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Operation Brace Yourself Nets $20M Settlement with DME Fraudster

Posted  02/9/21
stethoscope and blood pressure
This week, the Department of Justice announced it had reached a $20.3 million settlement with a Florida businesswoman who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and filing a false tax return.  The settlement resolved allegations that the woman, Kelly Wolfe, participated in a scheme to defraud Medicare by filling sham prescriptions for Durable Medical Equipment (DME) like back, ankle, knee, and wrist...

Therakos Settlement Keeps Private Equity in DOJ’s Crosshairs for FCA Liability

Posted  12/4/20
durable medical equipment fraud whistleblower
On November 19th the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced an $11.5 million settlement involving the alleged promotion of two drug-device systems for unapproved uses by Therakos, Inc.  The action was initiated by a whistleblower under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act. The settling defendants included Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Medical Device Business Services, Inc. and The Gores...

Catch of the Week: 345 Charged in $6 Billion National Health Care Fraud and Opioid Takedown

Posted  10/2/20
Paper Ripped Uncovering Medical Necessity Wording
In the largest health care fraud and opioid enforcement action in the Justice Department’s history, 345 defendants—including more than 100 doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals—face charges for submitting over $6 billion in false or fraudulent claims to federal and private insurers.  Defendants stand accused of submitting $4.5 billion in fraudulent claims linked to telemedicine, $845 million...

Catch of the Week: Colorado Neurosurgeon and His Three Companies Settle Spinal Implant Kickback Claims for $2.35M

Posted  02/14/20
skeleton of a spine
This edition of our Catch of the Week series features the successful resolution of a whistleblower suit against neurosurgeon Dr. William Choi and three companies he owned.  The defendants agreed to pay the United States $2.35 million to resolve allegations that, for over five years, Dr. Choi received illegal kickbacks from spinal implant device distributors for devices he used in surgeries. The kickbacks rendered...

Catch of the Week: ResMed Pays $37.5 Million to Settle Five Qui Tam Cases Alleging Kickbacks

Posted  01/16/20
Pizza cut into wedges
Sleep apnea equipment manufacturer ResMed agreed to pay $37.5 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback Statute by providing unlawful remuneration to durable medical equipment distributors, sleep labs, doctors, and other healthcare providers.  It seems that ResMed’s kickback schemes struck many people as wrong: the settlement resolves five separate cases brought by...

Catch of the Week — Wound Care Device Manufacturer ACell Inc.

Posted  06/14/19
Nurse Wrapping a Wound on Mans Wrist
Our Catch of the Week goes to ACell Inc., a Maryland-based medical device manufacturer that pleaded guilty to violating the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) by failing to report that it had partially removed its wound-care product, MicroMatrix, from the market because it was contaminated with endotoxins, placing treated patients in danger of serious infection, even death, without informing the FDA that it...

DOJ Announces Criminal Indictments in International Health Care Fraud Scheme that Caused $1.2 Billion in Medicare Losses

Posted  04/12/19
doctor adjusting patients knee brace
The U.S. Department of Justice announced this week that it had issued criminal indictments against two dozen individuals in one of the largest health care fraud schemes in U.S. history. The indictments target an alleged scheme involving the payment of illegal kickbacks and bribes by durable medical equipment (DME) companies in exchange for the referral of Medicare beneficiaries by doctors working with fraudulent...

Top Ten Healthcare Recoveries of 2018

Posted  01/15/19
Consistent with the trend in prior years, the bulk of the Justice Department’s fraud and false claims recoveries in 2018 stemmed from healthcare fraud matters. And again, most of the funds recovered arose from cases originated by whistleblowers under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act. Here are the top ten healthcare recoveries of 2018 by the numbers:
    1. Amerisource Bergen Corporation - In...

Catch of the Week -- AngioDynamics

Posted  07/20/18
This week's Department of Justice "Catch of the Week" goes to New York-based medical device maker AngioDynamics, Inc. On Wednesday, the company agreed to pay $12.5 million to resolve allegations it violated the False Claims Act by making false and misleading promotional claims about the LC Bead and Perforator Vein Ablation Kit (PVAK) medical devices. Angio served as the U.S. distributor for Biocompatibles plc, the...

Three Sentenced To Prison For Fraudulent Sales of Laser Devices to Seniors

Posted  04/24/18
Three individuals were sentenced to prison for their fraudulent marketing and sale of light-emitting medical devices to elderly consumers.  Robert “Larry” Lytle, the leader of the scheme, was sentenced to 12 years in prison; Ronald D. Weir Jr. was sentenced to 24 months in prison; and Irina Kossovskaia was sentenced to 15 months in prison.  See DOJ Press Release. As part of his guilty plea, Lytle admitted...
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