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Oct 4, 2021 by |

San Francisco Whistleblower Attorney: Justice Department Announces $160 Million Settlement Of False Claims Act Case

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Allegations Of Kickbacks And False Eligibility Certifications

Claims For Deceased Patients

Company Founders Previously Settle For $1 Million 

Health care spending in the U.S. exceeded $3.8 trillion in 2019, and a large percentage of that money comes from government payouts under Medicare, Medicaid, the VA, government employee health coverage, and other federal and State programs. Whenever there is that much money, there is bound to be fraud, and fraud in the healthcare industry costs the government billions every year.  Under the False Claims Act (FCA), 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729 et seq., individuals are authorized to bring actions on behalf of the government to recover from defrauding companies and individuals. These actions are known as “qui tams” and individual qui tam cases do more to recover money for the government than the government itself does. Persons bringing these cases are referred to as “relators” and relators can be rewarded for bringing suit if the government recovers against the offending companies. 31 U.S.C. § 3730(d).  If you have credible information of Medicare fraud, illegal kickbacks or other 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).

$160 Million Settlement

In a recent settlement announced by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ),[1] the nation’s largest Medicare mail-order diabetic testing supplier, and its parent company agreed to collectively pay $160 million to resolve allegations that they violated the FCA.  According to DOJ, from April 2010 through 2016, defendants allegedly made or caused to be made false claims to Medicare that were tainted by kickbacks paid to Medicare beneficiaries, for patients who were ineligible to receive meters, or for patients who were deceased. The allegations include that the defendants provided free or no-cost glucometers by routinely waiving, or not collecting, copayments for meters and diabetic testing supplies. The company founders previously paid $1 million to resolve allegations related to the scheme.  A former employee of defendant’s call center blew the whistle on these practices and is eligible for 15-25% of the $160 million settlement.

Remedies For Wrongful Termination

The relator in this case was a former employee. Often, however, current employees are the individuals who have the original information of the fraud.  Current employees, agents, executives, officers, and others are protected from employer retaliation for bringing false claims qui tam cases. 31 U.S.C. § 3730(h).  Despite this legal protection, employers continue to retaliate against whistleblowers.  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 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 cases in any way. The qui tam case is captioned United States ex rel. Goodman v. Arriva Medical LLC et al., Case No. 3:13-cv-00760 (M.D. Tenn.).

 

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