The Department of Justice recently announced the settlements, listed below, in False Claims Act cases. The False Claims Act permits private parties to sue on behalf of the government those who falsely claim federal funds or avoid paying funds owed to the government. The United States may intervene in and take over the lawsuit. The False Claims Act also allows the whistleblower to receive a share of any funds recovered through the lawsuit. The False Claims Act is one of the most powerful tools to combat government contract fraud. Since January 2009, the Justice Department has recovered a total of more than $23.8 billion through False Claims Act cases, with more than $15.2 billion of that amount recovered in cases involving fraud against federal health care programs.
Robinson Health System Inc. has agreed to pay $10 million to settle claims that it violated the False Claims Act, the Anti-Kickback Statute and the Stark Statute by engaging in improper financial relationships with referring physicians, the Justice Department announced today. Robinson is a nonprofit corporation based in Ohio that operates a number of health care facilities in Portage County, Ohio, including Robinson Memorial Hospital.
Medtronic plc and affiliated Medtronic companies, Medtronic Inc., Medtronic USA Inc., and Medtronic Sofamor Danek USA Inc., have agreed to pay $4.41 million to the United States to resolve allegations that they violated the False Claims Act by making false statements to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) regarding the country of origin of certain Medtronic products sold to the United States.
Orlando, Florida, based Air Ideal Inc. and its majority owner, Kim Amkraut, have agreed to pay the United States $250,000 to resolve allegations that they made false statements to the Small Business Administration (SBA) to obtain certification as a Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) company. Under the settlement, the defendants must also pay five percent of Air Ideal’s gross revenues over the next five years.
Cardiovascular testing disease laboratories Health Diagnostics Laboratory Inc. (HDL), of Richmond, Virginia, and Singulex Inc., of Alameda, California, have agreed to resolve allegations that they violated the False Claims Act by paying remuneration to physicians in exchange for patient referrals and billing federal health care programs for medically unnecessary testing. Under the settlements, which stem from three related whistleblower actions filed under the federal False Claims Act, HDL will pay $47 million and Singulex will pay $1.5 million. The government also intervened in the lawsuits as to similar allegations against another laboratory, Berkeley HeartLab Inc.; a marketing company, BlueWave Healthcare Consultants Inc., and its owners, Floyd Calhoun Dent and J. Bradley Johnson; and former CEO Latonya Mallory of HDL.
If you have knowledge of False Claims Act violations and would like to know how the National Whistleblower Legal Defense & Education Fund can help you file a claim, please contact us.