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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.

June 20, 2019

Pennsylvania-based Support of Microcomputers Associates (SOMA) has agreed to a $300,000 judgment for violating the False Claims Act and Trade Agreements Act.  The Trade Agreements Act prohibits the sale of computer supplies manufactured in certain countries to some federal agencies, such as the Department of Defense.  However, according to a former SOMA executive’s lawsuit, the company allegedly sold federal agencies computer supplies made in China, Vietnam, and other non-compliant countries.  USAO EDPA

June 20, 2019

Hart to Heart Ambulance Services, d/b/a Hart to Heart Transportation Services, has agreed to pay $1.25 million to settle allegations that it defrauded Medicare by submitting claims for medically unnecessary services, violating the False Claims Act.  Allegations were first brought to the government’s attention by former employee, Bryan Arvey, who alleged that from 2010 to 2017, Hart to Heart management pressured employees to falsify claims for non-emergency ambulance transports, such as hospital discharges.  For aiding in the recovery of public funds, Arvey will receive a share of $251,000.  USAO MD

June 11, 2019

A Maryland-based medical device manufacturer facing criminal charges and civil charges under the False Claims Act has agreed to pay $15 million to settle all claims.  According to former employee and whistleblower John Murtaugh, when the company discovered that its MicroMatrix wound dressing powder was contaminated with high levels of endotoxins, it allegedly removed certain MicroMatrix products off the market, but failed to report the removal to the FDA and disclose the reason to doctors, hospitals, and its own sales representatives.  ACell also allegedly caused false claims to be submitted to federal healthcare programs by directing its sales representatives to market the product as safe and effective, providing coding recommendations designed to elicit higher payments from Medicare, and providing improper inducements to encourage use of its product.  As part of the settlement, Murtaugh will receive $2.3 million, and ACell will enter into a 5-year corporate integrity agreement.  DOJ

June 5, 2019

Opioid manufacturer Insys Therapeutics will pay $225 million to resolve federal criminal and civil claims against it regarding the unlawful marketing of its drug Subsys, including the payment of kickbacks to providers through sham "speaker programs" that rewarded practitioners who increased their Subsys prescribing, as well as jobs for prescribers' relatives and friends, and lavish meals and entertainment.  $195 million of the settlement will be paid to resolve False Claim Act allegations in five separate whistleblower lawsuits in which the government intervened in 2018; the whistleblower reward shares have not yet been determined.  To resolve the criminal claims, Insys will pay $2 million and forfeit $28 million; its operating subsidiary will plead guilty to wire fraud and related charges.  In addition, Insys entered into a five-year Corporate Integrity Agreement and a five-year deferred prosecution agreement. Previously, five former Insys executives were convicted of racketeering in connection with Subsys marketing.  DOJ; USAO Mass

June 3, 2019

Rialto Capital Management LLC (Rialto) and its former affiliate, RL BB-IN KRE LLC (RL BB), have agreed to pay $3.6 million to resolve allegations that a RL BB hospital violated the Anti-Kickback Statute, the Stark Law, and the False Claims Act.  A qui tam lawsuit filed by Dr. Abdul Buridi had revealed that Indiana-based Kentuckiana Medical Center, under Rialto’s direction, had provided personal loans to two referring doctors and then failed to collect on those loans after they became due in full.  Of the $3.6 million recovered, Dr. Buridi will receive $612,000.  DOJ

June 3, 2019

The SEC made a $3 million whistleblower award to be shared by multiple anonymous whistleblowers who jointly submitted a tip to the SEC Whistleblower Program regarding their employer.  The tip, reporting an alleged securities law violation that impacted retail investors, led to a successful enforcement action by the SEC.  The SEC also noted that the whistleblowers had undertaken significant efforts to report the issues internally and seek to have them corrected.  SEC

May 31, 2019

A Kansas hospital accused of submitting false claims to Medicare and Medicaid has agreed to pay $250,000 to settle a qui tam suit by Bashar Awad and Cynthia McKerrigan, with about $50,000 of the recovery going to the whistleblowers.  According to the suit, from 2012 to 2013, Coffey Health System falsely attested to having conducted or reviewed security risk analyses of electronic health records (EHR), which was a requirement under a federal incentive program that pays healthcare providers for adopting certified EHR technology.  USAO KS

May 30, 2019

HyperHeal Hyperbarics, an oxygen therapy facility in Maryland, has agreed to pay over $400,000 to settle whistleblower allegations filed under the False Claims Act.  In their 2016 qui tam suit, former employees Lesa Schrum and Juliette Skelton alleged that from 2013 to 2014, HyperHeal and its part-owner Eric Shapiro billed TRICARE for medically unnecessary services, services performed without physician supervision, or services that weren't ever performed.  As part of the settlement, Schrum and Skelton will receive $74,635.25.  USAO MD

May 30, 2019

Joseph P. Galichia, a cardiologist in Wichita, Kansas, will pay $5.8 million to resolve allegations under the False Claims Act that he and his practice, Galichia Medical Group, P.A., implanted cardiac stents in patients who did not need them, and billed Medicare, the Defense Health Agency, and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program for these medically unnecessary procedures. Galichia will also be excluded from participating in federal healthcare programs for three years. The case was initiated by a whistleblower, Aly Gadalla, M.D., who filed a qui tam complaint.  Dr. Gadalla will receive a whistleblower reward of $1.16 million.  This is the third time Galichia had settled FCA claims against him and his practice. DOJ; USAO Kan

May 29, 2019

Almirall, LLC, f/k/a Aqua Pharmaceuticals, LLC , will pay $3.5 million to settle kickback allegations exposed by a former Aqua sales representative.  According to the whistleblower, the pharmaceutical company paid kickbacks in the form of free meals, trips, gift cards, and gifts, to dermatology providers in exchange for prescriptions of their drugs to Medicare and TRICARE patients.  It also paid kickbacks by compensating healthcare providers for speaking engagements and consulting services. For coming forward with details of the fraud, the unnamed whistleblower will receive a $735,000 share of the recovery.  USAO EDPA
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