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DOJ Enforcement Actions

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, as well as numerous other laws.

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 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 which could give  rise to a claim for a whistleblower reward, please contact us to speak with one of our experienced whistleblower attorneys.

December 5, 2019

Maryland-based internist Noman Thanwy, M.D. has paid over $176,000 to settle allegations of submitting false claims to Medicare for medically unnecessary autonomic nervous function and vestibular function tests.  Although the tests are typically performed only once per beneficiary to confirm diagnoses of relatively uncommon disorders, Dr. Thanwy, who lacked the necessary training and equipment to perform the tests, was allegedly using them to monitor patient symptoms.  USAO MD

December 4, 2019

A subcontractor providing logistical services on a U.S. Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) contract with Anham FZCO has agreed to pay $45 million to resolve criminal obstruction charges and civil False Claims Act allegations.  Anham and Unitrans International Inc. had been accused of failing to comply with contract provisions prohibiting materials used to support U.S. troops in Afghanistan from passing through Iran.  Based on a qui tam suit by whistleblowers Rory Maxwell, John Bush, and Supreme Foodservice GmbH, the two contractors also fraudulently induced contracts with DLA and the Army by falsely certifying compliance with the Iran sanctions and falsely representing the status of another project.  DOJ

December 3, 2019

In the second settlement to come out of a federal investigation into the generic pharmaceutical industry, Rising Pharmaceuticals Inc. has agreed to pay over $4 million to settle civil and criminal charges stemming from violations of the False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback Statute.  In the criminal case, Rising allegedly teamed up with a competing generic drug manufacturer to fix prices and divide up the market for a hypertension drug, Benazepril HCTZ, while in the civil case, the company allegedly paid and received illegal remuneration through similar arrangements with another generic drug manufacturer.  Under the newly signed deferred prosecution agreement, Rising has agreed to cooperate fully with the ongoing investigation.  DOJ; USAO EDPA

December 3, 2019

Weapons manufacturer Capco, LLC has agreed to pay over $1 million to resolve fraud allegations raised by its former quality engineer, James Cole.  According to Cole, from 2016 to 2018, the company knowingly certified that M320 grenade launchers sold to the U.S. Army were manufactured in compliance with contract specifications, when in fact a critical component had been manufactured using the wrong type of steel.  Capco also failed to disclose the issue despite conducting an internal investigation.  For bringing the issue to light, Cole will receive approximately $235,000 of the recovery. USAO CO

December 4, 2019

A small for-profit college and manager accused of defrauding the G.I. Bill program has agreed to pay $120,000 to resolve their liability under the False Claims Act.  New Horizons Spokane and its general manager, Spirit Dorris, admitted to failing to comply with a VA requirement that limited the enrollment of students funded by the G.I. Bill to no more than 85% of any given course. The “85/15 Rule,” as it is known, is meant to ensure that educational courses are offered because of public interest and value and not solely to take advantage of VA funding.  USAO EDWA

November 26, 2019

Boston Heart Diagnostics Corporation will pay $26.7 million to resolve claims that it paid illegal kickbacks to physicians who referred laboratory tests to the company.  Boston Health provided laboratory testing to hospitals in Texas in exchange for per-test payments from the hospitals.  In order to secure more referrals from the hospitals' doctors for its testing services, Boston Health set up "management service organizations" which made payments to referring physicians.  Although these physician payments were disguised as investment returns, they were actually based on, and were provided in exchange for, the physicans' referrals.  In addition, Boston Heart was alleged to have provided other remuneration to referring physicians, including the provision of in-office dieticians, and to have waived patient co-payments and deductibles.  The settlement resolves two different cases brought by  whistleblowers, who will receive $4.36 million from the settlement.  DOJ

November 25, 2019

Two entities agreed to pay a total of $1.2 million to resolve claims that the Puerto Rico Municipality of Sabana Grande improperly subcontracted work to be performed under a grant from the U.S. Dept. of Education to the Puerto Rico Department of Education for teacher training. The grant required that the work could not be performed by private entities, but the municipality subcontracted with and disbursed grant funds to private entity the Puerto Rico Olympic Committee (COPUR), which further subcontracted with the company Administrative, Environmental and Sports Consultants (AESC).  The municipality will pay $500,000, and COPUR agreed to pay $700,000.  In addition, the United States seized more than $1 million from bank accounts belonging to AESC owner Irving Riquel Torres in connection with related criminal proceedings against him.  USAO PR

November 22, 2019

The former president of Transport Logistics International, Mark Lambert, was found guilty of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act for his role in a bribery scheme designed to secure a contract for TLI from JSC Techsnabexport (TENEX), a subsidiary of Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation.  According to the evidence at trial, Lambert worked for years to direct payments to TENEX official Vadim Mikerin, using offshore accounts and creating fake invoices.  Lambert faces five years in prison.  TLI previously agreed to pay a $2 million penalty; Mikerin previously pleaded guilty on related charges.  USAO MD

November 22, 2019

South Korea-based Samsung Heavy Industries Company Ltd. will pay $75 million in a global settlement of allegations that it engaged in an unlawful scheme to bribe government officials in Brazil.  Half of the total settlement, $37.74 million, will be paid to resolve a U.S. criminal action that the company violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act; the other half will be paid either to Brazilian authorities on or before November 25, 2020, or to the U.S.  Samsung was alleged to have paid millions to a Brazil-based intermediary, knowing and intending that those funds would be used to bribe officials at the Brazilian state-owned Petrobras in order to obtain a shipbuilding contract for Samsung.  DOJ; USAO ED VA

November 21, 2019

Jin K. Chung was sentenced to 10 years in prison following his guilty plea on charges related to a foreign exchange trading scam he created and ran.  Chung started two companies, SNC Asset Management, Inc., and SNC Investments, Inc., advertising them as highly successful foreign exchange trading firms and promising investors annual returns between 24% and 36%.  Hundreds of individual investors opened accounts with SNC; Chung deposited their money bank accounts he controlled and sent them phony statements.  In his guilty plea, Chung acknowledged that more than 400 victims lost over $60 million as a result of his scam.  Chung was originally charged in 2009, but not extradited from South Korea until 2019.  USAO ND Cal
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