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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.

December 11, 2018

A New York-based audiology practice has agreed to pay $566,263.08 in connection with alleged violations of the False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback Statute. According to an unnamed whistleblower, Oviatt Hearing and Balance, LLC improperly billed Medicare and TRICARE for services rendered by unlicensed and unsupervised employees, as well as provided inappropriate inducements in the form of free iPads, Butterball turkeys, and gift cards, to Medicare and TRICARE beneficiaries to get them to choose Oviatt over other providers. For their role in exposing the fraud, the whistleblower stands to receive a relator's share of $120,000. USAO NDNY

December 11, 2018

Target Corp. will pay $3 million to settle allegations that it improperly billed and received payments from the state’s Medicaid program (MassHealth). Between August 2009 and July 2015, at their Massachusetts locations, Target allowed auto-refills on prescriptions that were not clearly requested by a MassHealth patient or caregiver at the time of refill. The investigation arose from a qui tam action by an unnamed whistleblower in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota. Mass AG   Tags: Medical Billing fraud, HealthCare Fraud, Pharma Fraud, Medicaid, FCA State, Whistleblower Case, Whistleblower reward  

December 4, 2018

In connection with fraud involving two medical devices, Covidien and ev3 Inc. have agreed to pay a total of $31 million to resolve allegations of violating the False Claims Act. According to whistleblower and former employee of Covidien, Jeffrey Faatz, sister company ev3 Inc.'s Onyx Liquid Embolic System was only FDA approved for use within the brain, but was allegedly being marketed to surgeons for use outside the brain. Furthermore, ev3 reportedly incentivized its sales representatives to sell the device for unapproved purposes by setting up sales quotas and bonuses, and did so even as FDA officials expressed safety concerns to the company's executives. Separately, Covidien was accused of paying kickbacks to hospitals to induce use of its Solitaire mechanical thrombectomy device, causing false claims to be submitted to Medicare and Medicaid. For blowing the whistle on this case, Faatz will receive a relator's share of $2 million. DOJ; USAO CDCA; USAO SDFL; USAO MA

December 4, 2018

Dermatology Associates of Central New York, PLLC has agreed to pay $811,196.88 to settle claims that it overcharged Medicaid, Medicare, and TRICARE by falsely submitting claims under physicians' names, in violation of both the federal and New York False Claims Acts. A whistleblower complaint revealed that many of the physicians named on invoices were not in the office the day care was provided and could not have supervised in the rendering of services, and that some of the non-physician practitioners who provided care were not licensed to do so in the state of New York. As a result of bringing the fraud to light, the unnamed whistleblower will receive $138,000. USAO NDNY

December 4, 2018

Medical device-maker LivaNova USA, Inc. has agreed to pay $1.87 million to resolve claims that it paid improper kickbacks to physicians who were among the largest referrers of patients for LivaNova's implanted epilepsy device.  The payments took the form of "speaking fees" for the doctors, although the doctors who received them were primarily speaking to their own staffs.  Ashley Case, a former employee of LivaNova, initiated the investigation by filing a case under the False Claims Act; she will receive an unspecified share of the settlement.  USAO NDGA

December 4, 2018

The New York law firm of Rosicki, Rosicki & Associates, P.C., and two firms affiliated with it, have agreed to settle a False Claims Act action alleging that in performing legal work including foreclosure and eviction services for the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Veterans Administration, the entities submitted bills for costs that were not actual, reasonable, and necessary.  Instead, the false claims for payment included improper mark-ups and other unauthorized charges.  Defendants will pay a total of $6.1 million to the United States, and have agreed to implement a compliance program.  The case was originally brought by whistleblower Peter D. Grubea.  USAO SDNY

November 27, 2018

In New York, Bottini Fuel pleaded guilty to unlawfully retaining overpayments made by fuel oil customers, including public entity customers.  Rather than inform customers that they had made overpayments, or refund those payments, Bottini admitted that it diverted the customers' credit balances to the personal accounts of company owners, employees, and other friends and family.  Bottini agreed to pay over $3.2 million in restitution and civil damages.  The investigation was initiated by the filing of a whistleblower complaint under the New York False Claims Act; the unnamed whistleblower will receive $491,358 of the settlement.  NY AG

November 26, 2018

Vital Energy Occupational Therapy and Wellness Center, LLC agreed to pay $200,000 to settle charges that between 2013 and 2016 it submitted false claims for physical and occupational therapy services.  The therapy practice was alleged to have submitted claims to Medicare and Medicaid for individual therapy services, when group therapy was actually provided, and claims for therapy services with false practitioner information using the names of former employees.  Whistleblower Ashley C. Baggett, who filed the False Claims Act action, will receive $36,000.  USAO S.C.

November 14, 2018

The United States and three South Korea-based companies, SK Energy Co. Ltd., GS Caltex Corporation, and Hanjin Transportation Co. Ltd., have reached an agreement to resolve criminal and civil claims arising from the defendants' alleged bid-rigging and price-fixing in contracts to supply fuel to U.S. military bases in South Korea.  As a result of this conduct, the Department of Defense paid substantially inflated prices for fuel supply services in South Korea. Defendants agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges and pay a total of $236 million -- $82 million in criminal fines and $154 million for civil antitrust and False Claims Act violations related to the bid-rigging conspiracy.  The False Claims Act civil investigation resulted from a whistleblower lawsuit filed under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act.  The settlement is part of an ongoing federal investigation into bid rigging, price fixing and other anticompetitive conduct targeting U.S. Department of Defense fuel supply contracts in South Korea; the defendants have have agreed to cooperate with that investigation.  DOJ

November 6, 2018

An Indiana-based dental care practice and admin support company have agreed to pay a total of $5.139 million to settle allegations they violated the federal and Indiana state False Claims Acts. According to whistleblower and qui tam plaintiff Dr. Jihaad Abdul-Majid, between 2009 and 2013, ImmediaDent of Indiana, LLC and Samson Dental Partners, LLC allegedly billed Indiana's Medicaid program for procedures that were either upcoded (i.e. represented to be more serious and more expensive than they actually were), were not actually performed, or were not medically necessary. Samson Dental Partners is additionally accused of violating Indiana’s law prohibiting the corporate practice of dentistry. Because the companies refused oversight proposed during settlement, they have now been classified as "high risk" to federal healthcare programs. IN AG; USAO WDKY
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