Category

Consumer Fraud 1413 articles

Florida Opioid Pill Mill Doctor, Staff Go to Prison

A South Florida doctor busted for illegally dispensing prescription opioid painkillers to cash-paying “patients” has been sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison. Dr. Andres Mecia, 64, of Fort Lauderdale, ran an opioid pill mill in his Oakland Park, Florida clinic, Adult & Geriatric Institute of Florida Inc., which operated under the name AGI Medical & Dental. According to the government’s allegations, Dr. Mencia and office personnel — Oscar Luis Ventura-Rodriguez, 41, of Ft. Lauderdale; Nadira Sampath-Grant, 51, of Margate, and John Mensah, 50, of Miami, performed sham consultations with patients seeking opioid drugs. In these consultations, Dr. Mencia and his co-conspirators ... Read More

Houston Psychiatrist Gets 12 Years For Health care Fraud Scheme

A Houston, Texas, psychiatrist convicted by a federal jury of engaging in a $155 million health care fraud scheme has been sentenced to more than 12 years in prison. Riyaz Mazcuri, 67, a former attending psychiatrist at Riverside General Hospital in Houston, received the sentence after a five-day trial that found him guilty on five counts of health care fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. In addition to the prison sentence, federal Judge Vanessa Gilmore in Houston ordered Dr. Mazcuri to pay $20.6 million in restitution to Medicare and $2.25 million in restitution to Medicaid. ... Read More

Aetna’s Opioid Fraud Lawsuit Against Insys Allowed to Stand

Insys Therapeutics must face a lawsuit filed by Aetna accusing the drug company of duping the health care insurance corporation into paying claims for Subsys prescriptions when the potent opioid painkiller was prescribed for unapproved, off-label purposes. U.S. District Judge Cynthia Rufe in Philadelphia refused to toss Aetna’s complaint in an Aug. 23 ruling. The lawsuit against Insys is one of several similar lawsuits filed by health insurers who accuse the drug maker of defrauding them into paying for Subsys prescriptions that were not just inappropriate but dangerous. Insys manufactured Subsys, the brand name for fentanyl, as a last-resort opioid ... Read More

Whistleblower Helps Medicare Recover $4 Million From Florida Dermatology Practice

A dermatologist who filed a whistleblower lawsuit against a Florida dermatology practice alleging it defrauded Medicare and Medicaid has helped the U.S. government recover $4 million. Dermatology Healthcare, a Tampa-based provider of dermatology care to residents of assisted living facilities, agreed to settle the government’s claims of fraud, which originated with a False Claims Act lawsuit filed by Dr. Theodore A. Schiff, according to an announcement by U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez. Dr. Schiff filed the lawsuit under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act, alleging Dermatology Healthcare failed to adequately supervise the administration of superficial radiation therapy to ... Read More

Colorado, Florida Tire Defect Plaintiffs Get Class Certification

Drivers in Colorado and Florida suing TBC Corp. and Dynamic Tire Corp. over allegedly defective tires received state class certification for their complaints. Plaintiffs from Arizona, California, Colorado, and Florida filed a complaint in June 2017, alleging they all bought trailers fitted with TBC Corp. and Dynamic Tire Corp. tires with defects that caused their treads to separate from their casings. The plaintiffs allege that the tire companies knew the tires were prone to tread separation but failed to disclose the defect to consumers. The drivers filed a motion for class certification on April 27, 2018. According to Law 360, ... Read More

Court Allows Whistleblower Retaliation Suit Against New Mexico DA to Stand

A whistleblower lawsuit against a southern New Mexico district attorney has survived a second attempt by the defendant’s attorneys to get the case dismissed. The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that New Mexico state judge Jarod Hofacket denied a motion by lawyers representing Dona Ana County District Attorney Mark D’Antonio to reject a whistleblower lawsuit brought by Marylou Bonacci, a former office manager at Mr. D’Antonio’s office. According to the Sun-News, Ms. Bonacci claims she was terminated in retaliation for speaking out against corruption and other wrongful conduct she allegedly witnessed in the D.A.’s office. The whistleblower lawsuit, which Ms. Bonacci filed ... Read More

Whistleblower Suit Ends in $21 Million Recovery from Ambulance Kickback Schemers

A sprawling whistleblower lawsuit implicating an ambulance company, its affiliated companies, and several municipal clients in an illegal kickback scheme has been settled, federal prosecutors announced. East Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System and East Texas Medical Center Regional Health Services (“the ETMC defendants”) their affiliated ambulance company, Paramedics Plus, and other defendants agreed to pay the U.S. more than $21 million to resolve the allegations, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. The government’s case against the ambulance industry defendants stems from a complaint filed by Dr. Stephen Dean under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act. The ... Read More

Sitka Police Detective Files Whistleblower Retaliation Complaint Against Department

A police detective in Sitka, Alaska, has filed a whistleblower complaint against the city’s police department, alleging it took retaliatory action against him for raising concerns about gun procurement and other dubious practices within the department. According to Sitka’s KCAW News, trouble started for Sitka Police Department investigator Ryan Silva when he discovered the department had unlawfully purchased five fully automatic weapons in November 2017. Det. Silva joined the Sitka Police Department in 2008 after serving in the U.S. Coast Guard. He was promoted to detective in 2011 and has served in that role since. He is also one of ... Read More

E-Liquid Companies Cease Child-Friendly Marketing After FDA Warning

E-liquid manufacturers, distributors, and retailers that pedaled nicotine products with kid-friendly appeal have stopped targeting children after receiving a federal warning in May, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said. The FDA, along with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sent official warnings to 17 e-liquid companies that misleadingly labeled or advertised nicotine-containing e-liquids with lots of appeal to children, dressing their products in labels that resembled popular juice boxes, cookies, and candy. In addition to luring children to start using nicotine, the e-liquids, which are used in e-cigarettes and other electronic vaping devices, posed real dangers to very young children ... Read More

Utah Transit Whistleblower Wins Wrongful Retaliation Case

The Utah Transit Authority has been ordered to reinstate and compensate a former employee it fired after he raised concerns about safety violations. Michael Clara, who worked for the Utah Transit Authority as a transit planner, filed a complaint against the transit agency claiming he had been wrongfully terminated for voicing his concerns about alleged violations internally, the Associated Press reported. On Aug. 13, U.S. Department of Labor Administrative Law Judge Lee Romero Jr. ruled in Mr. Clara’s favor, saying the UTA “unlawfully discriminated against Mr. Clara.” The judge ordered the UTA to reinstate Mr. Clara to his former position ... Read More