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Whistleblower Group

This archive page contains posts by the Whistleblower Practice Group.  For all Whistleblower pages, please see: 

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November 15, 2019

Compounding pharmacy Midwest Compounders, Inc., and its owner Troy DeLong, agreed to pay $205,000 to resolve allegations that they submitted false claims to Tricare for prescriptions that resulted from unlawful arrangements between the pharmacy and prescribers or marketers, or otherwise overbilled for medically unnecessary dosages or redundant active ingredients.  The allegations were first made in a qui tam case filed by a whistleblower under the False Claims Act.  USAO ND Iowa

November 15, 2019

Three whistleblowers who jointly submitted a tip to the SEC were awarded $260,000.  The information provided by the unidentified whistleblowers lead to a successful enforcement action against a fraud that targeted retail investors.  The whistleblowers were reported to be investors who were themselves harmed by the conduct.  SEC

November 15, 2019

California healthcare system Sutter Health, its hospital the Sutter Memorial Center Sacramento, and the Sacramento Cardiovascular Surgeons Medical Group, Inc., will pay a total of $43.12 million to resolve allegations that the entities violated the Stark Law and improperly double-billed Medicare.  Specifically, Sutter Memorial will pay $30.5 million to resolve charges of wrongfully billing Medicare for services referred to the hospital by Sac Cardio, with whom the hospital maintained improper financial arrangements that overcompensated the Sac Cardio physicians.  In addition, Sutter will pay $15.12 million to resolve allegations that it paid physicians compensation at rates that exceeded fair market value, leased office space to them at below-market rates, and reimbursed them for expenses at inflated rates.  In addition to the Stark Law violations, the settlement also resolved allegations that Sac Cardio submitted duplicative bills for physician assistant services (Sac Cardio will pay $500,000 to resolve these claims), and allegations that several Sutter ambulatory surgical centers had double-billed Medicare for radiological services that had actually been provided, and billed for, by a separate entity.  DOJ reported that allegations against Sutter Memorial and Sac Cardio were first made in a qui tam lawsuit brought by Laurie Hanvey, who will receive $5.9 million from the settlement, and that Sutter Health self-disclosed other conduct at issue in the settlement. DOJ; USAO ED Cal

CFTC Whistleblower Program Annual Report Shows Program Open for Business, yet Challenges Persist

Posted  11/15/19
Screenshot of CFTC Whistleblower Program web page
Fifteen million dollars is how much the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Whistleblower Program paid whistleblowers in FY 2019 according to the agency’s annual report to Congress.  This amount includes:
  • $7 million to one individual whistleblower;
  • Over $2 million to a non-insider whistleblower who provided independent analysis of market data; and,
  • Close to $1.5 million to a...

Catch of the Week – B&H Photo Video Sued by NY State for Tax Fraud

Posted  11/15/19
Modern mobile devices
This week’s Catch of the Week brings us back to the Big Apple, where New York Attorney General Letitia James joined a whistleblower lawsuit yesterday accusing the nation’s largest non-chain photo and video equipment retailer, B&H Photo Video, of tax fraud. The suit claims that long-time camera and electronics retailer B&H, which had more than $3 billion in revenue last year, knowingly failed to pay over $7...

November 14, 2019

Veritaseum, Inc. and Veritaseum, LLC, together with their owner Reginald Middleton, agreed to pay $9.5 million to resolve claims of fraudulent conduct in their VERI Initial Coin Offering. Defendants were alleged to have misrepresented the potential profitability and viability of Veritaseum's purported operations, the use of funds raised in the VERI ICO, and the amount of funds raised in the VERI ICO.  Middleton was further alleged to have engaged in conduct to manipulate the price of VERI.  Defendants will disgorge $7.9 million in gains, plus interest, and Middleton will pay a $1 million civil penalty.  SEC

November 14, 2019

Following a guilty plea in 2018, Sandra Haar was sentenced to five years in prison and has agreed to sell 13 properties, including former clinic properties, to resolve civil claims under the False Claims Act that she and the non-profit provider of health and dental services she ran, Horisons Unlimited, submitted fraudulent claims to Medi-Cal, including claims for services rendered by unlicensed providers, claims for services that were not rendered at all, and claims for unnecessary services. Haar was also alleged to have received thousands in kickbacks from a laboratory in exchange for sending Horisons patients to the lab. Haar will be excluded from Medicare participation for 20 years; the former Horisons CFO, Norman Haar, will be excluded for 15 years.  USAO ED Cal

November 13, 2019

Vibra Healthcare, LLC and related entities, which operate freestanding acute medical rehabilitation hospitals and long term acute care hospitals nationwide, will pay $6.25 million to resolve allegations that Highlands Rehabilitation Hospital in El Paso, Texas, which was operated by Vibra, submitted false claims to Medicare.  Specifically, Vibra was alleged to have billed for services that did not meet conditions of payment, including requirements that inpatient rehabilitation facilities provide an intensive level of services to patients.  The case was initiated by a qui tam complaint filed by Thomas A. FlorenUSAO WDTex

November 13, 2019

Construction company ABS Development Corporation will pay $2.8 million, and give up $16 million in potential administrative claims, to resolve government charges that it secured a contract reserved for U.S. companies to renovate a U.S. Army shipyard in Haifa, Israel, by falsely representing that it would perform the work when, in fact, ABS knew that work would be performed by its Israeli parent company, Ashtrom International, Ltd.  After being awarded the contract, ABS submitted false claims certifiying that it was performing the work as the prime contractor even though the work was being performed by Ashtrom.  DOJ

November 13, 2019

The Louisiana Department of Health, which manages Louisiana’s Medicaid program, will pay $13.42 million to the federal government to resolve allegations that the state submitted false claims for federal share reimbursement of state Medicaid expenditures for long-term nursing care and hospice care.  The federal government alleged that in anticipation of a reduction in federal payments for such services, the state agency directed its healthcare contractor, Molina Medical Solutions, to pre-bill for nursing home and hospice services in order to receive funds at the existing higher rates.   DOJ
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