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Whistleblower Case

This archive displays posts tagged as involving a whistleblower case or claim. You may also be interested in our pages:

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April 10, 2020

To settle fraud allegations by four relators in three qui tam suits, Michigan-based Encore Rehabilitation Services LLC has agreed to pay $4 million to the United States.  According to Linda Anderson, Reza Saffarian and Audrey Theile, and Adam LaFerriere, from roughly 2010 to 2018, the owner and operator of over 600 healthcare facilities allegedly caused three of its skilled nursing facilities to submit false claims to Medicare for services that were not medically necessary, reasonable, or provided by skilled therapists, and improperly billed group therapy sessions as if they were individual therapy sessions.  DOJ; USAO EDMI; USAO WDMI

April 8, 2020

The last defendant in a conspiracy to rig bids and fix prices for supply fuel to U.S. military bases in South Korea has agreed to pay $2 million to resolve civil claims under Section 4A of the Clayton Act and the False Claims Act.  The government’s investigation into all defendants, including Jier Shin Korea Co. Ltd. and its president, Sang Joo Lee, were instigated by a whistleblower and resulted in a previous settlement of over $205 million.  As part of the settlement, Jier Shin and Lee have agreed to cooperate in the ongoing investigation and abide by an antitrust compliance program.  DOJ

April 6, 2020

Georgia-based MiMedx Group Inc. has agreed to pay $6.5 million to settle allegations of defrauding the Department of Veterans’ Affairs by knowingly submitting false commercial pricing disclosures, in violation of the False Claims Act.  According to a qui tam complaint by whistleblowers Jess Kruchoski and Luke Tornquist, the false pricing disclosures enabled MiMedx to charge inflated prices for human tissue graft products.  Kruchoski and Tornquist will receive a relator’s share of $1,625,000.  DOJ; USAO MN

April 2, 2020

FPR Specialty Pharmacy LLC and Mead Square Pharmacy, Inc., along with owners Christopher Casey and William Rue, have agreed to pay $426,000 to settle a whistleblower-brought case alleging violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute and False Claims Act in connection with a compounded prescription analgesic cream called Focused Pain Relief.  As part of the settlement, the defendants admitted that from 2011 to 2015, they sold prescription drugs to patients in states they were not licensed to sell in, failed to charge mandatory co-pays to beneficiaries of various federal healthcare programs, and paid sales agents to solicit physicians to prescribe the cream.  USAO SDNY

March 13, 2020

Dr. Thi Thien Nguyen Tran and Village Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery, LLC, have agreed to pay $1.74 million to settle claims of submitting false and inflated claims to Medicare.  From 2011 to 2016, defendants billed and caused Medicare to pay for lower-level wound repairs as if they were more complex adjacent tissue transfers.  The misconduct was eventually exposed by whistleblowers Dr. Robert Green and Emily Kennedy, who will share in a $305,000 award.  USAO MDFL

March 11, 2020

Millennium Physicians Association PLLC, d/b/a Millennium Respiratory & Sleep Disorder Specialists, has agreed to pay $1.2 million to resolve whistleblower-brought allegations of fraud in connection with two sleep centers in Texas.  From 2015 to 2019, Millennium allegedly violated Medicare rules and the False Claims Act by improperly billing Medicare for sleep studies conducted without the presence of properly credentialed technicians.  As part of the settlement, the anonymous relator will receive a $187,344  share of the settlement.  USAO SDTX

“Objective Falsity” Is Not Required Under the False Claims Act: A Legally False Opinion May Suffice

Posted  03/6/20
Gavel close-up
In a significant win for whistleblowers, a federal appellate court held this week that, in order to determine liability under the False Claims Act, a whistleblower need not prove that a claim is “objectively” false.  Instead, the Court held that, consistent with common law, a claim can be false under the FCA if based not on objectively verifiable facts, but on non-compliance with statutory or regulatory...

March 4, 2020

STG Healthcare of Atlanta, Inc. and senior executives Paschal Gilley and Mathew Gilley have agreed to resolve fraud allegations by paying $1.75 million.  The case against the hospice was launched by two former employees, Serita Samuel and Miranda Eskridge, who alleged in a qui tam suit that STG Healthcare submitted false claims to Medicare and Medicaid that arose from illegal payments to so-called back-up medical directors, and that were on behalf of patients who were not terminally ill and thus ineligible for palliative care.  GA AG; USAO NDGA

February 28, 2020

Nursing home chain Diversicare Health Services, Inc. has agreed to pay $9.5 million to resolve whistleblower-brought allegations of submitting claims to Medicare and Medicaid for medically unnecessary rehabilitation therapy services.  According to separate qui tam complaints by former employees, Mary Haggard and Bryant Fitzmorris, between 2010 to 2015, Diversicare unnecessarily placed beneficiaries in the highest category of reimbursement in order to receive higher payouts, and submitted forged pre-admission evaluation certifications to Medicaid.  As part of the settlement, Diversicare has entered into a Corporate Integrity Agreement for five years, Haggard will receive approximately $1.4 million, and Fitzmorris will receive approximately $145,450.  DOJ; USAO MDTN

February 28, 2020

Sanofi-Aventis U.S., LLC has agreed to pay $11.85 million to resolve allegations of paying kickbacks to Medicare patients in connection with a multiple sclerosis drug called Lemtrada.  According to the press release, Lemtrada costs nearly $100,000 per patient per year, and Medicare co-pays can be many thousands of dollars per year.  In order to break down barriers to access for Medicare patients, Sanofi allegedly provided kickbacks to them via payments to a purportedly independent charitable foundation, The Assistance Fund (TAF), which helps covers the co-pays in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute.  The scheme was reported by a partnership formed by Sanofi's predecessor, Genzyme Corporation, which will receive about $2.7 million for their role in the case.  USAO MA
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