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COVID-19

This archive displays posts tagged as relevant to the COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic. You may also be interested in the following pages:

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Catch of the Week: Florida Man Charged with Stealing Over $12 Million in Funds Slated for PPE

Posted  08/27/21
person handcuffed with hands on stack of papers with briefcase
DOJ continues to make good on its promise to root out fraud in pandemic relief.  This week, a Florida resident Brian Sperber was indicted for defrauding hospitals and medical institutions out of more than $12 million dollars by falsely promising to deliver personal protective equipment to those purchasers. Sperber and his co-conspirators, who ran medical supply and logistics companies, took orders for N95 masks and...

August 26, 2021

The owner of jet charter company All in Jets dba JetReady, Seth Bernstein, has agreed to pay $287,055 to resolve allegations that he misappropriated company Paycheck Protection Program loan proceeds for his personal use.  Whistleblower Victoria Hablitzel, a former JetReady employee, reported defendant’s conduct by filing a qui tam action, and will receive a relator’s share of $57,411DOJ; USAO SD FL

Catch of the Week: Telemedicine Company Owner Charged in $784 Million Kickback Scheme

Posted  08/20/21
Doctor on computer with patient discussing medicine
Underscoring the fraud risks associated with the government’s continued expansion and loosening of restrictions on telehealth, the U.S. Department of Justice recently announced that a grand jury in New Jersey has returned a superseding indictment against the Florida owner of multiple telemedicine companies, referred to by DOJ prosecutors as the Video Doctor Network, for allegedly participating in a massive Medicare...

Partner Mary Inman Speaks about Research Fraud with Science Whistleblower Dr. Elisabeth Bik at the HCCA’s Research Compliance Conference

Posted  07/23/21
gears cogs
On June 16, 2021, Constantine Cannon partner Mary Inman spoke at the Health Care Compliance Association’s (HCCA) Research Compliance Conference on the topic of ‘The Vital Role of Whistleblower Scientists in Exposing Fraudulent Research During the Pandemic.’  Mary was joined by co-panelist Dr. Elisabeth Bik, the Founder and Editor of the Science Integrity Digest, a blog about scientific integrity aimed at...

July 13, 2021

Joel Jerome Tucker, the principal in payday loan business eData Solutions, LLC and related entities, was ordered to pay $8.1 million in restitution to the IRS and sentenced to 12.5 years in prison following his conviction on charges related to his fraudulent sale of non-existent payday loan portfolios and the failure by him and his companies to file federal income tax returns or pay taxes.  Tucker used nominee bank accounts to conceal income and assets and owed taxes, penalties, and interest of more than $12 million.  In addition, in 2020, Tucker fraudulently obtained a $20,000 Paycheck Protection Program loan.  USAO WD MO

June 16, 2021

Bedrock Group LLC agreed to pay $3.5 million to Massachusetts to resolve allegations that the company violated the Massachusetts False Claims Act by failing to fully and timely refund the state following the company's failure to deliver one million N95 masks ordered by the state.  Massachusetts placed an emergency purchase order with the company, agreeing to pay $3.6 million for the one million masks, which were to be delivered by April, 2020.  The company delivered fewer than 100,000 masks and, after the state cancelled the purchase order, failed to refund the state's payment. Bedrock also agreed to a voluntary debarment from contracting with the state or any political subdivision for five years.   MA

June 3, 2021

The CFTC obtained a default judgment against Florida resident James Frederick Walsh, who was ordered to pay a penalty of more than $500,000.  Walsh, who was not registered with the CFTC, marketed himself through social media as an experienced foreign exchange trader who could conduct retail forex trades for customers.  Walsh advertised that the COVID-19 pandemic created an opportunity for increased forex trading profits,  guaranteed returns, and claimed to have inside information about forex markets.   CFTC

DOJ Lowers The Boom On COVID-19 Healthcare Scams, Again

Posted  05/28/21
COVID Virus Zoomed In
Hey, fraudsters, did you hear?  There was a global pandemic, so the government pumped trillions of dollars into the economy.  Probably a good time to get a piece of the cut, you ask?  They’ll never find out, right?  So many ways to grift! Well, not so much.  From the start, the cops on the beat, led by the United States Department of Justice, have screamed from the rooftops:  “Don’t do it.  We WILL...

Private-Equity Red Flags Signal Potential False Claims Act Liability

Posted  05/21/21
By Jessica T. Moore
person following a trail of money
Private equity (PE) firms that manage healthcare entities have further reason to take note of the growing record of exposure for False Claims Act (FCA) liability.

Martino-Fleming Case

In the latest shot across the bow, the PE firm, a majority shareholder of a for-profit mental-health provider, knew about the false claims and played a sufficiently active role in operations potentially to have caused them. Evidence...

May 10, 2021

Iowa skilled nursing facility Dubuque Specialty Care, owned by Care Initiatives, will pay $214,200 to resolve claims that they received federal Medicaid funds during a COVID-19 outbreak at the facility while failing to adhere to requirements for infection control, including procedures for screening symptomatic employees for COVID-19.  USAO ND Iowa
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