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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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CATCH OF THE WEEK – Avanir Pharmaceuticals

Posted  09/27/19
Our Catch of the Week goes to Avanir Pharmaceuticals, manufacturer of Nuedexta, for allegedly paying kickbacks to physicians and engaging in false and misleading marketing tactics.  Avanir allegedly marketed Nuedexta in long-term care facilities and targeted their sales tactics to encourage doctors to prescribe the drug to dementia patients for off-label uses. The pharma company agreed to pay over $108 million in...

Catch of the Week — Texas Hospital Exec Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Medicare Fraud

Posted  09/18/19
On Monday, a federal judge in Houston sentenced Starsky Bomer, the former CFO and COO of Atrium Medical Center and Pristine Healthcare, to ten years in prison for his role in a Medicare fraud scheme that bilked the government of $16m.  Bomer was convicted by a jury in October of last year.  His co-conspirator, Dr. Sohail R. Siddiqui, took a plea deal in 2017 and is serving five years in prison. Bomer will do time...

Catch of the Week – South Florida Health Care Facility Owner Sentenced to 20 Years in $1.3 Billion Fraud - The Largest Health Care Fraud Scheme Ever Charged by the DOJ

Posted  09/13/19
Philip Esformes, 50, of Miami Beach, Florida, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for his role in a decades-long billion-dollar scheme to submit fraudulent claims to Medicare and Medicaid both for services deemed medically unnecessary and services that were medically necessary but that he did not provide.  Esformes personally pocketed $37 million from this scheme to fund his lavish lifestyle, while leaving elderly...

CATCH OF THE WEEK – Mallinckrodt Pays for Kickbacks on Acthar; Investigation into Copayment Subsidies Continues

Posted  09/6/19
This week, the Department of Justice announced that pharmaceutical company Mallinckrodt ARD LLC had agreed to pay over $15 million to resolve allegations that it paid illegal kickbacks to physicians to induce them to prescribe Acthar.

AKS Allegations

Two whistleblower lawsuits brought under the False Claims Act against Mallinckrodt alleged that from 2009 to 2013, the pharma company, then known as Questcor,...

Catch of the Week — American Airlines Required to Pay Over $22 Million for Falsely Reporting Delivery Times

Posted  08/23/19
Ever wondered why a package you were desperately waiting for showed up late?  Ever wished you could hold those responsible accountable for it? If so, the U.S. government agrees with you.  Its recent settlement against American Airlines required the airline to pay over $22 million for allegedly falsely reporting its delivery times.  The resolution shows that timeliness matters and is yet another reminder that...

Catch of the Week — Yukom Communications and Others Face CFTC Claims of Binary Options Fraud

Posted  08/16/19
computerized trading
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission filed suit against five entities and four individuals on August 12, 2019, in the Northern District of Illinois for running a $103 million fraudulent binary options scheme. The defendants, led by Israeli company Yukom Communications Ltd.,which marketed binary options using two websites known as BinaryBook and BigOption. In recent years, the CFTC has targeted fraudulent binary...

Catch of the Week — Comprehensive Pain Specialists Targeted for Urine Drug Testing Fraud

Posted  07/26/19
Laboratory sample vial lying on procedure coding form
Our Catch of the Week goes to Comprehensive Pain Specialists (CPS), a now-shuttered pain-management chain that was once one of the largest in the nation, treating as many as 48,000 pain patients a month at about 60 clinics across 11 states.  CPS shut down in 2018 with little warning to patients and employees. On Monday, July 22, the United States and the State of Tennessee announced their partial intervention in...

Catch of the Week — Wound Care Device Manufacturer ACell Inc.

Posted  06/14/19
By Edward Baker
Nurse Wrapping a Wound on Mans Wrist
Our Catch of the Week goes to ACell Inc., a Maryland-based medical device manufacturer that pleaded guilty to violating the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) by failing to report that it had partially removed its wound-care product, MicroMatrix, from the market because it was contaminated with endotoxins, placing treated patients in danger of serious infection, even death, without informing the FDA that it...

Catch of the Week — Princess and Carnival Cruise Lines

Posted  06/7/19
plastic waste dumped on ocean beach
Carnival Cruise Lines and subsidiary Princess will pay $20 million in criminal penalties for environmental transgressions and violations of probation. Princess and parent Carnival are just over two years into a five-year probation term that stems from Princess’s April 2017 felony conviction for deliberately dumping oil-contaminated wastewater into the open ocean and then engaging in an intentional coverup of its...

DOJ Catch of the Week — Dr. Joseph Galichia

Posted  05/31/19
Paper Ripped Uncovering Medical Necessity Wording
This week's DOJ Catch of the Week goes to Kansas cardiologist Joseph Galichia. Yesterday, he agreed to pay $5.8 million to resolve allegations that he and his company, Galichia Medical Group, violated the False Claims Act by billing federal health care programs for medically unnecessary cardiac stent procedures. This is the government's third False Claims Act settlement with Dr. Galichia. Which may explain why he also...
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