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criminal 188 articles

Florida school principal files whistleblower lawsuit against superintendent

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The assistant principal of a Tallahassee, Fla., middle school has filed a lawsuit against the Leon County Schools Superintendent alleging the official retaliated against her after she exposed suspicious irregularities in the school’s financial records, the Tallahassee Democrat reports. According to the Democrat, Kimberly Hackett, who has worked for the Leon County school district for more than a decade, filed the complaint in Leon County Circuit Court earlier this month, claiming she was demoted, stripped of her responsibilities, and shuffled around within the district’s administrative offices after she reported her concerns in writing to the principal of ... Read More

U.S. takes over whistleblower lawsuit against Florida home health care company

The U.S. Justice Department has intervened in a whistleblower lawsuit against A Plus Home Health Care, Inc. of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and its owner Tracy Nemerofsky. The lawsuit accuses the company and its owner of defrauding Medicare by creating fake positions for the spouses of affiliated physicians as a way of providing kickbacks in exchange for Medicare patient referrals. According to the U.S. attorney’s office in Miami, the South Florida home health care provider started paying the wives of seven or more doctors and the boyfriend of another physician for performing little or no work. As a result, the company’s ... Read More

NC oil recycler agrees to pay $19 million for toxic waste contamination

WILMINGTON, N.C. – A Wilmington man who has pleaded guilty to violating the federal Toxic Substances Act, making false statements, and failing to pay several years of taxes, has been ordered to pay $19 million in restitution, the U.S. Justice Department announced. Benjamin Franklin Pass, 60, and his Leland, N.C.-based business P&W Waste Oil Services, Inc., admitted to unlawful dumping of waste oil containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and other toxic substances that resulted in widespread contamination of land adjoining the Cape Fear River and a federally recognized, ecologically sensitive wetland. Pass, whose property held multiple tanks ranging from 20,000 gallons ... Read More

Lance Armstrong wants $120-million whistleblower lawsuit dismissed

Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong and his lawyers have asked a federal judge to throw out a $120-million lawsuit brought against him by a whistleblower who says the seven-time Tour de France champion defrauded the U.S. government by taking sponsorship money from the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) while he was doping. Mr. Armstrong was finally stripped of his Tour de France titles last year, after years of denying accusations that he used performance-enhancing drugs to win the races. He admitted in January that he had used the drugs and lied about it. Mr. Armstrong subsequently lost his sponsorship deals and was banned ... Read More

Gallup settles whistleblower lawsuit exposing government contract fraud, misconduct

The Gallup Organization has agreed to pay the United States $10.5 million to settle whistleblower allegations brought by a former executive of the company that it defrauded the U.S. Mint and the State Department by overstating its estimated labor hours in several government contracts and subcontracts. Michael Lindley, the former director of client services at Gallup, brought the whistleblower complaint against the company under the False Claims Act (FCA), which enables private individuals with inside information of fraud and other wrongdoing to sue on behalf of the U.S. and share in the recovery. Mr. Lindley will receive $1.9 million for ... Read More

U.S. takes over whistleblower lawsuit accusing Mobile, Ala., clinic of Medicare fraud

The U.S. government has taken over a whistleblower lawsuit originally brought against Infirmary Health Systems Inc. of Mobile, Ala., and related companies by a doctor who alleges the companies participated in a scheme of illegally billing Medicare for services obtained through  a system of providing and receiving kickbacks in exchange for referrals. According to the lawsuit, IMC-Diagnostic & Medical Clinic P.C. billed Medicare for services referred by Diagnostic Physicians Group doctors in violation of the Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute.  IMC-Diagnostic and Medical Clinic is owned by Infirmary Medical Clinics, a subsidiary of Infirmary Health System. All of the subsidiary ... Read More

Four Florida hospital execs convicted for their roles in giant Medicare fraud scheme

A federal jury has convicted four South Florida individuals on multiple criminal charges for their participation in designing and conducting a scheme to defraud Medicare of millions of dollars. The U.S. Justice Department said that four executives with Hollywood Pavillion, a mental-health hospital in Hollywood, Fla., participated in a $70-million scheme to defraud Medicare by bribing, falsifying documents, and submitting false claims to the government health care program. “The defendants convicted today participated in a massive scheme that attempted to defraud the United States of approximately $70 million by taking advantage of Medicare beneficiaries,” Acting Assistant U.S. Attorney General Raman ... Read More

General Electric settles whistleblower lawsuit alleging military contracting fraud for $6.58 million

A whistleblower lawsuit filed against General Electric Aviation Systems (GEAS) by a former employee who allegedly witnessed the company committing several acts of fraud against the U.S. government has resulted in an agreement to settle the charges for $6.58 million. Ohio-based GEAS manufactures and sells integrated electrical systems and components for commercial and military aircraft. According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), the company allegedly submitted false claims to the U.S. in connection with several contracts it had with the Defense Department. The Navy contracted GEAS to manufacture external fuel tanks (EFTs) for use on the F/A-18 Hornet strike fighter ... Read More

U.S. backs whistleblower nurse’s claims of fraud against Florida hospital

DAYTONA BEACH, FL – A Florida nurse-turned-whistleblower who is suing her employer for allegedly performing unnecessary surgeries and putting patients’ lives at risk in order to overcharge Medicare and Medicaid will have her case heard in November. Elin Baklid-Kunz, a nurse at Halifax Health Medical Center, filed the whistleblower lawsuit in 2009, accusing the hospital of providing illegal kickbacks to doctors, inappropriately admitting patients, and performing unnecessary spinal surgeries. Ms. Baklid-Kunz filed the lawsuit under the False Claims Act (FCA), which has a Qui Tam provision that allows private individuals to sue on behalf of the U.S. government when they ... Read More

Coal company ordered to withdraw retaliatory lawsuit against whistleblower miner

A federal judge has ordered Armstrong Coal to withdraw its lawsuit against a miner who filed a safety discrimination complaint against the company’s management. The judge’s decision deals a harsh blow to Armstrong Coal’s legal team, which may have overreached in taking its action against the miner, and helps preserve the rights of miners to file safety complaints when they believe their life and the lives of their coworkers are endangered by company policy and poor working conditions. The case stems from Reuben Shemwell, 32, a Kentucky miner who worked as a welder in one of Armstrong’s Western Kentucky coal ... Read More