Posted by Stephanie R. on Tuesday, October 20th, 2015
In one of the larger healthcare fraud settlements this fiscal year, Millennium Health, LLC has agreed to pay $256 million to settle allegations it engaged in fraudulent and illegal activity with regard to urine drug screens and orders for urinalysis.
The case got its start thanks to a lawsuit filed by several whistleblowers under the False Claims Act. In return for their efforts, the whistleblowers are expected to share a $30.35 million payout under the FCA’s qui tam provisions.
Posted by Stephanie R. on Monday, October 19th, 2015
Arkansas-based One Bank & Trust, N.A. recently settled allegations against it for $4 million as the result of an ongoing fraud investigation surrounding misused government funds. Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a complaint stating that One Bank & Trust, under the direction of its late CEO Layton P. Stuart, unlawfully appropriated TARP funds. The complaint further accused Stuart, who passed away in March of this year, of diverting more than $2 million for his private use.
Posted by Stephanie R. on Friday, October 16th, 2015
One of the founding goals of the False Claims Act was to root out fraud among Civil War-era defense contractors. The False Claims Act was first proposed over 150 years ago to help military leaders navigate questionable weapon contracts, but fraudulent defense claims still pose a problem today. The fraud that plagued Civil War contractors in the nineteenth century continues on an even broader scale, leaving government agencies scrambling to respond.
Posted by Stephanie R. on Thursday, October 15th, 2015
In another case involving costly mortgage fraud, Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bancorp recently settled False Claims Act allegations for $85 million.1 In a press release published by the Department of Justice, prolific U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara announced that the bank had unlawfully certified as many as 1,400 residential home loans as eligible for mortgage insurance through the Federal Housing Administration (“FHA”) when, in fact, the home loans and borrowers did not meet lending criteria for an FHA insured loan. When a large majority of these loans defaulted, the government was left with millions of dollars in mortgage insurance payouts to cover, which in turn triggered an investigation and eventual liability under the False Claims Act.
- United States Attorney’s Office Southern District of New York. “Manhattan U.S. Attorney Announces $85 Million Settlement With Fifth Third Bancorp Over Failures To Self-Report Defective Mortgage Loans To FHA.” Justice.gov. http://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/pr/manhattan-us-attorney-announces-85-million-settlement-fifth-third-bancorp-over-failures (Retrieved October 13, 2015). ↩
Posted by Stephanie R. on Wednesday, October 14th, 2015
When it comes to reporting healthcare fraud, the stakes can be high. In milder cases, defendants may be engaged in fraudulent billing or upcoding to pad profits and increase revenues. However, in more dire cases, defendants have been known to order medically unnecessary procedures for the sole purpose of billing Medicare and Medicaid for the costs of these services – all at the risk of patient safety and care.
Posted by Stephanie R. on Tuesday, October 13th, 2015
In yesterday’s post, we discussed various issues that can arise at the pleadings stage of a False Claims Act lawsuit. To correct any perceived deficiencies, relators may ask to submit an amended complaint to include additional information, add or delete certain defendants, or fix errors concerning formatting or filing requirements.
Posted by Stephanie R. on Monday, October 12th, 2015
The procedural process involved in a whistleblower lawsuit can be confounding at best, fatal at worst. Fortunately, with the help of a knowledgeable and experienced False Claims Act attorney, cases like the recent D’Agostino v. ev3 Inc. need not crash to a halt over a procedural obstacle. Berger & Montague, P.C. is proud to have successfully advocated for this whistleblower case, giving relator Jeffrey D’Agostino the opportunity to amend the language of the complaint and ultimately continue toward a possible qui tam reward.1
- Wiessner, Daniel. “Whistleblower Didn’t Need ‘Good Cause’ to Amend Suit – 1st Circuit.” Reuters. October 1, 2015. Accessed October 7, 2015, http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/10/01/employment-whistleblower-idUSL1N1210HN20151001. ↩
Posted by Stephanie R. on Friday, October 9th, 2015
Government contract work can be lucrative, long-term, and plentiful – particularly in industries like defense and scientific research. With hundreds of billions of dollars in contracts awarded annually, there stands a heightened risk for fraud and misuse of funds awarded under these agreements. If you work in a government-funded private sector job and are curious about possible misuse of funds or improper billing on the part of your employer, consider these top four areas in which companies tend to cheat the government out of its financial resources:
Posted by Stephanie R. on Thursday, October 8th, 2015
A company known as SteriCycle, which specializes in compliant disposal of biological waste, has agreed to settle a qui tam lawsuit launched by a former employee in 2009.1 The case, which also involved 14 states, began after an observant whistleblower took notice of potentially unlawful price increases implemented by the company in violation of the terms of its government contracts. In her position in the collections department, the whistleblower soon realized that SteriCycle was regularly overcharging government entities by as much as 18 percent above what they charged their private clients.
- Koenigsberg, David & Menz, John. “Stericycle to Pay $26.75 Million to Settle False Claims Act Case.” PRNewsWire.com, October 9, 2015. http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/stericycle-to-pay-2675-million-to-settle-false-claims-act-case-300157412.html ↩
Posted by Stephanie R. on Wednesday, October 7th, 2015
In a case of first impression, the False Claims Act-heavy Fourth Circuit has agreed to review an interlocutory appeal over whether the use of statistical sampling is sufficient to establish liability under the Act, or whether plaintiff-relators must actually submit evidence to support each and every allegation.