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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: University of Miami to Pay $22 Million to Resolve Allegations of Lab Test Fraud

Posted  05/14/21
By Leah Judge
University of Miami logo
The University of Miami will pay $22 million to resolve three False Claims Act lawsuits, the first of which was filed in 2013.  The government alleged that UM, which operates a medical school out of Jackson Memorial Hospital and an extensive health system spanning four south Florida counties, fraudulently billed government health care programs to boost declining revenues.  Jackson Memorial will separately pay $1.1...

Catch of the Week: Another Pharma Company, Incyte, Settles FCA Claims For Kickbacks to a Charitable Foundation

Posted  05/7/21
By Edward Baker
pills scattered around
The Department of Justice announced this week that Incyte Corporation, a Delaware pharmaceutical company, has agreed to pay $12.6 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by paying kickbacks to a charitable foundation to increase prescriptions for the drug Jakafi, which is used to treat myelofibrosis, a form of leukemia that causes extensive scarring in bone marrow and leads to severe...

Catch of the Week: Dozens of Fraudsters Sentenced in Multimillion Dollar Compounding Pharmacy Fraud

Posted  04/30/21
compounding pharmacy drugs
On Thursday, an Alabama District Court Judge sentenced dozens of defendants to prison for participating in a massive conspiracy to swindle insurers for medically unnecessary compound drugs. The defendants included company executives and managers, a prescriber, billers, and sales representatives associated with Northside Pharmacy, which was doing business as Global Compounding Pharmacy (Global). According to the DOJ...

Catch of the Week: Final Merida Hospice Fraudster Sentenced in $150 Million Scheme

Posted  04/23/21
Hands in handcuffs behind back of white man in business suit
Jose Garza, the former operations manager of Merida Group, a Texas-based hospice, and home health chain, just landed a 27-month prison sentence for his role in a $150 million hospice fraud scheme. Garza is the latest to receive a sentence in connection with the decade-long Merida Group scheme, which saw people with long-term illnesses falsely told they would die soon, while executives at the company pocketed millions...

Catch of the Week: Telemarketer Gets 10 Years in $3.3 Million Telemedicine and Genetic Testing Fraud Scheme

Posted  04/16/21
female looking through a lab telescope
Ivan Andre Scott, a 36-year-old Florida man, just landed a 10-year prison sentence for organizing a $3.3 million Medicare fraud scheme involving two of the hottest healthcare trends – telemedicine and genetic testing to assess the likelihood of future cancer. The conspiracy targeted vulnerable Medicare beneficiaries for pricey cancer screening genetic tests, prosecutors said. Claims for these tests were falsely...

Catch of the Week: Fraud Behind the Silver Screen

Posted  04/9/21
Canisters of movie film rolled out
This week the SEC announced that it obtained an emergency asset freeze in an enforcement action against L.A.-based actor Zachary Horwitz and his company 1nMM Capital, LLC for allegedly running a $690 million Ponzi scheme.  In its complaint, the SEC claimed Horowitz’s recent actions threatened to dissipate the remaining investor funds in his possession. While this story is still technically “mid-catch,” the...

Bristol-Myers Squibb Settlement Highlights a Common-Sense Law: The Medicaid Drug Rebate Program

Posted  04/2/21
Drug prices are out of control.  They now account for roughly 10% of our healthcare spending and America’s per capita outlay has nearly doubled over the past two decades.  For the least fortunate among us, many of these medications have become out of reach altogether. While new proposals are regularly made, one approach that often gets overlooked is simply enforcing the laws already on the books. That is just...

CFTC Clobbers Cryptocurrency Con Man

Posted  04/1/21
By Leah Judge
cryptocurrency scam
Last week, the CFTC announced that a federal court entered a nearly $600 million default judgment against a British man who used bitcoin to defraud more than 1,000 people worldwide.  The judgment is yet another indication that the CFTC will vigorously police cryptocurrency fraud.

The Scam

The CFTC filed a complaint against Benjamin Reynolds and his bitcoin trading and investment company, Control-Finance, back in...

Catch of the Week: Founders of Poop-Testing Startup uBiome Face Fraud Charges

Posted  03/24/21
specimen jar
San Francisco-based uBiome and its founders Jessica Richman and Zachary Apte claimed they were “inventing the microbiome industry” and “making products that improve people’s lives.” Once considered a Silicon Valley success story, today, uBiome is bankrupt and its founders face various federal securities fraud and related criminal conspiracy charges. The biotech startup sold home medical tests including...

COVID Frauds of the Week: DOJ Continues to Crack Down on PPP Fraudsters

Posted  03/19/21
ponzi scheme vs pyramid scheme
As of this week, the Small Business Administration has disbursed over $700 billion in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to small businesses and non-profits. There are over $100 billion in remaining appropriations, with additional appropriations likely to follow thereafter. With numbers like these, the program has become a magnet for fraudsters seeking to profit from the pandemic. The DOJ has been actively going...
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