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claims 1059 articles

Army contractor to pay $10 million to settle False Claims Act fraud allegations


First RF Corporation (First RF), an antenna and radio technology company, has agreed to pay the U.S. $10 million to settle allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by lying to the U.S. Army about the manufacturing costs of antennas it had been contracted to provide. According to the U.S. Justice Department, the Army contracted Boulder, Colo.-based First RF in 2005 to manufacture electronic warfare antenna systems.  The Army used the antennas to detect Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) in combat. An investigation conducted by the Defense Criminal Investigative Service with the Commercial Litigation Branch of the Justice Department’s Civil ... Read More

National dialysis clinic to pay $350 million to settle whistleblower allegations


DaVita Healthcare Partners, Inc., one of the top providers of dialysis services in the U.S., has agreed to pay $350 million to resolve whistleblower allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by providing kickbacks to physicians who would in turn refer patients to DaVita dialysis clinics. Denver, Colo.-based DaVita operates dialysis clinics in 46 states and Washington D.C. According to the U.S. Justice Department, the settlement resolves allegations originally brought in a qui tam complaint by David Barbetta, a former Senior Financial Analyst in DaVita’s Mergers and Acquisitions Department. The U.S. chose to intervene in the case, as the ... Read More

Remove Trinity guardrails from nation’s highways, Connecticut senator tells federal safety officials

guard-rail - KCPQ-TV image

Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) is urging the federal government to remove and replace potentially deadly guardrails along highways throughout the nation after a whistleblower suing a leading guardrail manufacturer won a jury verdict of $175 million. Sen. Blumenthal says the Federal Highway Administration neglected to investigate alterations Trinity Industries made in its ET-Plus guardrail system nearly a decade ago. That change, whistleblower Josh Harman alleged in his False Claims Act lawsuit against the company, altered the guardrails’ performance when struck, making them behave more like giant deadly spears than lifesaving devices. “Nearly every state has them, and the Federal Highway ... Read More

Four whistleblowers share $3.9 million reward after Boeing settles fraud case


Four whistleblowers will share a $3.9-million reward for their role in exposing fraudulent billing practices at a Boeing C-17 Globemaster aircraft support facility in San Antonio. The reward is derived from a $23-million settlement the aircraft manufacturer and the U.S. Justice Department reached earlier this month. Former Boeing employees Clinton Craddock, Fred Van Shoubrouek, Anthony Rico, and Fernando de la Garza filed their whistleblower suit against Boeing in federal court in San Antonio alleging the company defrauded taxpayers by overcharging the Defense Department for maintenance work on the C-17 airplanes, which provide one of the military’s major means of transporting ... Read More

U.S. chooses to intervene in whistleblower case against Sikorsky Aircraft and subisdiaries


The federal government said that it has chosen to intervene in a whistleblower lawsuit against Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation and two of its subsidiaries alleging the companies, under contract to the Defense Department, used illegal subcontracts to overcharge the U.S. Navy for aircraft parts and maintenance. Whistleblower Mary Patzer, a former financial analyst for Milwaukee-based Derco Aerospace Inc., one of the Sikorsky companies, filed the lawsuit in 2011 under the qui tam or “whistleblower” provisions of the False Claims Act. The Act allows private individuals to sue on behalf of the federal government when they have good, original evidence of fraud ... Read More

Verdict in whistleblower guardrail case could be breakthrough for False Claims Act suit

guard-rail - KCPQ-TV image

Just because the U.S. government fails to intervene in a False Claims Act case doesn’t mean the lawsuit can’t prevail in court, a fact demonstrated by the $175-million verdict a Texas federal jury handed down this week in a whistleblower case against the nation’s leading guardrail manufacturer. According to the Wall Street Journal, the verdict in whistleblower Josh Harman’s case against Trinity Industries Inc. should serve as a “False Claims Act wake-up call” to companies that contract with or in other ways do business with federal agencies and programs, signaling that even false claims lawsuits without the government’s backing can ... Read More

U.S. settles whistleblower allegations with diagnostic centers for $2.6 million


Two groups of Houston-based medical diagnostic centers have agreed to pay the U.S. more than $2.6 million to resolve a group of whistleblower allegations that they entered into improper financial agreements with physicians in schemes to boost Medicare referrals. According to the U.S. Justice Department, One Step Diagnostic has agreed to pay $1.2 million to settle allegations it violated the Stark Statute and the False Claims Act by entering into bogus consulting and medical director agreements with physicians who referred patients to One Step Diagnostic Centers. The other group of centers consists of Complete Imaging Solutions doing business as Houston ... Read More

More U.S. farmers sue Syngenta for tainting corn supply with genetically engineered strains

corn supply contamination negatively affects US farmers export

Farmers in Alabama and 10 other states have filed lawsuits against Swiss agribusiness giant Syngenta AG alleging the company contaminated the U.S. corn supply with a genetically engineered strain of corn that China refuses to import. The lawsuits claim that Syngenta’s contamination of the corn supply, much of which is bound for export, caused China to reject nearly 1.5 million tons of U.S. corn shipments, resulting in an 11-cent-per-bushel drop in prices and depressing the overall corn market. This in turn, plaintiffs allege, has hurt corn farmers across the country. The complaints stem from Syngenta’s genetically modified Agrisure Viptera corn, which ... Read More

Kentucky cardiologists settle health care fraud charges brought by whistleblowers


Two Kentucky cardiologists have agreed to pay $380,000 to settle allegations made by whistleblowers that they violated the U.S. False Claims Act, federal Anti-Kickback Statute, and the Stark Law by making “sham agreements” with a London, Ky., hospital that resulted in referrals for cardiology procedures and other health care services. According to the U.S. Justice Department, Dr. Satyabrata Chatterjee and Dr. Ashwini Anand jointly own Cumberland Clinic, a physician group that provides cardiology services. The government alleged that St. Joseph Hospital of London, Kentucky had agreements with the doctors under which the hospital paid the physicians to provide fictitious management ... Read More

Texas guardrail maker loses whistleblower case, jury orders company to pay $175 million

guard-rail - KCPQ-TV image

A Texas guardrail manufacturer accused by a whistleblower of defrauding the federal government has been ordered to pay $175 million by a federal jury. Dallas-based Trinity industries for years has manufactured guardrail systems for the Federal Highway Administration (FHA), which uses them on highways in most every state. In 2012, whistleblower Josh Harman, a Virginia guardrail installer and safety advocate, sued Trinity under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act, accusing the company of secretly changing the design of its government-approved ET-Plus guardrail system. According to Mr. Harman, the redesigned ET-Plus guardrails cost less for Trinity to produce ... Read More