Manufacturer Reportedly Settles Case For $18 Million
Former Compliance Officer Blew Whistle
Whistleblower Will Receive $2.65 Million From Settlement
The leading source of fraud against the federal government is within the healthcare sector. Each year the government pays out billions to false claims or to healthcare providers who have violated the False Claims Act, the Stark Law (prohibiting “quid pro quo” physician referrals) and the Anti-Kickback Statute (prohibiting kickbacks for medical services or equipment). See 31 U.S.C. § 3729 et seq. (False Claims Act or “FCA”); 42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7b (the Anti-Kickback Statute); and, 42 U.S.C. § 1395nn (the Stark Law). Individuals with information of healthcare fraud help the government recover by initiating whistleblower (also known as qui tam) suits under these laws and are entitled to rewards if the government recovers. 31 U.S.C. § 3730(d). Ingrid M. Evans and the other whistleblower attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. represent individuals who bring FCA cases based on fraud against the government including by illegal kickback schemes. If you have credible, original information of healthcare fraud, call us today at (415)441-8669 or toll free at 1-888-503-8267 and we can help.
Alleged Kickback Scheme
In one recently reported example of a medical kickback scheme, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey announced that a medical equipment manufacturer has agreed to pay $18 million to resolve allegations that it paid kickbacks to physician and hospitals to use the company’s products. The qui tam action was captioned U.S. ex rel. Wolf v. Merit Medical Systems, Inc., Case No. 2:16-cv-01855-CCC-MF (D.N.J.), and the complaint alleged that defendant over a period of six years provided millions of dollars in advertising and marketing support to healthcare providers to induce purchases of embolization procedure devices defendant manufactured. The company is said to have been advised against the practice by a former compliance officer, who was eventually the whistleblower initiating the suit. The whistleblower will receive $2.65 million from the settlement. Defendant said in a statement that the settlement does not constitute an admission of wrongdoing.
Qui Tam Procedures And Rewards
A qui tam (or whistleblower) suit begins with filing a sealed complaint based on the credible, original information of a fraud, usually discovered by the whistleblower. 31 U.S.C. § 3730(b). A copy of the complaint is also served on several offices of the Department of Justice along with a disclosure statement presenting the material evidence that supports the allegations in the sealed complaint. 31 U.S.C. § 3730(b). The complaint is kept under seal until the government reviews the complaint and decides whether to intervene in the case. Id. If the government ultimately recovers from the wrongdoer, the whistleblower is entitled to a share of the recovery as a reward. 31 U.S.C. § 3730(d). Employers are not permitted to retaliate against any employee who brings an FCA case, and if the employer violates the anti-retaliation rules, the whistleblower can sue the employer for reinstatement, double back pay, interest, and attorneys’ fees and expenses. 31 U.S.C. § 3730(h). Evans Law Firm represents whistleblowers in any wrongful retaliation suit in addition to representing them in their underlying whistleblower case.
Ingrid M. Evans and the other California whistleblower attorneys at Evans Law Firm have experience with all types of whistleblower cases including cases involving illegal kickback schemes, Stark Law violations, sales of unapproved or adulterated drugs and other forms of healthcare fraud against the government. If you have original information of that type of fraud call Ingrid and our other whistleblower attorneys today at (415) 441-8669, or toll free at 1-888-503-8267, or by email at <a href=”mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org”>email@example.com</a>. We also handle bank fraud cases under FIRREA/FIAFEA, commodity trading and securities fraud cases before the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Whistleblower Program and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Whistleblower Program, and tax fraud under the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Whistleblower Program
 Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in the case in any way.