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criminal 188 articles

Whistleblowers share $1.5 million for exposing illegal kickback scheme at Abbott Laboratories

Two former Abbott Laboratories employees who sued the pharmaceutical giant under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act will share more than $1 million from funds recovered in a December settlement agreement. Abbott agreed to pay the U.S more than $5.47 million to resolve the whistleblowers’ allegations that it illegally paid kickbacks to prominent physicians as incentive for implanting the company’s carotid, peripheral, and biliary vascular products in patients. According to the complaint, Abbott paid the doctors for teaching assignments, speaking engagements, and conferences with the expectation that they would arrange for hospitals with which they were affiliated to ... Read More

Florida hospital operator faces eight whistleblower cases alleging Medicare fraud and kickbacks

The federal government has intervened in eight separate whistleblower lawsuits filed under the False Claims Act against Health Management Associates, Inc. (HMA), a Naples, Fla.-based company that operates 71 hospitals in 15 states including Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi. The lawsuits allege that the company devised a scheme to unnecessarily admit emergency-room patients as inpatients and bill Medicare, Medicaid, and other taxpayer-funded health care programs for the treatment. According to the Justice Department, the U.S. government also backs allegations included in one of the whistleblower lawsuits that Gary Newsome, HMA’s former CEO, orchestrated a companywide practice of pressuring emergency room doctors ... Read More

Whistleblower lawsuit says Pfizer used Lipitor to defraud Medicare out of billions

A Florida-based nonprofit health education and advocacy group has filed a whistleblower lawsuit against Pfizer Inc. The lawsuit seeks to recover potentially billions of dollars in penalties on behalf the U.S. government for Pfizer’s alleged scheme of “systematic misbranding,” “illegal marketing,” and other fraudulent practices aimed at boosting the cost and sales of its blockbuster statin drug Lipitor. The lawsuit, filed by Health Support Awareness Inc. in a Massachusetts federal court, alleges Pfizer’s campaign to inflate the cost of the drug to consumers and manipulate demand ultimately cost Medicare and other taxpayer-funded health care programs billions of dollars. According to ... Read More

BioScrip to pay $15 million to resolve whistleblower allegations of drug fraud scheme

The U.S. government and six states have reached a settlement agreement with BioScrip Inc., a provider of prescription drugs to Medicare patients. The $15-million settlement resolves allegations brought by a whistleblower under the False Claims Act that the company received illegal kickbacks in exchange for pushing the Novartis drug Exjade on patients who didn’t need the drug or had stopped taking it because of concerns about the drug’s side effects. U.S. authorities alleged that BioScrip was part of a scheme of kickbacks and fraud orchestrated by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation in an effort to boost sales of Exjade, a drug used ... Read More

Tenn. cardiologist to settle whistleblower’s Medicare fraud allegations for $1.15 million

A Tennessee cardiologist has agreed to pay $1.15 million to settle whistleblower allegations that he performed medically unnecessary heart stent surgeries in order to bill Medicare and Medicaid for the procedures, the U.S. Justice Department announced. According to Derrick Jackson, a special agent with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services who investigated the case, medically unnecessary heart stent procedures have accounted for a substantial share of Medicare and Medicaid fraud in recent years. Cardiac stents are mesh tubes placed in coronary arteries of patients to keep their arteries open during the treatment of coronary heart disease. According to the ... Read More

Jury convicts BP engineer for obstructing investigation of Gulf oil spill

A jury in a federal New Orleans court convicted former BP drilling engineer Kurt Mix on one count of obstruction for deleting text messages and voicemails from his cell phone that he was supposed to preserve as evidence in the ongoing BP trial and investigations of its massive 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The deadlocked jury appeared to be headed for a possible mistrial Tuesday before finally reaching a verdict in the case on Wednesday. The obstruction of justice charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $25,000 fine. The jury acquitted Mr. Mix of ... Read More

U.S. takes over whistleblower lawsuit against national hospital care provider

The U.S. Justice Department said it has chosen to intervene in a whistleblower lawsuit against IPC The Hospitalist Co. of North Hollywood, Calif., – a national hospital care provider with more than 1,300 facilities in 28 states. Dallas, Texas, physician Bijan Oughatiyan filed the lawsuit in 2009 under the qui tam, or whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act, which allow private-sector employees to sue on behalf of the U.S. government when they have evidence that their employer or affiliated company defrauded taxpayer-funded programs such as Medicare and Medicaid or government agencies. Dr. Oughatiyan worked for IPC in San Antonio ... Read More

Another multi-billion agreement with U.S. expected for JP Morgan next week

JP Morgan Chase is close to reaching another giant settlement agreement with the U.S. government that would resolve allegations it turned a blind eye to Ponzi-scheme swindler Bernie Madoff and his illegal activities. The deal, worth about $2 billion, is also said to contain an unusual method of addressing the company’s criminal wrongdoing. According to the New York Times, the bank has tentatively agreed to pay the massive fine and a settlement could come as early as next week. The bulk of the money recovered would go to compensating some of the victims of Mr. Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, which is ... Read More

CVS agrees to pay $4.25 million to settle whistleblower’s fraud allegations

A lawsuit filed under the federal False Claims Act against CVS Caremark Corp. has resulted in a $4.25-million settlement to resolve a whistleblower’s allegations that the company knowingly defrauded federal and state Medicaid programs by failing to reimburse the taxpayer-funded programs for drug expenses that should have been paid by the private insurer. Under the terms of the agreement, the federal government will receive $2.31 million. Five states that joined the lawsuit – Arkansas, California, Delaware, Louisiana and Massachusetts – will share $1.94 million. Texas also joined the lawsuit but settled the allegations separately. CVS Caremark is one of the ... Read More

Cancer treatment corporation resolves whistleblower fraud claims with U.S. for $2 million

A California-based cancer treatment chain with clinics in multiple states has agreed to pay more than $2 million to resolve a whistleblower’s allegations that its Illinois clinics submitted false claims for radiation oncology services to Medicare, the U.S. Justice Department announced. According to the Justice Department, Vantage Oncology LLC of Manhattan Beach, Calif., both double billed and overbilled Medicare for certain procedures, billed for services that lacked supporting documentation, and billed for radiation treatments it administered without proper supervision from a physician. The lawsuit alleged that the fraud occurred from 2007 through June 2012. This $2.08-million settlement resolves a lawsuit ... Read More