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Whistleblower Successes

Whistleblower reward laws and whistleblower reward programs enable qualifying whistleblowers to recover anywhere from 10 to 30 percent of the government’s recovery. These whistleblower reward laws include: the federal False Claims Act; State False Claims Acts; the Securities and Exchange Commission Whistleblower Program; the Commodity Futures Trading Commission Whistleblower Program; and, the Internal Revenue Service Whistleblower Program. We have collected summaries of recent successes in cases brought by whistleblowers, and you can read them below.

Members of the Constantine Cannon Whistleblower Lawyer Team have served as lead counsel on cases that have recovered roughly $1.3 billion for the government and $240 million in whistleblower awards. You can read more about the results we have achieved for our clients in Our Successes.

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.

July 1, 2020

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation will pay a total of $678 million to resolve a case brought by a whistleblower, Oswald Bilotta, alleging that between 2002 and 2011 the pharmaceutical company violated the Anti-Kickback Statute and False Claims Act by providing doctors with cash payments and luxury travel and meals to induce them to prescribe Novartis cardiovascular and diabetes drugs reimbursed by federal healthcare programs.  The total settlement consists of $591.4 million as federal FCA damages, $48.2 million as state FCA damages for Medicaid false claims, and $38.4 million as forfeiture under the Anti-Kickback Statute.  The whistleblower award has not yet been determined.  In addition to the monetary settlement, Novartis entered into a Corporate Integrity Agreement obligating the company to, among other things, significantly reduce its volume and spending on paid speaker programs.  DOJ; USAO SDNY

June 25, 2020

Georgia-based Piedmont Healthcare, Inc. has agreed to pay $16 million to resolve whistleblower-brought allegations that it violated the Anti-Kickback Statute and False Claims Act.  The relator in this case, a former Piedmont physician, alleged that between 2009 and 2013, Piedmont’s case managers overturned physician recommendations for outpatient care by submitting claims for more expensive inpatient care to Medicare and Medicaid.  Furthermore, when the healthcare system acquired the Atlanta Cardiology Group in 2007, it allegedly paid far above fair market value for a catherization lab that was partly owned by the practice group.  For bringing a successful enforcement action, the unnamed relator will receive a share of nearly $3 million of the settlement proceeds. USAO SDGA

June 9, 2020

An unnamed whistleblower has been awarded $6 million for providing what the CFTC called specific, credible, and timely information that ultimately led to a successful enforcement action.  Since the agency’s whistleblower program was started in 2014, the CFTC has recovered nearly $900 million through whistleblower tips, and has awarded over $110 million to the whistleblowers involved with those recoveries.  CFTC

June 5, 2020

Alaska Neurology Center LLC and its owner, Franklin Ellenson, M.D., have agreed to pay $2 million and enter into a three-year Integrity Agreement to resolve allegations of submitting false claims to federal healthcare programs between 2013 to 2­018.  A whistleblower complaint revealed the defendants had engaged in a bevy of fraudulent billing schemes, including using false dates to bypass caps in reimbursement, billing for services provided by unqualified personnel, billing for non-reimbursable services, using multiple billing codes for procedures covered by a single code, using false names for providers, and resubmitting already rejected claims using false service or diagnosis information.  The whistleblower in this case will receive a relator’s share of $380,000.  USAO AK

June 4, 2020

A whistleblower has been awarded $50 million in what is the largest amount ever awarded to a single person in the history of the SEC’s whistleblower program.  According to the SEC’s press release, the successful enforcement action that resulted from the unnamed individual’s tip allowed harmed investors to recover a significant amount of money.  SEC

June 2, 2020

An Oklahoma-based contractor and its corporate affiliates have agreed to pay $2.8 million to settle allegations of violating the False Claims Act in connection with federal contracts intended for disadvantaged small businesses.  In order to qualify as a small business, the Ross Group Construction Corporation created two companies, PentaCon LLC and C3 LLC, to bid on and obtain the contracts and falsely represented to the Small Business Administration the full extent of their affiliation.  The scheme was eventually revealed in qui tam case filed by Southwind Construction Services, LLC; the company will receive a relator’s share of approximately $520,000.  DOJ; USAO WDOK

May 4, 2020

Two New York construction companies and their associates have agreed to pay $4.5 million to resolve allegations of defrauding the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and exploiting federal contracting opportunities reserved for veteran-owned small businesses and small businesses located in historically underutilized business zones (HUBZones).  Northland Associates, Inc., its president James Tyler, The Diverse Construction Group, and bond agent Rose & Kiernan Inc. allegedly failed to disclose and took steps to conceal the extent to which Diverse, which is 51% vetern-owned and 49% owned by senior Northland officials, took direction from Northland.  The government’s investigation was triggered by whistleblower lawsuits; the whistleblowers in this case will receive $1 million of settlement proceeds.  USAO SDNY

May 4, 2020

The SEC has granted a nearly $2 million award to a whistleblower whose early tip allowed the agency to freeze assets associated with fraudulent conduct, prevent the dissipation of investor funds and allow investors to recover most of their money.  The whistleblower’s tip also ultimately led to a successful enforcement action.  SEC
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