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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.

April 3, 2014

Kerr-McGee Corp. and its parent Anadarko Petroleum agreed to pay $5.15B to settle charges that Kerr-McGee fraudulently conveyed assets to evade liability for environmental clean-up at contaminated sites around the country. It is the DOJ’s largest environmental enforcement recovery on record.DOJ

March 24, 2014

Vahe Tahmasian, owner and operator of the Hollywood, CA-based durable medical equipment supply company Orthomed Appliance, was found guilty by a federal jury in Los Angeles for his role in a $1.5M Medicare fraud scheme. DOJ

March 19, 2014

Marubeni Corp., a Japanese trading company involved in power generation, pled guilty to violating the anti-bribery provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and agreed to pay a criminal fine of $88M for its participation in a scheme to bribe high-ranking government officials in Indonesia to secure a lucrative power project. DOJ

March 19, 2014

Toyota agreed to pay $1.2B to resolve allegations of criminal wire fraud for misleading consumers by concealing and making deceptive statements about two safety issues affecting its vehicles which caused a type of unintended acceleration. It is the largest penalty of its kind ever imposed on an automotive company. DOJ

March 18, 2014

California attorney Christopher Rusch was sentenced to serve 10 months in prison for helping his clients Stephen M. Kerr and Michael Quiel, both businessmen from Phoenix, hide millions of dollars in secret offshore bank accounts at UBS and Pictet & Cie in Switzerland. DOJ

March 18, 2014

Alex Wisidagama, formerly employed by Glenn Defense Marine Asia, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the US for his role in a scheme to overbill the US Navy for ship husbanding services. His plea is the second in an expanding investigation into acts of alleged fraud and bribery committed by GDMA and several US Navy officers and personnel. DOJ

March 18, 2014

American Family Care Inc., a network of walk-in medical clinics with offices in Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia, agreed to pay $1.2M to resolve allegations under the False Claims Act that it knowingly submitted claims to Medicare for outpatient office visits that were billed at a higher rate than was appropriate. The settlement resolves a qui tam lawsuit filed by a former employee of American Family Care under the whistleblower provision of the False Claims Act. DOJ

March 14, 2014

Isabel Medina, the owner and operator of the Miami medical clinic Merfi Corp., was sentenced to serve 108 months in prison and pay $8.5M for her participation in multiple health care fraud schemes totaling $20M. DOJ

March 13, 2014

Memorial Hospital, the operator of an acute care hospital facility in Ohio, agreed to pay $8.5M to settle claims that it violated the False Claims Act, the Anti-Kickback Statute and the Stark Statute by engaging in improper financial relationships with referring physicians. DOJ

March 12, 2014

A federal jury in Houston convicted two owners of a former Houston mental health care company, Spectrum Care, several of its employees and the owners of certain Houston group care homes for their participation in a $97M Medicare fraud scheme. DOJ
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