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Catch of the Week

This archive includes posts from our “Catch of the Week” series, in which the Whistleblower Insider blog highlights particular government enforcement actions.  Return to:

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Catches of the Week: Contractors Abroad Face Liability for Fraud in U.S. Government Contracts

Posted  02/19/21
fleet of navy ships
This week, we double up on the Catch of the Week, and highlight two actions involving foreign contractors doing business with the U.S. Navy.

French Concrete Contractor Pays $14.5 Million to Resolve Claims of Delivering Substandard Concrete for U.S. Navy Bases in Africa

In the first case, Colas Djibouti, a subsidiary of French contractor Colas, agreed to pay $12.5m to the U.S. government to settle criminal charges,...

Catch of the Week: Roche and Humana Agree to Settle Kickbacks in the Medicare Advantage Program

Posted  02/9/21
briefcase of cash
A recent settlement of a whistleblower case might be a sign of things to come for litigation under the False Claims Act (FCA) in the whistleblower program. Pharmaceutical company, Roche, and Medicare Advantage insurer, Humana, have agreed to pay $12.5 million to resolve allegations that the companies violated the anti-kickback statute. This is the first FCA settlement resulting out of a pharmaceutical company...

Catch of the Week: EHR Vendor Athenahealth Settles Kickback Cases Brought by Whistleblowers

Posted  01/29/21
Computer screen showing electronic medical records system with ICD 10 codes
Athenahealth Inc. agreed to pay $18.25 million to resolve allegations that the electronic health records company violated the False Claims Act by paying unlawful kickbacks to potential customers and others.  The government’s investigation was prompted by two whistleblower actions filed in 2017; the actions were consolidated and the government filed a complaint in intervention immediately prior to the...

Catch of the Week: Capital One pays $390M to resolve anti-money laundering (AML) violations.

Posted  01/22/21
Bank Building
Capital One, one of America’s ten largest banks, has agreed to pay $390 million to resolve allegations that it violated the Bank Secrecy Act and various other laws targeted at preventing money laundering. The Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) specifically said that Capital One willfully failed to guard against money laundering from 2008 to 2014, including a failure to file...

COVID Fraud: New York Pharmacy Owners Indicted on Charges Arising from their Abuse of Emergency Override Billing Codes

Posted  01/7/21
Flashing lights on top of police car
As we have previously written, regulatory changes designed to alleviate logistical and financial pressure on healthcare providers during the COVID-19 crisis, while necessary, can create opportunities for fraudsters.  Last month, an indictment in New York revealed a scheme by two pharmacy owners who took advantage of relaxed rules regarding prescription prior authorization and refill timing to overcharge Medicare and...

Catch of the Week: Vitol to Pay $163 Million to Settle Criminal and Civil Charges Related to Oil Bidding in Brazil, Mexico, and Ecuador

Posted  12/11/20
Screenshot of CFTC Whistleblower Program web page
This week’s Catch of the Week highlights the participation of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in the settlement of an international bribery and kickback scandal involving Vitol Inc., a member of the Vitol Group, the world’s largest privately owned oil and gas trading firm.  As part of the settlement, Vitol will pay $90 million in fines to the DOJ, $45 million to Brazilian authorities, and at least...

Catch of the Week: SCANA to pay $137.5 Million in Fines & Disgorgement Following Failure of Nuclear Plant Construction; Executives Face Jail Time

Posted  12/4/20
industrial pipes all around
In 2017, the publicly-traded company SCANA Corp. (now Dominion Energy) announced that it was abandoning its plans to expand South Carolina’s Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Station.  A settlement reached this week resolves claims of fraud by SCANA in the project.  For years, SCANA had publicly claimed it was making progress on the construction and would complete it in time to qualify for $1.4 billion in federal...

COVID Frauds of the Week: PPP Loans for Fraudsters Who Like Nice Things

Posted  11/20/20
money in a spiral form with a bankroll of cash on top
It was another busy week for the DOJ, with at least 13 individuals charged for their attempts to defraud the Paycheck Protection Program out of cash meant to help real businesses with real employees, rather than to fund fraudsters’ extravagant lifestyles and idiotic, selfish behavior. Aditya Raj Sharma, 47, of Maple Grove, Minnesota—fake entrepreneur and apparent fan of swimming—was arrested and charged with...

Catch of the Week: New York Sues Sotheby’s for Helping Art Collector Evade Millions in Taxes

Posted  11/13/20
artwork and paintings on a wall
This week’s Catch of the Week spotlights another tax dodge by the rich and powerful, but with a twist, implicating international auction house Sotheby’s, one of the world’s largest brokers of fine arts, jewelry, and collectibles. Sotheby’s stands accused of enabling a wealthy art collector client to fraudulently evade taxes on $27 million worth of art. Under New York tax law, art resellers who meet certain...

Catch of the Week: Guild Mortgage

Posted  10/30/20
stack of mortgage papers with gavel and money
We’re in the midst of a recession, 13 million Americans are out of work, GDP growth is slowing, and stock market volatility is approaching record-breaking levels. This recession is largely driven by the emergence of a mostly natural and random phenomenon, COVD-19, though there is plenty of blame to go around in how humans have reacted to the spread of the virus. This week’s catch of the week, however, harkens back...
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