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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.

May 15, 2014

Marubeni Corporation, a Japanese trading company involved in products and services in a broad range of sectors around the world, including power generation, was sentenced today for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by paying bribes to high-ranking government officials in Indonesia to secure a lucrative power project. The company signed a plea agreement admitting its criminal conduct and agreeing to pay an $88M fine. DOJ

May 14, 2014

Richard Shannon, a patient recruiter for All American and Patient Choice, two home health care companies that provide skilled nursing and physical therapy services to Medicare beneficiaries in the greater Detroit area, was sentenced to 86 months in prison for his role in a $14.5M Medicare fraud scheme. The evidence showed that Shannon paid Medicare beneficiaries to sign blank documents for physical therapy services that were never provided and/or medically unnecessary. Shannon recruited destitute beneficiaries from housing projects and soup kitchens in the Detroit area, obtaining their patient information in exchange for cash and promises of prescription narcotics prescribed by co-conspirator physicians. DOJ

May 14, 2014

Electrolux Home Products agreed to pay a civil penalty of $750,000 to settle allegations that it knowingly failed to report immediately to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) a safety hazard associated with certain wall ovens sold to consumers. DOJ

May 13, 2014

Student loan company Sallie Mae, and its former student loan servicing arm, Navient Solutions, agreed to pay $100M to settle charges that they violated the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) by overcharging military members for student loans. Whistleblower Insider

May 6, 2014

Baptist Health System, the parent company for a network of affiliated hospitals and medical providers in the Jacksonville, Florida area, agreed to pay $2.5M to settle allegations that its subsidiaries violated the False Claims Act by submitting claims to Medicare and Medicaid for medically unnecessary services and drugs. Specifically, the government charged that two neurologists in the Baptist Health network intentionally misdiagnosed patients with various neurological disorders so they could bill the government health care programs for services and drugs they did not actually need. The allegations were first raised in a qui tam lawsuit filed by former Baptist Health employee, Verchetta Wells, under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act. DOJ

May 6, 2014

The owners of Alpha Ambulance Inc. , a now-defunct Los Angeles-area ambulance transportation company, were sentenced for committing Medicare fraud by providing non-emergency ambulance transportation to Medicare beneficiaries whose medical condition at that time did not require ambulance transportation and then altering required documentation to conceal the scheme. DOJ

April 30, 2014

A federal jury in Detroit convicted a physical therapist, physical therapy assistant and unlicensed doctor for their participation in a $15M Medicare fraud scheme at Detroit area companies Physicians Choice Home Health Care, Quantum Home Care, First Care Home Health Care, Moonlite Home Care and Phoenix Visiting Physicians. According to evidence presented at trial, these companies operated a fraudulent scheme to bill Medicare for home health care services that were never provided and paid kickbacks to recruiters who in turn paid Medicare beneficiaries cash and promised them access to narcotic prescriptions. DOJ

April 24, 2014

Monica Patrice Carter, owner of the Baton Rouge pharmacy Community Pharmacy 1, pleaded guilty for directing a $2.2M Medicare fraud scheme where she paid employees of nursing homes and mental health facilities to collect and return unused prescription drugs which her pharmacy then repackaged and redistributed and billed Medicare as if they were being distributed for the first time – effectively billing Medicare twice for the same medications. DOJ

April 23, 2014

Showa Corp., a Japanese automotive parts manufacturer, agreed to plead guilty and pay a $19.9M criminal fine for its role in a conspiracy to fix prices and rig bids for pinion-assist type electric powered steering assemblies installed in cars sold in the US and elsewhere. DOJ

April 9, 2014

Hewlett-Packard Russia agreed to plead guilty to felony violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act for bribing Russian government officials to secure a large technology contract with the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation. In addition, the US entered into criminal resolutions with HP subsidiaries in Poland and Mexico relating to FCPA violations for contracts with Poland’s national police agency and Mexico’s state-owned petroleum company. In total, the three HP entities will pay more than $108M in criminal and regulatory penalties. DOJ
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