the Office of the Attorney General, and the 1870 Act to Establish the Department of Justice, which established the agency as "an executive department of the government of the United States" with the Attorney General as its head.

The agency is comprised of numerous divisions with the Civil Division and in some instances, the Criminal Division, overseeing investigations and prosecutions under the False Claims Act. The U.S. Attorneys Office of the federal district where the False Claims Act case is filed also plays a key role in False Claims Act enforcement.

Below are summaries of the most recent DOJ settlements or successful resolutions under the False Claims Act as well as other successful prosecutions for fraud and misconduct. If you believe you have information about fraud against the government, including against the Medicare or Medicaid systems, please contact us to speak with one of our experienced whistleblower attorneys.

April 19, 2017 - 

Princess Cruise Lines Ltd. was sentenced to pay a $40 million penalty related to illegal dumping of oil contaminated waste and falsification of official logs in order to conceal the discharges.  It was the largest-ever penalty for crimes involving deliberate vessel pollution.  The court also ordered that a $1 million whistleblower reward be awarded to the British engineer who first reported the illegal discharges to the British Maritime and Coastguard Agency, which in turn provided the evidence to the U.S. Coast Guard. DOJ

April 14, 2017 - 

HSBC Bank agreed to pay roughly $2.1 million to resolve charges it violated the False Claims Act for misconduct in connection with HSBC’s participation in the Small Business Administration (SBA) Express loan program.  According to the government, HSBC sought reimbursement from the SBA without revealing facts suggesting that borrowers submitted false information to HSBC to obtain many of the loans, or the fact that HSBC had included the loans on an internal list of fraudulent or potentially fraudulent loans.  The allegations originated in a whistleblower lawsuit filed under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act.  The whistleblower will receive a yet-to-be-determined whistleblower award from the proceeds of the government’s recovery. DOJ (SDNY)

April 12, 2017 - 

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services agreed to pay roughly $7 million to resolve allegations it violated the False Claims Act in its administration of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). DOJ

April 12, 2017 - 

Peter Novajosky and Kathy Novajosky, doing business as P&K Realty, agreed to pay roughly $35,000 to settle charges of violating the False Claims Act by making false statements to obtain federal funds through the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) housing assistance program.  According to the government, the Novajoskys applied for HUD funding without disclosing the tenant to which the requested funding related was their daughter. DOJ (MDPA)

April 11, 2017 - 

Argentine information technology and consulting firm Sistemas Globales S.A. agreed to pay $1 million to settle charges that it and its corporate affiliates, including U.S. affiliate Globant LLC, violated the False Claims Act and the Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act relating to Globant’s use of B-1 visas for certain of its foreign national employees. DOJ (NDTX)

April 11, 2017 - 

Norman Regional Hospital Authority (d/b/a Norman Regional Health System) and certain employees and physicians of Norman Regional agreed to pay roughly $1.6 million to settle charges of violating the False Claims Act by submitting false claims to Medicare for radiological services performed without the proper supervision by a physician.  The allegations originated in a whistleblower lawsuit filed under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act by former Norman Regional radiologist Dr. Lance Garber.  He will receive a yet-to-be-identified whistleblower award from the proceeds of the government’s recovery. DOJ (WDOK)

April 10, 2017 - 

Kentucky based nursing home operator Prestige Healthcare agreed to pay $995,500 to resolve allegations it violated the False Claims Act with regard to its role in an alleged scheme to falsely bill Medicare for unnecessary genetic testing.  According to the government, Prestige provided genetic testing company Genomix LLC with information on and access to Prestige nursing home patients without ensuring physician orders were obtained for the testing and where Prestige physicians were not aware of and did not agree with the medical necessity of the testing. DOJ (WDWI)

April 10, 2017 - 

The Virginia Department of Social Services agreed to pay roughly $7.1 million to resolve allegations it violated the False Claims Act in its administration of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). DOJ

April 2, 2017 - 

Sanofi-Pasteur agreed to pay roughly $20 million to resolve claims it incorrectly calculated drug prices and thereby overcharged the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for drugs under two contracts between 2002 and 2011. DOJ

March 31, 2017 - 

Tennessee based Exemplary Behavior, LLC and its principal, Andre Anderson, agreed to pay $20,000 to settle allegations they violated the False Claims Act by submitting false claims for payment to the Defense Health Agency’s TRICARE program for the provision of therapy services, including Applied Behavior Analysis (“ABA”) to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (“ASD”).  Specifically, the settlement resolves charges that Exemplary Behavior submitted false claims to TRICARE as a result of their (1) double billing for services rendered; (2) billing for services not rendered by the billing provider; (3) providing group therapy while billing for individual therapy; and (4) billing for services, including ABA therapy, that were not actually provided. DOJ (MDTN)

March 30, 2017 - 

Godwin Oriakhi, owner of five Houston-area home health agencies pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud Medicare and the State of Texas’s Medicaid-funded Home and Community-Based Service and Primary Home Care programs of more than $17 million.  According to his plea, Oriakhi admitted that he, his daughter and co-defendant Idia Oriakhi, and other members of his family owned and operated: Aabraham Blessings LLC, Baptist Home Care Providers Inc., Community Wide Home Health Inc., Four Seasons Home Healthcare Inc. and Kis Med Concepts Inc., and that they obtained patients for these home health agencies by paying illegal kickback payments to patient recruiters and his office employees for hundreds of patient referrals.  Oriakhi also admitted that they paid Medicare and Medicaid patients by cash, check, Western Union and Moneygram for receiving services from his family’s home health agencies in exchange for the ability to use their Medicare and Medicaid numbers to bill the programs for home healthcare. DOJ

March 23, 2017 - 

American University of Beirut agreed to pay $700,000 to resolve allegations it violated the False Claims Act by providing material support to three entities that had been included on the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control’s (“OFAC”) Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (the “SDN List”).  According to the government, the university provided material support to three SDN List entities by (1) providing specialized training on a variety of media topics, and (2) including one of the entities in a database on its public website to connect Non-Governmental Organizations with students and others interested in assisting them. DOJ (SDNY)

March 17, 2017 - 

Houston-Area nurse Charles Esechie pleaded guilty today for his role in a Medicare fraud scheme that resulted in losses to Medicare of more than $5 million.  According to the plea, Esechie worked as a nurse for both Harris County, Texas Hospital District and Baptist Home Care Providers Inc., one of five Houston-area home healthcare agencies owned by Godwin Oriakhi.  Esechie admitted that while he worked at Baptist, he knew that Oriakhi obtained Medicare patients by paying illegal kickback payments to patient recruiters for referring patients to Baptist for home healthcare services that Esechie knew were medically unnecessary and often not provided. DOJ

March 13, 2017 - 

Massachusetts-based Charles River Laboratories International Inc. agreed to pay $1.8 million to settle claims it violated the False Claims Act by improperly charging for labor and other associated costs not actually provided on certain National Institutes of Health contracts relating to the provision of laboratory animals to the NIH. DOJ

March 10, 2017 - 

New York based information technology management software company CA Inc. agreed to pay $45 million to resolve allegations it violated the False Claims Act by making false claims in the negotiation and administration of a General Services Administration contract.  According to the government, CA provided false information about the discounts it gave commercial customers for its software licenses and maintenance services at the time the contract was negotiated and also violated the price reduction clause in the contract by not providing government customers with additional discounts when commercial discounts improved.  The allegations originated a whistleblower lawsuit filed under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act by Dani Shemesh, a former employee of CA Software Israel LTD.  Shemesh will receive a whistleblower award of roughly $10.2 million from the proceeds of the government’s recovery. DOJ

March 10, 2017 - 

Volkswagen AG pleaded guilty to three felony counts charging: (1) conspiracy to defraud the United States, engage in wire fraud, and violate the Clean Air Act; (2) obstruction of justice; and (3) importation of merchandise by means of false statements.  As part of the plea, the company agreed to pay a $2.8 billion penalty as a result of the company’s decade-long scheme to sell diesel vehicles containing software designed to cheat on U.S. emissions tests. DOJ

March 7, 2017 - 

German auto parts maker Kiekert AG agreed to plead guilty and pay a $6.1 million criminal fine for its role in a conspiracy to rig bids of side-door latches and latch minimodules. DOJ

March 7, 2017 - 

Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE Corporation agreed to enter a guilty plea and pay a $430 million penalty for conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act by illegally shipping U.S.-origin items to Iran.  ZTE simultaneously reached settlements with the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) and the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control for a total government payout of $892 million.  In addition, the BIS suspended an additional $300 million which ZTE will pay if it violates the settlement.  See DOJ Press Release.  The settlements relate to ZTE’s shipment of roughly $32 million worth of U.S.-origin items to Iran without obtaining the proper export licenses from the U.S. government.  The products were supplied in connection with two Iranian contracts for the installation of cellular and landline network infrastructure. Whistleblower Insider

March 6, 2017 - 

Simon Hong, owner of Los Angeles-based JH Physical Therapy Inc., was sentenced to 63 months in prison and to pay roughly $2.4 million in restitution, for his role in a $3.4 million Medicare fraud scheme that involved billing for occupational therapy services that were not medically necessary and not provided.   Hong admitted billing Medicare for occupational therapy services when what were provided instead were acupuncture and massage services, not reimbursable by Medicare.  Hong further admitted directing co-conspirator therapists to falsify medical records to make it appear as if the services billed actually had been provided. DOJ

March 6, 2017 - 

New Jersey family doctor Bernard Greenspan was convicted for accepting bribes in exchange for test referrals as part of a long-running scheme operated by Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services LLCDOJ (DNJ)

March 3, 2017 - 

Rex Duruji, an unlicensed medical professional posing as a physician, was convicted for his participation in a $1.3 million Medicare fraud scheme.  The evidence presented at trial showed that Duruji posed as a physician to induce Medicare beneficiaries to sign up for fraudulent home-health services with Koby Home Health that were not actually provided and paid illegal cash kickbacks to the beneficiaries for those claims. DOJ

March 2, 2017 - 

Detroit-area physician Aaron Goldfein pleaded guilty for his role in a $5.4 million Medicare fraud scheme involving phony physician visits and drug prescriptions.  As part of his plea, Goldfein admitted to being part of a scheme in which his co-conspirators would hold themselves out as licensed physicians and purport to perform physician home visits and other services for Medicare beneficiaries, although these co-conspirators were not licensed to practice medicine in Michigan.  Goldfein would then bill Medicare through Tri-City Medical Center as if he himself had completed these visits.  Goldfein also admitted to being part of a scheme in which he received kickbacks in exchange for writing home health prescriptions. DOJ

March 2, 2017 - 

Miami residents Mildrey Gonzalez and Milka Alfaro pleaded guilty to fraud charges stemming from their roles in a $20 million home health care fraud scheme.  Gonzalez and Alfaro were co-owners of seven home health care agencies:  Inar Home Care Service Corp., MA Home Health Inc., Golden Home Health Care Inc., Nova Home Health Care Inc., Finetech Home Health Inc., Homestead Home Health Care LLC and Metro Dade Home Health Inc.  Gonzalez and Alfaro admitted paying bribes and kickbacks to medical professionals in return for the provision of prescriptions for home health care services and referrals of Medicare beneficiaries to their home health care agencies. DOJ

March 1, 2017 - 

ATCH, LLC (d/b/a G-MART) and ALI ASGHAR KHAN agreed to pay $65,000 to settle allegations they violated the False Claims Act by submitting false claims under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to the Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service which was established to provide food to low-income individuals through approved retail food stores. DOJ (WDOK)

March 1, 2017 - 

Florida-based information technology company People, Technology and Processes, LLC and the company’s CEO and CFO, Victor Buonamia and Nicole Buonamia, agreed to pay $320,000 to resolve allegations they violated the False Claims Act by submitting improper invoices for work allegedly performed for the United States in support of the U.S. Army in Afghanistan.  The allegations originated in a whistleblower lawsuit filed under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act by former company employee Aidan Tamer Toprakci.  He will receive a whistleblower award of roughly $64,000 from the proceeds of the government’s recovery. DOJ (MDFL)