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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.

November 16, 2020

Seattle’s Group Health Cooperative, now part of Kaiser, will pay $6.375 million to settle allegations in a whistleblower suit that it falsely reported unsupported diagnosis codes to Medicare in order to receive inflated payments.  The suit alleges that GHC utilized the services of a coding review company, DxID, that proposed unsupported diagnosis codes, which GHC knowingly submitted to CMS as part of seeking higher payment for the affected Medicare Advantage beneficiaries.  Whistleblower Teresa Ross, represented by Constantine Cannon, will receive approximately $1.5 million.  DOJ

November 5, 2020

The SEC awarded a whistleblower $3.6 million, stating that the individual had provided information that alerted the Commission to misconduct that was occurring abroad, and further provided substantial and ongoing assistance during the course of the investigation, traveling abroad at the whistleblower’s own expense and providing extensive supporting documentation.  SEC

November 5, 2020

A whistleblower received a $750,000 SEC award, with the Commission stating that the individual provided significant information that uncovered an ongoing fraud and assisted the investigation. SEC

November 3, 2020

An SEC whistleblower was awarded $28 million following an undisclosed enforcement action.  The individual internally reported information that prompted the company to initiate an internal investigation, and provided significant information that aided the SEC, including by testifying and identifying a key witness.  SEC

October 22, 2020

Guild Mortgage Company, based in San Diego, has agreed to pay $25 million to resolve whistleblower-brought allegations of knowingly breaching material program requirements in connection with mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).  As a participant of the FHA’s mortgage insurance program, Guild had the authority to originate and underwrite mortgages without government review for compliance with program rules. According to the former head of quality control, Kevin Dougherty, Guild failed to comply with those rules when it knowingly approved ineligible loans that later defaulted.  Dougherty will receive a relator’s share of nearly $5 million.  USAO SDCA

October 22, 2020

The SEC has awarded a record-breaking $114 million to a whistleblower whose tip and substantial, ongoing assistance helped lead to successful enforcement actions by the SEC and another agency.  This is the highest award in the history of the SEC whistleblower program, bypassing the next highest award, issued in June 2020, by over $60 million.  SEC

October 14, 2020

Medical device maker Merit Medical Systems Inc. will pay $18 million to resolve claims first brought by a whistleblower under the False Claims Act that the company paid unlawful kickbacks to doctors and hospitals to induce them to use MMSI’s EmboSphere and QuadraSphere devices for embolization procedures.  MMSI was alleged to have offered hospitals and providers with millions of dollars in free advertising assistance, “educational” grants, and other services based on the providers’ past sales and to induce future sales.  The whistleblower, Charles J. Wolf, M.D., who will receive $2.65 million, was the Chief Compliance Officer for the company; according to DOJ, he repeatedly warned MMSI that its practices violated the Anti-Kickback Statue.  DOJ; USAO NJ; NC AG

October 2, 2020

Pharmatech, Inc. and its CEO and founder Tuan Pham will pay over $3 million to settle allegations in a case initiated as a qui tam action under the False Claims Act.  The government alleged that defendants violated the Anti-Kickback Statute by paying a medical clinic, Imperial Valley Wellness, a per-specimen fee to induce it to refer orders for laboratory drug-testing to Phamatech which were subsequently billed to Medicare.  Many of the tests were also alleged to be not medically necessary. The whistleblower, former Pharmatech employee John Polanco, will receive over $500,000 from the settlement.  USAO SD Cal.
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