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Aug 5, 2021 by |

Napa County Whistleblower Attorney: Whistleblower Rewarded $800,000 For Blowing Whistle On Software Developer’s Illegal Kickback Scheme

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Software Developer’s Allegedly Illegal Kickback Scheme

Fraudulent Incentive Payments Under Medicare Alleged

Individual Whistleblower Will Receive $800,000 

Private whistleblower suits (known as qui tam cases) under the False Claims Act (FCA), 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729 et seq., generate rewards for those individuals who bring the qui tam cases when the government recovers from the defrauding individuals or businesses.  Billions in Medicare reimbursements are paid out every year based on fraudulent claims for payments or other illegal schemes such as kickbacks for referrals for services or products. See Anti-Kickback Statute, 42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7b, and the Stark Law, 42 U.S.C. § 1395nn, both prohibiting offering or paying anything of value to induce or reward referrals for or generate Federal health care program business.   Based on qui tam cases for violation of these laws, the federal government recovered $2.2 billion in FCA settlements and judgments in 2020 alone.  Almost 82% of that amount, or $1.8 billion, involved the health care industry. Whistleblowers personally recover anywhere from 15% to 30% of the damages and penalties or settlement once the government recovers. 31 U.S.C. § 3730(d).  If you have credible information of fraud against the government here in Napa or elsewhere in California, call us today at (415)441-8669 and we can help. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).

Settlement In Software Developer Case

In one recently settled case[1] announced by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), a False Claims Act whistleblower received nearly $800,000 as a reward for reporting a kickback scheme of a software developer of electronic health records (EHR).  This software developer agreed to pay the DOJ almost $4 million to resolve the qui tam allegations.  The complaint alleged the developer paid unlawful kickbacks to sell its electronic health record software products and fraudulently received incentive payments under the Medicare and Medicaid incentive programs designed to encourage the use of EHR software.  Under its marketing referral program, according to the complaint, the software company gave its clients who were using its EHR software incentive payments to recommend its electronic health records products to prospective clients.  Not only were these users of Defendant’s software receiving incentive payments, but they also allegedly signed contracts with the defendant that prevented them from saying anything negative about the defendant’s EHR software program.  As a result of that contractual provision, according to the complaint, defendant earned millions of dollars not because of the effectiveness of its product, but because of hidden incentive payments and being restrained from providing any negative feedback about the EHR software. This settlement originated from a lawsuit filed by an individual with information of the alleged kickback scheme.

Fighting Back Against Employer Retaliation

Many FCA qui tams are brought by employees of the offending businesses because they are the persons with original information of the fraud being perpetrated against the government. The False Claims Act protects employees against retaliation from their employers for blowing the whistle on any fraud against the government.  But despite this legal prohibition, companies continue to retaliate against whistleblowers and often invent pretexts for getting rid of whistleblowers to disguise their true intent in terminating the individual.  Fortunately, the law allows employee whistleblowers to fight back. 31 U.S.C. § 3730(h).  If you are fired because you brought any fraud to light, you may be entitled to sue your employer in court  and seek double back pay (with interest), reinstatement, reasonable attorneys’ fees, and reimbursement for certain costs in connection with the litigation. 31 U.S.C. § 3730(h)(2). Evans Law Firm, Inc. can represent you in any action for retaliation as well as represent you in your underlying whistleblower application.

Contact Us

If you have credible information of government contractor fraud against Medicare or Medi-Cal call Ingrid M. Evans at (415) 441-8669, or toll-free at 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267) or by email at <a href=”mailto:info@evanslaw.com”>info@evanslaw.com</a>.  In addition to FCA and CFCA whistleblower cases, Ingrid also handles bank fraud whistleblower cases under FIRREA/FIAFEA, commodity trading and securities fraud under the Commodities Futures Trading Commission Whistleblower Program and the Securities and Exchange Commission Whistleblower Program, and tax fraud under the Internal Revenue Service Whistleblower Program. 

[1] Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in the case in any way.

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