Category

Consumer Fraud 1449 articles

Whistleblowers Help U.S. Recover $3.8 Million From Vascular Care Company

Two whistleblowers who alleged that a Philadelphia-based vascular health company and several of its subsidiaries were cheating Medicare and engaging in illegal kickback schemes have helped the U.S. recover more than $3.8 million. The whistleblowers filed separate lawsuits alleging Vascular Access Centers LP and 23 of its subsidiary companies violated the federal False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback Statute, both of which are intended to protect U.S. taxpayer money from being squandered and misspent. The U.S. Department of Justice investigated the whistleblowers’ claims and chose to intervene, thereby taking over their litigation. ‘ According to the Justice Department, Vascular Access Centers ... Read More

Whistleblower Case Accusing Bayer of Baycol Fraud Moves Forward

A longstanding whistleblower lawsuit alleging Bayer AG cheated the U.S. Department of Defense by fraudulently representing its cholesterol drug Baycol as safe and effective will move forward after previously being dismissed. U.S. District Judge Michael J. Davis in Minnesota, who dismissed the case in 2015, found on Oct. 16 that whistleblower Laurie Simpson had presented sufficient proof that she had direct and original knowledge of the health risks associated with Baycol and Bayer’s downplaying of those risks. The Eighth Circuit sent the whistleblower lawsuit back to Judge Davis after finding on appeal that Ms. Simpson’s allegations satisfied the “who, what, ... Read More

Montana’s Kalispell Hospital Network Settles Whistleblower Lawsuit for $24 million

Kalispell Regional Healthcare System of Kalispell, Montana and six affiliates have agreed to pay $24 million to settle allegations stemming from a whistleblower lawsuit that they engaged in an extensive kickback scheme. The government alleged that Kalispell Regional maintained arrangements with referring physicians that violated the Stark Law, the Anti-Kickback Statute, and the federal False Claims Act. U.S. law prohibits hospitals and other health care providers from engaging in kickback arrangements and other schemes that provide money or other gifts for patient referrals. Services billed to Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal health care programs that were influenced by illegal kickbacks ... Read More

Defense Contractor Pays $7.8 Million To Resolve Fraud Allegations

A defense contractor has agreed to pay $7.8 million to settle allegations with the U.S. government that it illegally exploited military contracts set aside for small businesses. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia said that Arena Event Services Inc., which does business as Arena Americas, coordinated with Military Training Solutions LLC (MTS) to obtain the small business contracts. Congress mandates that a certain amount of government contracts go to small businesses as a way to encourage small business growth. These contracts prohibit the small business from being affiliated with a non-small business, while also limiting the ... Read More

AmerisourceBergen Pays U.S. $625 Million, Resolving Illegal Drug Repackaging Scheme

AmerisourceBergen Corp. and four subsidiary companies will pay $625 million to settle allegations that they ran a profiteering scheme that involved buying sterile vials of drugs from manufacturers, breaking them open, pooling the contents, and then repackaging them into pre-filled syringes. AmerisourceBergen, a drug wholesaler that ranks number 11 on the Fortune 500 list, provided the illegally repackaged drugs to physicians treating cancer patients, the U.S. Department of Justice said in its announcement of the settlement. Federal prosecutors alleged that AmerisourceBergen profited by skimming drug overfill from the FDA-approved sterile vials and repacking them into pre-filled syringes. They said the ... Read More

DaVita’s HealthCare Partners Pays $270 Million to Settle Medicare Fraud Allegations

HealthCare Partners Holdings, a unit of DaVita Medical Holdings, has agreed to pay $270 million to settle allegations stemming partly from a whistleblower lawsuit alleging the companies caused Medicare to overpay on insurance claims submitted by Medicare Advantage plan providers. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, HealthCare Partners, an independent physicians association based in California, contracted with insurance companies to provide medical services to Medicare Advantage patients. Unlike traditional Medicare, which pays health providers for patient services they provide to beneficiaries, Medicare Advantage Plans are paid a fixed, monthly amount to provide health care to Medicare recipients who enroll ... Read More

Class action filed against makers, distributors of contaminated BP drug

A St. Louis man filed a class action lawsuit against a number of drug companies for manufacturing and distributing certain blood pressure and heart failure medications containing the active ingredient valsartan that may have been contaminated with a probable carcinogen. James Jones filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri two months after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) informed the public about the issue and announced the first wave of recalls of drugs that contained valsartan. Companies named in the lawsuit are Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., Prinston Pharmaceuticals, Solco Healthcare U.S. LLC, ... Read More

Uber Agrees to Pay Record $148M To Settle Data Breach Coverup

Uber will pay $148 million to settle an investigation into a massive 2016 data breach that the ride-hailing company allegedly covered up by paying off the hackers. The nationwide settlement, led by California, is the largest-ever multi-state data breach settlement. The settlement funds will be divided equally among all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The data breach exposed the names, email addresses, phone numbers, and other personal information of 57 million Uber users, but the company did not disclose the hack until late 2017. Uber managed to keep the data breach out of public view until late 2017, ... Read More

Facebook Security Breach Affects 50 Million Accounts

Approximately 50 million Facebook accounts were hijacked by hackers through a vulnerability in the social media app’s “View As” feature, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on Friday, Sept. 28. “On Tuesday, we discovered that an attacker exploited a technical vulnerability to steal access tokens that would allow them to log into about 50 million people’s accounts on Facebook,” Mr. Zuckerberg said in a Sept. 27 Facebook post. “This attack exploited the complex interaction of multiple issues in our code. It stemmed from a change we made to our video uploading feature in July 2017, which impacted ‘View As,'” said Guy Rosen, ... Read More

SEC Awards Overseas Whistleblower $4 Million

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said it has paid nearly $4 million to an overseas whistleblower whose “extensive assistance” helped regulators take a successful enforcement action against the offending company. “Whistleblowers, whether they are located in the U.S. or abroad, provide a valuable service to investors and help us stop wrongdoing,” said Jane Norberg, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, in a Sept. 24 announcement. “This award recognizes the continued, important assistance provided by the whistleblower throughout the course of the investigation.” September has been an active month for the SEC’s Whistleblower program, which has been ... Read More