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Consumer Fraud 1449 articles

Florida Vascular Surgeon Settles False Claims Allegations for $2.2 Million

A Florida vascular surgeon has agreed to settle a False Claims Act lawsuit brought by a whistleblower who claimed the doctor and his practice billed Medicare and other federal health care programs for vein ablation procedures that “contained false diagnoses and symptoms.” Dr. Irfran Siddiqui, owner of the Heart and Vascular Institute of Florida, will pay the U.S. $2.2 million to resolve the whistleblower lawsuit, the U.S. Attorney’ Office for the Middle District of Florida announced. According to the complaint, Dr. Siddiqui and his Davenport-based practice submitted false claims to Medicare and TRICARE from Jan. 2, 2011, to June 30, ... Read More

Medicare Fraud Lands Miami Pharmacy Owner 87-Month Prison Sentence

The owner of a Miami Beach pharmacy who received more than $8.4 million from Medicare over a six-year period for prescription drugs he never dispensed to beneficiaries was sentenced Dec. 18 to more than seven years in prison. On top of the prison sentence, Antonio Perez Jr., 48, of Miami Beach, will also have to pay the U.S. $8,415,824 in restitution and forfeit the same amount, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) said in a Dec. 18 announcement. The forfeiture includes Miami-area properties worth about $700,000 that Mr. Perez owns and multiple bank accounts totaling more than $250,000. Mr. Perez ... Read More

VW Supplier Pleads Guilty, Pays $35 Million Fine for Diesel Emissions Cheat

Volkswagen (VW) supplier IAV GmbH has pleaded guilty to a federal felony charge and agreed to pay a $35 million criminal fine for its role in developing the defeat devices for VW diesel engines that cheated U.S. emissions standards. Federal prosecutors said that Berlin, Germany-based IAV GmbH agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and VW’s U.S. customers by misleading them about whether certain VW and Audi diesel vehicles complied with federal emissions standards. IAV GmbH and its co-conspirators knew the vehicles did not meet U.S. emissions standards and worked with VW and ... Read More

Whistleblower Case Recovers $14.5 Million From Finance of America Mortgage

A whistleblower was instrumental in helping the U.S. recover $14.5 million in Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insurance funds from Gateway Funding Diversified Mortgage Services, which Finance of America Mortgage LLC acquired in 2015. Debra McGeehan, a former quality control underwriter for Gateway, filed a lawsuit on behalf of the U.S. government under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act. She alleges that Gateway knowingly originated and underwrote mortgage loans that did not qualify for FHA insurance. When borrowers defaulted on their mortgages, FHA (i.e. U.S. taxpayers) got stuck with the bill. Gateway participated as a direct endorsement lender (DEL) ... Read More

Tennessee Doctor Arrested for Opioid Fraud, False Claims

A Tennessee doctor faces 45 criminal charges related to opioid distribution, health care fraud, and money laundering, according to federal prosecutors. Dr. Samson Orusa, 56, of Clarksville, could be sentenced to up to 30 years if convicted of the federal charges. He was arrested Dec. 13 and indicted on 22 counts of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance outside the bounds of professional medical practice, 13 counts of health care fraud, and nine counts of money laundering, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Tennessee announced. The government alleges that Dr. Orusa opened his pain clinic in 2014 ... Read More

Whistleblower Retaliation Case Against Oregon Lottery Goes to Trial

A former Oregon Lottery official who filed a whistleblower retaliation lawsuit against the lottery agency and the state is having his allegations heard. The trial began on Monday, Dec. 10. According to Willamette Week, Trinh C. Tran filed his whistleblower lawsuit against the lottery last year claiming that lottery director Barry Pack retaliated against him in 2016 after he talked to the Lottery Commission and the governor’s staff about former lottery director Jack Roberts’ management style. Shortly after talking with Lottery Commission member Elizabeth Carle and Gov. Kate Brown’s staff, Gov. Brown fired Mr. Roberts. Mr. Pack, who worked as ... Read More

New York Law Firm Pays U.S. $6.1 Million to Settle False Claims Case

A New York law firm specializing in mortgage foreclosures has agreed to pay the U.S. more than $6 million to settle allegations that it caused the submission of false claims to Fannie Mae with inflated service expenses. The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced the agreement, saying that Rosicki Rosicki & Associates and its wholly owned affiliates, Enterprise Process Service and Paramount Land, “systematically generated false and inflated bills for foreclosure-related and eviction-related expenses,” and then caused the submission of those expenses to Fannie Mae. Fannie Mae approved Rosicki to perform legal work in connection with ... Read More

Actelion Pays $360 Million To Resolve Fraudulent Medicare Kickback Case

Actelion Pharmaceuticals has agreed to pay $360 million to resolve claims that it used a charity to pay illegal kickbacks to Medicare patients to boost sales of its pulmonary arterial hypertension drugs. In a Dec. 7 announcement, the U.S. Department of Justice said that Actelion, which became a unit of Johnson & Johnson last year, arranged to pay the Medicare co-pay obligations for thousands of patients taking its pulmonary arterial hypertension drugs Tracleer, Ventavis, Veletri, and Opsumit. Medicare requires beneficiaries to partially pay for some prescription drugs as a way to keep prescription drug costs in check, including the prices ... Read More

Nevada Cardiologist Pleads Guilty to Opioid Prescription Fraud

A Nevada cardiologist charged with widespread opioid and health care fraud pleaded guilty on Nov. 26 to one charge of illegal distribution of a controlled substance, federal authorities announced. Dr. Devendra Patel, 59, was the first physician in the state to face criminal drug distribution charges under a federal push to clamp down on opioid “pill mill” clinics and the doctors who run them. The government has stepped up efforts to beat back the rising tide of opioid addiction and death, which former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the “worst drug crisis in American history.” Dr. Patel, who ran ... Read More

Whistleblower Sues Oregon DMV, Alleging Retaliation Over Sexual Harassment Complaints

A Salem, Oregon woman has filed a whistleblower complaint against the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles, accusing the agency of retaliating against her for reporting sexual harassment in the workplace. The whistleblower complaint was filed in Marion County Circuit Court Nov. 8 by a woman who worked for the Oregon DMV as a document specialist. The plaintiff’s position was a temporary one, but she was interviewing last year for a permanent position as office specialist within the DMV. It was on Dec. 8, after her second interview, that she says her troubles at the DMV began. According to the Salem ... Read More