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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.

June 30, 2014

Paris-based BNP Paribas S.A. agreed to enter a guilty plea and pay $8.9B for conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the Trading with the Enemy Act by processing billions of dollars of transactions through the U.S. financial system on behalf of Sudanese, Iranian, and Cuban entities subject to U.S. economic sanctions. The agreement by the French bank to plead guilty is the first time a global bank has agreed to plead guilty to large-scale, systematic violations of U.S. economic sanctions. DOJ

June 30, 2014

US Bank agreed to pay the $200M to resolve allegations it violated the False Claims Act by knowingly originating and underwriting mortgage loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) that did not meet applicable requirements. DOJ

June 27, 2014

Riverside Seat Co., Woodbridge Foam Fabricating Inc. and SW Foam LLC, manufacturers of polyurethane foam used to create interior components for automobiles, pleaded guilty to participating in a scheme to fix prices to customers. The companies have agreed to pay a total of $6.1M in criminal fines and to cooperate with the DOJ’s ongoing investigation. DOJ

June 27, 2014

Euridice Borroto, a patient recruiter for a Miami home health care agency pleaded guilty today in connection with a health care fraud scheme involving defunct home health care company Nestor’s Health Services Inc. The owner and operator of Nestor pleaded guilty to charges related to the scheme earlier this month. According to court documents, Borroto solicited and received kickbacks and bribes from Nestor in return for recruiting and providing patients to Nestor for home health care and therapy services that were medically unnecessary or never provided. Borroto acknowledged her involvement in similar fraudulent schemes at other Miami health care agencies. DOJ

June 25, 2014

Omnicare Inc., the nation’s largest provider of pharmaceuticals and pharmacy services to nursing homes, agreed to pay $124M to resolve charges it violated the Anti-Kickback Statute and the False Claims Act by providing improper financial incentives to skilled nursing facilities in return for their continued selection of Omnicare to supply drugs to elderly Medicare and Medicaid patients. The government’s action against Omnicare originated with two lawsuits filed by whistleblowers under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act. The first whistleblower, former Omnicare employee Donald Gale, will receive roughly $17M out of the government’s recovery. Whistleblower Insider

June 23, 2014

Cruz Sonia Collado, the owner and operator of Nestor’s Health Services, a now-defunct Miami home health care agency, pleaded guilty to a $6.5M million health care fraud scheme. According to the government, Collado and her co-conspirators operated Nestor for the purpose of billing Medicare for expensive physical therapy and home health care services that were not medically necessary or never provided. As part of the scheme, Collado allegedly also paid kickbacks and bribes to patient recruiters, in return for those recruiters providing patients to Nestor for these unnecessary or phantom home health care and therapy services. DOJ

June 20, 2014

Valnita Turner and Valdie Jackson, respective owners of the home health agencies Houston Compassionate Care and Jackson Home Healthcare, were sentenced for their roles in a $3M Medicare fraud scheme relating to the purchase of stolen patient information used to submit fraudulent claims to Medicare. Turner and Jackson also were charged with billing Medicare for medically unnecessary home health services never ordered by a doctor. Turner was sentenced to serve 151 months in prison and pay $3M in restitution. Jackson was sentenced to serve 12 months in prison and pay $1.5M in restitution. DOJ

June 19, 2014

Michael Mendoza, president of patient recruiting firm Network Resource Consultant Inc., pleaded guilty for his role in a $205M Medicare fraud scheme. According to court documents, Mendoza made an agreement with Lawrence Duran, owner of American Therapeutic Corporation, a now defunct partial hospitalization program located in Miami, under which Mendoza would refer residents living in assisted living facilities to ATC for medically unnecessary services in exchange for illegal kickbacks. Duran previously pleaded guilty and was sentenced to serve 50 years in prison for his role in orchestrating the fraud scheme. DOJ

June 19, 2014

GE Capital Retail Bank, now known as Synchrony Bank, agreed to a $169M settlement to resolve allegations it engaged in a nationwide scheme to discriminate against Hispanic borrowers by excluding them from two of its credit card debt-repayment programs. The settlement provides $169M in relief to roughly 108,000 borrowers in the form of monetary payments and the reduction, or complete waiver, of borrowers’ credit card balances. DOJ

June 18, 2014

Lizette Garcia, a former office worker at Anna Nursing Services Corp., a now defunct Miami home health care company, pleaded guilty in connection with a $7M health care fraud scheme under which Anna Nursing paid kickbacks and bribes to patient recruiters in return for providing patients to Anna Nursing for home health care and therapy services that were medically unnecessary or never provided. DOJ
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