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Government Programs Fraud

This archive displays posts tagged as relevant to fraud in government programs. You may also be interested in the following pages:

Fraud in Government Programs
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May 19, 2022

Retailer H&M will pay $36 million to New York State to resolve claims that the company violated a New York law which requires gift card issuers to turn over unused balances on gift cards to the state’s Abandoned Property Fund after five years of inactivity.  The retailer repeatedly lied to the state about its failure to transfer the unused gift card balances as required, and falsely told the state that an out-of-state company was handling its gift cards business. A whistleblower who filed a lawsuit under the New York False Claims Act will receive $7.74 million for bringing H&M’s misconduct to light.  NY

DOJ Ramps Up Enforcement Against COVID-19 Fraud

Posted  04/25/22
COVID-19-Fraud-Whistleblower-Lawyers
Even as mask restrictions are being relaxed in most parts of the country, the U.S. Department of Justice is ramping up its oversight of federal funds spent to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.  Just last week, DOJ announced criminal charges against 21 defendants in nine federal districts for their alleged participation in COVID-19 fraud schemes that resulted in over $149 million in false billings to federal programs. 

April 12, 2022

Physician Partners of America LLC (PPOA), its founder Rodolfo Gari, and its former chief medical officer Dr. Abraham Rivera, have agreed to pay $24.5 million to settle allegations of violating the Stark Law, False Claims Act, and Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act (FIRREA).  The settlement resolved claims by whistleblowers Donald Haight, Dawn Baker, Dr. Harold Cho, Dr. Venus Dookwah-Roberts, and Dr. Michael Lupi, all currently or formerly employed with PPOA.  According to the whistleblowers and the government, PPOA allegedly billed Medicare and Medicaid for medically unnecessary testing, paid illegal kickbacks to its physician employees, and made false statements on a loan from the Paycheck Protection Program.  USAO MDFL

March 25, 2022

A Department of Energy contractor that applied for and received a $1.3 million Paycheck Protection Program loan has, together with its owners, agreed to pay nearly $3 million in restitution and penalties to resolve their liability under the False Claims Act.  HPM Corporation and owners Holly and Grover Cleveland Mooers admitted that they submitted materially false statements to the Small Business Administration in order to obtain the loan and induce a forgiveness of the loan.  However, instead of using the funds on payroll, as they had represented, they transferred the entire amount to their personal account.  USAO EDWA

March 7, 2022

A woman in Illinois, Tarnavis Lee, has been sentenced to 3 years in prison for defrauding the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) of nearly $1 million.  Along with co-conspirators Demetra Jackson and Elizabeth McFarland, Lee submitted false and fraudulent claims to DHS’s Child Care Assistance Program—which funds childcare for low-income parents while they work or attend educational programs—for services that were not provided.  The scheme ran for a ten-year period ending in 2019.  USAO CDIL

Catch of the Week: A Tale of Two Cons

Posted  02/10/22
Money Rolls
The start of February 2022 brought resolutions in two different COVID-19 fraud cases, one in the Paycheck Protection Program and one in the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. Both involved scammers with previous criminal records who fraudulently obtained COVID relief money. The Department of Justice continues to prioritize enforcement against fraudsters who take advantage of the Paycheck Protection Program,...

Catch of the Week: Texas Hospice CEO Gets 13 Year Sentence in $60 Million Fraud Scheme

Posted  01/28/22
doctor touching hospice patient
A federal judge in Texas sentenced Bradley Harris, former head of Novus Health Services, Inc. hospice company in Frisco, to more than thirteen years in prison and ordered him to pay $27.6 million in restitution. The sentence, announced in a DOJ press release, follows his guilty plea on charges of conspiracy and fraud on Medicare and Medicaid. Harris is the latest to be sentenced in a fraud scheme spanning...

Top Ten Non-Healthcare False Claims Act Recoveries of 2021

Posted  01/7/22
Abe Lincoln
Our roundup of 2021’s Top Ten Non-Healthcare False Claims Act (FCA) recoveries illustrates the statute’s continuing capacity to fight both conventional and emergent frauds straddling a variety of industries. In 2021 alone, the United States recovered hundreds of millions in taxpayer funds obtained through false claims tainted by textbook contracting fraud schemes (overbilling on government contracts, selling the...

Catch of the Week: Archdiocese of New Orleans pays $1 million to Resolve Katrina-Related Allegations, Highlighting Importance of Enforcement in Disaster Recovery Fraud

Posted  11/19/21
New Orleans Jackson Square
We’ve covered this before: natural disasters and fraud against the government often go hand in hand. The government, through agencies and programs such the FEMA and the federally-backed flood and crop insurance programs, can distribute enormous sums of money very quickly in the wake of hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, and the like. Distributing lots of money quickly after natural disasters gets immediate help to...

November 15, 2021

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans will pay $1.05 million to resolve allegations that it falsely certified damage description and repair estimates in connection with claims for federal funds for the repair of facilities damaged by Hurricane Katrina.  Claims against federal contractor AECOM, which prepared the estimates, are continuing.  The Archdiocese is in bankruptcy, and the settlement amount is based on an “ability to pay” determination.  The action was initiated by the filing of a whistleblower complaint by AECOM employee Robert Romero, who will receive a whistleblower award of approximately $200,000.  DOJ; USAO EDLA  See earlier settlement
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