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Feb 18, 2022 by |

San Francisco Whistleblower Attorney: Diabetic Shoe Company To Pay $5.5 Million To Settle False Claims Act Allegations

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Alleged Misrepresentations Regarding Prescription Shoes

Government Alleges Five Years Of False Claims For Payment

Former Employee Whistleblower Will Receive Share Of Settlement

Private individuals bringing suits under the False Claims Act (FCA), 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729 et seq., recover billions of dollars every year for the government against businesses and individuals which have submitted false claims to the government for payments of various kinds.  The largest category of such false claims comes from the healthcare sector where the government pays out billions every year under program like Medicare and Medicaid for fraudulent claims.   Individuals who bring actions (known as “qui tams”) under the FCA for recovery of those funds can be rewarded if the government recovers. 31 U.S.C. § 3730(d).  The individuals bringing the qui tam cases are known as “relators.”  If you have credible information of healthcare fraud in San Francisco 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).

Pharmacist Settles FCA Allegations For $1 Million

In a recent settlement announced by the U.S. Department of Justice,[1] a diabetic shoe company based and its CEO have agreed to pay $5,538,338 to settle allegations that the company sold custom diabetic shoe inserts that were not actually custom-fabricated in accordance with Medicare standards.  The United States alleged that between 2013 and 2018, the defendants sold diabetic shoe inserts to customers nationwide, representing that many of those inserts were custom-made for an individual’s foot, when the inserts were actually made using generic foot models.  The inserts were dispensed to diabetic patients who had a prescription from a health care provider and who believed they were getting a custom product.  According to the government, despite fabricating the inserts using generic models, defendants billed Medicare and Medicaid for the custom version, or sold the inserts to other providers who then billed government health care programs for custom inserts.  The government also alleged that the manufacturer advertised to customers that it was proud to be Medicare-compliant and had received Medicare approval for its custom diabetic shoe inserts, even though the company had in fact received the Medicare approvals based on false information according to the government.

Starting A Qui Tam Case

Qui tam cases such as this one begin with filing a complaint in the federal district court where the allegedly fraudulent conduct occurred.  31 U.S.C. § 3730(b).  The complaint is filed under seal.  The government has sixty days to review the allegations and decide whether to intervene.  This review period can be extended.  If the government decides to intervene, the government essentially takes over the litigation.  31 U.S.C. § 3730(c).  If the government decides not to intervene, the relator has the right to continue the litigation on his or her own.  If the relator continues the litigation alone, he or she receive a larger percentage of the amount the government eventually recovers.  31 U.S.C. § 3730(d).  The relator may also pursue claims for wrongful retaliation against the defendant if the relator was fired or demoted as a result of blowing the whistle.  31 U.S.C. § 3730(h).

Contact Us

If you have credible information of government fraud 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 and Evans Law Firm, Inc. also handle 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. The qui tam case is captioned United States ex rel. Newman v. Foot Care Store, Inc. d/b/a Dia-Foot, 9:18-CV-80702 (S.D. Fla.).

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