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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.

April 16, 2020

The SEC has announced that its largest whistleblower award so far this year and sixth largest overall since the inception of its whistleblower program has been awarded to an individual who alerted the agency to fraud that was partly committed overseas.  The whistleblower, who will receive $27 million, reportedly contributed significantly to the agency’s enforcement efforts by providing critical investigative leads.  SEC

April 15, 2020

A Florida-based reference laboratory, pain clinic, and two former executives have agreed to pay $41 million to settle claims of defrauding Medicaid, Medicare, TRICARE, and other government health programs by billing for medically unnecessary urine drug tests between 2010 to 2017.  Led by Michael T. Doyle and Christopher Utz Toepke, the defendants allegedly had a policy of automatically ordering both presumptive and definitive urine drug tests for all patients at every visit regardless of need, with Toepke’s Tampa Pain Relief Centers Inc. performing all presumptive tests, and Doyle’s Logan Laboratories Inc. performing all definitive tests.  The alleged False Claims Act violations were eventually brought to light in two qui tam cases; the whistleblowers of those cases will split a relator’s share of approximately $7.79 million.  DOJ; EDPA; MDFL; FL

April 14, 2020

A chain of nine skilled nursing facilities operating in seven states has agreed to pay $10 million to settle a whistleblower-brought suit alleging violations of the False Claims Act.  In the suit, former employees Hope Wright, Laura Webb, and Deborah Edmonds alleged that from 2013 to 2017, Saber Healthcare Group LLC improperly pressured therapists to provide Ultra High levels of rehabilitation therapy for all patients regardless of individual patient needs.  Ultra High levels of therapy involve a minimum of 720 minutes of therapy from two therapy disciplines, and are reimbursed at the highest rate possible by Medicare.  To enforce their illegal standard, Saber prevented therapists from providing lower levels of therapy, caused therapists to falsely report time, and pressured facility directors in daily or weekly calls.  As part of the settlement, Saber has agreed to a five year Corporate Integrity Agreement, and Wright, Webb, and Edmonds will receive $1.75 million of the settlement proceeds.  DOJ

April 6, 2020

Georgia-based MiMedx Group Inc. has agreed to pay $6.5 million to settle allegations of defrauding the Department of Veterans’ Affairs by knowingly submitting false commercial pricing disclosures, in violation of the False Claims Act.  According to a qui tam complaint by whistleblowers Jess Kruchoski and Luke Tornquist, the false pricing disclosures enabled MiMedx to charge inflated prices for human tissue graft products.  Kruchoski and Tornquist will receive a relator’s share of $1,625,000.  DOJ; USAO MN

April 3, 2020

The SEC has announced that an anonymous whistleblower who provided information to the agency, despite implied threats from the wrongdoer, has been awarded $2 million.  According to the SEC, the information provided would have been difficult for the agency to obtain otherwise and significantly aided in an ongoing investigation.  SEC

March 30, 2020

A whistleblower working in compliance and internal audits has been awarded $450,000 by the SEC.  After efforts to report misconduct internally failed to make a positive impact, the whistleblower reported the same misconduct to the SEC, which helped focus an ongoing investigation and ultimately led to a successful enforcement action.  SEC

March 24, 2020

Two whistleblowers have received awards totaling over $570,000 for their roles in recent enforcement actions by the SEC.  According to the press release, the first whistleblower received approximately $478,000 and the second whistleblower received approximately $94,000.  In keeping with agency practices, the whistleblowers’ identities have not been revealed.  SEC

March 23, 2020

The SEC has announced that it has awarded a whistleblower over $1.6 million for informing the agency of a possible securities violation and providing critical assistance during the investigation.  Because of the whistleblower’s actions, the SEC was able to successfully enforce securities laws while preserving time and resources.  SEC

March 13, 2020

Dr. Thi Thien Nguyen Tran and Village Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery, LLC, have agreed to pay $1.74 million to settle claims of submitting false and inflated claims to Medicare.  From 2011 to 2016, defendants billed and caused Medicare to pay for lower-level wound repairs as if they were more complex adjacent tissue transfers.  The misconduct was eventually exposed by whistleblowers Dr. Robert Green and Emily Kennedy, who will share in a $305,000 award.  USAO MDFL
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