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Rite Aid Agrees to Settle Claims of Medicare and Medicaid Fraud Involving Gift Cards

Rite Aid Medicare and Medicaid Fraud

The Rite Aid pharmacy has agreed to pay $1.9 million to settle claims it unlawfully induced Medicare and Medicaid patients to transfer their prescriptions in exchange for gift cards.
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It is not uncommon for retailers and pharmacies to offer generous discounts or incentives for customers to switch their prescriptions and loyalties to the new company. However, as is becoming increasingly apparent across the United States, offering incentives to induce Medicare and Medicaid patients to switch their prescriptions can trigger possible liability under the False Claims Act.

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Office Depot Pays $80 Million to Settle Historic California False Claims Act Case

Office Depot has settled False Claims Act allegations over claims of overcharges for office supplies by the State of California.
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In a major victory for California taxpayers, office supply giant Office Depot has agreed to pay $80 million to settle claims it unlawfully defrauded several government agencies out of money under contracts for the provision of supplies. The settlement comes on the heels of a settlement with the state of New York alleging similar fraud and price gouging. The lawsuit was commenced by a former accountant working within Office Depot. The lawsuit was unsealed earlier this year, and was immediately joined by several government agencies largely reiterating the relator’s claims. The amount of the relator’s reward is not immediately known; however, the California False Claims Act allows for recoveries of up to 33 percent of the proceeds.

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DHS Technologies Pays $1.9 Million to Settle Claims of Contract Fraud

DHS Technologies has agreed to pay $1.9 million to resolve allegations it engaged in contract fraud when it overcharged the federal government for mobile support units provided to the Tobyhanna Army Base.
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Whenever a private company or individual agrees to perform contract work for the federal government, there are certain highly-specific boilerplate contract terms that must be followed during the completion of the work.

One such term requires contractors to always offer the government a rate on goods or services that is as low as, or lower than, the rate offered to other companies or the general public. The reason for this contract term is to ensure that the government (i.e., taxpayers) are not overpaying for products that could be obtained at a cheaper rate in the general marketplace.

In today’s case, we explore the details of a contractor having failed to uphold this requirement, resulting in a near $2 million settlement with the government amid False Claims Act allegations.

Do you know a company that is committing contractor fraud? Contact Berger & Montague today.

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5 Reasons the False Claims Act Is Essential for Fighting Fraud

DOJ combats fraud

The False Claims Act has long been an integral piece of legislation used by the Department of Justice to combat fraud in several industries.
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The False Claims Act is an integral piece of legislation designed to incentivize integrity and honesty. It is a multi-faceted approach to exposing, eliminating, and deterring fraud – with many important benefits for plaintiffs. The following explores some of the reasons why the False Claims Act is one of the most important statutes on the books today, particularly in light of the rampant fraud within the healthcare and banking industries.

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North Atlantic Medical Services Settles FCA Allegations Involving Medicare Fraud

Medicare fraud at medical device company

A medical device company specializing in sleep apnea and oxygen masks has agreed to settle Medicare fraud and Medicaid fraud claims for over $800,000.
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Close on the heels of the Department of Justice’s record-breaking fiscal year 2014 comes the latest Medicare fraud settlement involving Massachusetts-based North Atlanta Medical Services d/b/a Regional Home Care, Inc. The case, which was commenced by two former employees of NAMS, resulted in a settlement of $852,378. The two whistleblowers will receive $153,428 to share, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will receive $229,210 to cover its losses incurred as a result of the fraud involving Medicare and Medicaid patients, which is a program funded by both state and federal funds.

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Maricopa County Community College District Settles Grant Fraud Lawsuit

Maricopa County Community College District recently settled allegations of grant fraud for $4.08 million.
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The occurrence of wasteful and disheartening grant fraud has led to several recent settlements under the False Claims Act, which is triggered any time federal money is intentionally obtained through the use of fraud and misrepresentation.

In today’s case, we explore the details of a grant fraud case involving Arizona’s Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) and its recent $4.08 million settlement of allegations regarding certain service-education grants offered through AmeriCorps. The case resolves allegations only, and is not a determination of liability in the matter.

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Walgreens Seeks Dismissal of False Claims Act Allegations Involving Gift Cards

Walgreens seeks dismissal of FCA case

Walgreens pharmacy recently filed a motion to dismiss a relator’s whistleblower lawsuit involving the alleged improper inducement of public healthcare beneficiaries with $25.00 gift cards.
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One of the key requirements of a False Claims Act lawsuit is that it be based on original information that has not been previously disclosed via litigation, a government investigation, or through the news media. As such, it is not uncommon for defendants facing False Claims Act liability to initially motion for a dismissal under this rule, often pointing to similar litigation or settled cases occurring in other jurisdictions. In order for this type of motion to be successful, the judge must find that the whistleblower’s allegations hinge on the same, or substantially similar, facts as those alleged in a prior whistleblower lawsuit and it would be unfair for the whistleblower to collect a reward based on information discoverable by the general public.

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DOJ Announces Record $5.69 Billion Recovered Under the False Claims Act in Fiscal Year 2014

DOJ seal

The DOJ recently announced its record-breaking $5.69 billion in recoveries under the False Claims Act this fiscal year.
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In a recent announcement by the U.S. Department of Justice, a record $5.69 billion was recovered under the False Claims Act in fiscal year 2014. This is the highest amount ever recorded and includes all settlements and verdicts across all industries. The vast majority of these recoveries involved financial or healthcare fraud, as $3.1 billion was recovered from financial institutions and $2.3 billion was recovered from those committing Medicare and Medicaid fraud.

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Controversial Staten Island Doctor Settles Medicare Fraud Case for $2.35 Million

Medicare fraud at Staten Island University Hospital

A former oncology physician at the Staten Island University Hospital has agreed to pay over $2 million to settle claims of Medicare fraud resulting from investigative cancer treatments.
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A New York City physician – known infamously for asking Beatles member George Harrison to sign a guitar on his deathbed – has recently agreed to settle a Medicare fraud lawsuit. Dr. Gil Lederman, who agreed to pay $2.35 million to settle the False Claims Act allegations, has categorized the allegations as a “legal nightmare,” and has vowed to continue the practice of medicine despite almost losing Medicare privileges as a result of the fraud investigation. The lawsuit, which was filed ten years ago by the widow of a patient treated by Dr. Lederman, alleges Dr. Lederman used his experimental cancer treatments on the decedent and thereafter sought reimbursement in violation of the Medicare guidelines at the time. As a result of her willingness to come forward, the whistleblower is expected to receive $326,250 and $175,000 toward her legal bills.

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Pain Management Physician Agrees to Pay $1.2 Million to Settle False Claims Allegations

A Valencia-based physician affiliated with the Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital has agreed to pay $1.2 million to settle claims of upcoding and medically unnecessary procedures.
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As we previously reported, the Department of Justice was able to recover over $2 billion on behalf of taxpayers defrauded by healthcare providers engaging in misconduct against Medicare and Medicaid in fiscal year 2014. As part of this recovery, a Valencia, California-based doctor has agreed to pay $1.2 million to resolve allegations of unlawful billing procedures and the intentional submission of false invoices for reimbursement. The case was unsealed along with 68 other False Claims Act complaints, several of which involved similar healthcare fraud and billing scams.

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