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May 10, 2021

The University of Miami, which operates multiple hospitals and other healthcare facilities, will pay $22 million to resolve claims arising from allegedly fraudulent billing submitted to federal healthcare programs for laboratory services.  The university was alleged to have billed certain laboratory tests as having been provided at hospital facilities instead of at physician offices, without satisfying the requirements for that more costly hospital facility billing, including notice requirements.  In addition, the university was alleged to have performed and billed for a pre-set panel of tests for all kidney transplant patients, although not all included tests were medically necessary.  Finally, the university and Jackson Memorial Hospital, which jointly operated the kidney transplant program, were alleged to have violated related party restrictions by billing for pre-transplant laboratory tests ordered by JMH from the university, and JMH will pay an additional $1.1 million to settle these allegations.  The settlement resolves claims made in three separate qui tam lawsuits; the whistleblower's share has not yet been determined.  DOJ; USAO SD FL

May 5, 2021

Neurosurgical Associates, LTD and Dignity Health, d/b/a St. Joseph’s Hospital, have agreed to a $10 million settlement and five-year corporate integrity agreement to resolve allegations of violating the federal False Claims Act.  According to whistleblower Dr. Bruce P. Kingsley, Neurological Associates and St. Joseph’s Hospital improperly billed Medicare for certain doubly and triply concurrent and overlapping surgeries.  USAO AZ

May 4, 2021

Delaware-based pharmaceutical company Incyte Corporation has agreed to pay $12.6 million to resolve allegations of violating the Anti-Kickback Statute and False Claims Act in connection with its myelofibrosis drug, Jafaki.  Despite federal laws against illegal remuneration to federal healthcare program beneficiaries, Incyte allegedly wielded its influence as the sole donor of a foundation to coerce the foundation into illegally covering the copays of Medicare and TRICARE patients taking Jafaki.  The misconduct continued from 2011 through 2014 before it was revealed in a qui tam suit by former compliance executive turned whistleblower, Justin Dillon.  Dillon will receive approximately $3.59 million for his efforts.  DOJ; USAO EDPA

May 4, 2021

After being convicted of running a $11 million healthcare fraud scheme, Brenda Rodriguez, the owner and operator of Texas-based QC Medical Clinic, has been ordered to spend 25 years in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release.  As shown by evidence presented at trial, Rodriguez’s scheme involved paying doctors to approve Medicare beneficiaries for home health services, selling the approvals to various home health providers, and causing the providers to bill Medicare for services that were medically unnecessary, never provided, and/or arose from illegal inducements.  USAO SDTX

May 3, 2021

Two medical device distributorships, Medical Designs LLC and Sicage LLC, and their neurosurgeon owner, Wilson Asfora, have agreed to pay $4.4 million to resolve allegations of illegally inducing the use of certain medical devices, submitting false claims to federal healthcare programs for medically unnecessary procedures, and failing to disclose Asfora’s ownership interests or illegal payments made to him.  The settlement was not the first involving Asfora; the United States previously settled with Sanford Health for $20.25 million and Medtronic for $9.21 million on similar claims.  The whistleblowers in this case, Drs. Carl Dustin Bechtold and Bryan Wellman, will receive a $800,000 share of the settlement proceeds, while the defendants will all be excluded from participating in federal healthcare programs for six years.  DOJ; USAO SD

May 3, 2021

Vivint Smart Home Inc., which sells “smart” home security and monitoring systems through a door-to-door sales force, has agreed to settle for $20 million in the largest civil penalty ever paid to resolve violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).  According to the DOJ, Vivint’s lack of an Identity Theft Prevention Program allowed its sales force to fraudulently obtain credit reports of unsuspecting consumers in order to complete sales to potential Vivint customers who failed required credit checks.  Vivint then allegedly sold debt from Vivint customers who defaulted to debt collectors who attempted to collect from the unsuspecting victims.  Vivint recently paid $3.2 million to settle charges involving a different scheme.  DOJ

April 30, 2020

CareCloud Health, Inc. has agreed to pay $3.8 million to settle kickback allegations involving sales of its electronic health records (EHR) software products and related services.  In a qui tam suit filed by Ada de la Vega, the whistleblower alleged that between 2012 and 2017, CareCloud offered and provided existing clients improper incentives, including cash bonuses and equivalent credits, to recommend their product to prospective clients.  For her role in the successful enforcement action, de la Vega will receive a relator’s share of over $800,000.  USAO SDFL

April 30, 2020

The owner of dog training school Universal K-9, Inc., Bradley Lane Croft, has been sentenced to nearly 10 years in prison for defrauding the Veteran Administration’s GI Bill program of more than $1.5 million in connection with 185 fraudulent claims relating to 132 veterans.  Croft had been found guilty of providing false information on instructor names, certifications, and training to the Texas Veterans Commission, laundering money, and submitting fraudulent income tax returns for 2016 and 2017.  USAO WDTX

April 29, 2021

Following a self-disclosure, software company SAP SE will pay penalties totaling over $8 million and disgorge over $5 million to resolve claims that it violated Export Administration Regulations and the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations. Between 2010 and 2017, SAP and its partners and subsidiaries released U.S-origin software to users located in Iran and permitted Iranian users to access U.S.-based cloud services from Iran.  In both cases, SAP executives were aware of the issues but did not take steps to remedy or stop them.  SAP also entered into a non-prosecution agreement setting forth specific compliance procedures.  DOJ; USAO Mass; OFAC; Commerce

April 29, 2021

California-based Tungsten Heavy Powder, Inc. (THP) has agreed to pay over $5.6 million to resolve a qui tam lawsuit by former employee Gregory Caputo and Global Tungsten & Powders Corporation.  In violation of the False Claims Act, THP allegedly falsely certified that certain defense articles procured by the Israeli government and financed by U.S. grant funds were sourced from and manufactured in the United States, when instead they were sourced from China and manufactured in Mexico.  For bringing the lawsuit, Caputo will receive a 17% share of the settlement proceeds.  USAO SDCA
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