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January 14, 2021

Toyota Motor Company and its affiliates have agreed to pay a $180 million penalty and undertake compliance efforts to resolve civil claims of violations of the Clean Air Act.  In a consent judgment, Toyota admitted that between 2005 and 2015, it failed to timely submit required reports regarding defects in emissions control systems and recalls to repair emissions systems defects, and failed to even implement systems designed to determine whether such reports were required, despite objections from Toyota staff.  As a result, Toyota avoided disclosure of emission systems defects.  DOJ

January 8, 2021

Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft entered into a deferred prosecution agreement and agreed to pay over $130 million to resolve charges that the financial services company violated the FCPA and engaged in a commodities fraud scheme.  The SEC charged that Deutsche Bank made payments to individuals including foreign officials, their relatives, and their associates as third-party intermediaries and consultants to obtain and retain global business, and lacked sufficient internal accounting controls related to the use and payment of such intermediaries, resulting in millions in bribe payments or payments for unknown, undocumented, or unauthorized services that were inaccurately recorded as legitimate business expenses with documentation falsified by Deutsche Bank employees. The agreed payment represents a $79.6 million criminal penalty and $43.3 million in disgorgement in prejudgment interest to the SEC.   Separately, in connection with a spoofing scheme undertaken by Deutsche precious metals traders in New York, Singapore, and London the bank agreed to a total of $7.5 million in criminal penalties, disgorgement, and restitution, the penalty amount of which will be credited against a 2018 $30 million CFTC civil penalty for substantially the same conduct.   SEC; DOJ

January 7, 2021

The Boeing Company entered into a deferred prosecution agreement regarding charges arising from its misrepresentations to the FAA about components of the Boeing 737 MAX.    As part of the agreement, Boeing will pay over $2.5 billion, consisting of a $243.6 million criminal penalty, $1.77 billion in compensation to 737 Max purchasers, and the establishment of a $500 million crash-victim beneficiaries fund to compensate the heirs, relatives, and legal beneficiaries of the passengers killed on Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302. In addition, Boeing admitted that the company concealed information about changes to the 737 MAX’s Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) from the FAA’s Airplane Evaluation Group, resulting in the FAA AEG approving the plane without reference to the MCAS system, depriving pilots of information about the MCAS changes.  Boeing also admitted continuing to conceal information about MCAS from the FAA after the Lion Air crash.  In addition to the monetary penalties, Boeing agreed to strengthen its compliance programs.  DOJ

January 6, 2020

Exceltox, a genetic testing laboratory in California, has agreed to pay $357,584 to resolve allegations of submitting false claims to Medicare over two months in 2015.  With the help of a New Jersey-based contractor named Seth Rehfuss, Exceltox allegedly performed genetic tests on seniors in New Jersey-based senior housing complexes without proper orders from a treating physician, then submitted claims to Medicare for these tests.  For his role in the fraud, Rehfuss was sentenced to over 4 years in prison in 2019.  USAO NJ

January 6, 2021

Utah-based smart home monitoring service provider Vivint Smart Home Inc. has agreed to pay $3.2 million to resolve allegations of making false and misleading statements to federally funded institutions, in violation of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA).  In order to sell Vivant products, certain door-to-door sales representatives allegedly used their own funds to cover initial payments for customers who needed financing from federally funded institutions, while representing to those institutions that the borrowers themselves had made the payments.  The fraudulent conduct, which occurred between 2017 and 2020, was eventually revealed by a declarant, who will be eligible for an award under the Financial Institutions Anti-Fraud Enforcement Act.  DOJ; USAO UT

January 4, 2021

Georgia-based ready-mix concrete company Argos USA LLC entered into a settlement admitting that between 2010 and 2016 it conspired to fix prices, rig bids, and allocate the market for ready-mix concrete in Georgia and elsewhere.  As part of a deferred prosecution agreement, Argos will pay a $20 million criminal penalty, institute a compliance program, and cooperate in ongoing investigations.  The unlawful actions included coordinated issuance of price-increase letters, the allocation of specific ready-mix jobs in the coastal Georgia area, the imposition of fuel surcharges and environmental fees, and the submission of bids at collusive and noncompetitive prices.  DOJ

January 4, 2021

Three providers, James P. Anderson, as owner of Affiliated Neurologists, PLC; Charles F. Spencer, as owner of Total Family Physicians Center PLLC; and Mitchell P. Shea, as owner of Chiro2Med of Tennessee P.C., have agreed to pay the United States and Tennessee a total of $1.72 million to resolve allegations under the False Claims Act for improperly billing Medicare and TennCare for “P-Stim” electro-acupuncture devices that do not qualify for reimbursement.  The defendants billed for the disposable P-Stim devices using a code reserved for neurostimulator devices that are implanted during a surgical procedure. USAO MDTN

December 31, 2020

Department of Veterans Affairs contractor TriWest Healthcare Alliance Corp. has agreed to pay $179.7 million to resolve allegations that it improperly retained overpayments received from the VA.  TriWest administered portions of VA’s former Veterans Choice Program and its Patient-Centered Community Care Program (PC3), which enable veterans to obtain VA-paid healthcare from private providers.  At times, VA allegedly paid TriWest twice for the same services, or paid for services for which TriWest received full or partial reimbursement from other healthcare providers, and TriWest failed to return those overpayments.  DOJ

December 21, 2020

DME provider Apria Healthcare Group, Inc. and April Healthcare LLC will pay $40.5 million to settle allegations brought in a qui tam action filed by three former Apria employees that they improperly billed government healthcare programs for beneficiary rentals of non-invasive ventilators (“NIVs”) that were not medically necessary or which were provided with improper waivers of patient co-payments.  Medicare pays as much as $1,400 a month for NIVs, and providers are required to monitor patient usage of NIVs and stop billing when the NIVs are no longer being used.  Apria respiratory therapists did not, however, failed to monitor patient NIV usage and even when Apria knew that patients were no longer using the NIVs, Apria often did not take steps to stop seeking payment.  In addition, April sales staff steered doctors and beneficiaries to use NIVs when less-expensive alternatives were available, and routinely waived co-payments for NIV patients without making an assessment of the patient’s financial need.  USAO SDNY

December 21, 2020

Substance abuse treatment provider A.R.E.B.A.-CASRIEL, Inc. d/b/a Addiction Care Interventions Chemical Dependency Treatment Centers (“ACI”) and its owner, Steven Yohay, agreed to pay a total of $6 million to resolve federal and New York state claims that they defrauded Medicaid including through the payment of kickbacks and other fraudulent conduct in connection with the enrollment of Medicaid beneficiaries into ACI’s inpatient treatment program.  Defendants allegedly employed drivers who were compensated in part based on the number of patients they recruited, to target homeless individuals to enroll in ACI’s inpatient treatment program by offering food, cash, and money to purchase drugs, and/or alcohol. In addition, ACI unlawfully paid a patient recruiter, and enrolled Medicaid patients who had not been evaluated by a qualified healthcare professional, including by copying a physician’s signature.  The government’s investigation was initiated by a whistleblower complaint filed by a former employee, who will receive an undisclosed amount of the settlement.  USAO SDNY; NY
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