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Whistleblower News From the Inside -- February 12, 2018

Posted  February 12, 2018

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

No. 3 Official at the Justice Department Is Stepping Down Rachel L. Brand, the No. 3 official at the Justice Department, plans to step down after nine months on the job as the country’s top law enforcement agency has been under attack by President Trump, according to two people briefed on her decision. Ms. Brand’s profile had risen in part because she is next in the line of succession behind the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, who is overseeing the special counsel’s inquiry into Russian influence in the 2016 election. Mr. Trump, who has called the investigation a witch hunt, has considered firing Mr. Rosenstein. NY Times

Two New Orleans-Area Psychiatrists and a Health Care Marketer Charged for Roles in Kickback Scheme; Psychiatrists Also Charged With Health Care Fraud – Two New Orleans, Louisiana-area psychiatrists and a third individual were charged in an indictment filed today for their alleged participation in a health care kickback scheme. The two psychiatrists were also charged for their roles in a home health care fraud scheme. Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans of the Eastern District of Louisiana, Special Agent in Charge Eric J. Rommal of the FBI’s New Orleans Field Office and Special Agent in Charge C.J. Porter of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s (HHS-OIG) Dallas Field Office made the announcement. Muhammad Kaleem Arshad, M.D., 62, of New Orleans, Louisiana, Padmini Nagaraj, M.D., 60, of Kenner, Louisiana, and Joseph A. Haynes, 61, of New Orleans, were each charged with one count of conspiracy to receive illegal health care kickbacks and three counts of receiving illegal health care kickbacks. Arshad and Nagaraj were also charged with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and five counts of health care fraud. DOJ

Mental Health Center to Pay $4 Million under AG Settlement for Illegally Billing MassHealth for Unlicensed Patient Care Attorney General Maura Healey announced today that South Bay Mental Health Center, Inc. (SBMHC) has agreed to pay $4 million based on allegations that it fraudulently billed the state’s Medicaid Program, known as MassHealth, for mental health care services provided to patients by unlicensed, unqualified, and unsupervised staff members at clinics across the state. “Thousands of MassHealth patients were left with inadequate care at these mental health facilities, while we allege this company fraudulently billed the state,” said AG Healey. “This settlement will bring critical funds back to our MassHealth program and ensure that members receive treatment from qualified individuals. Companies that receive payments from taxpayer-funded programs must be held accountable when they abuse this system.” Mass. AG