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qui tam 129 articles

Florida shipyard company settles whistleblower allegations for $1 million

A Florida shipyard company that allegedly created a front company so that it could win government contracts designated for disabled veteran-owned companies has agreed to pay the U.S. $1 million to settle a complaint brought against it by two whistleblowers under the False Claims Act. According to the U.S. Justice Department, Jacksonville-based North Florida Shipyards and its president, Matt Self, established a company called Ind-Mar Services Inc. “merely as a contracting vehicle” to wrongfully secure government contracts to repair five Coast Guard ships. Such contracts are intended for companies owned by veterans disabled in the line of duty. To qualify ... Read More

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

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

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

Merck company Organon to pay several states $31 million to settle Medicaid fraud allegations

Following an investigation into possible Medicaid fraud, Drug maker Organon USA Inc., a subsidiary of pharmaceutical giant Merck, has agreed to pay $31 million to settle allegations by several U.S. states that it overcharged their Medicaid programs for the anti-depressant Remeron and Remeron SolTab. The states claimed that Organon encouraged pharmacies to offer Remeron to their nursing home clients by providing the drug at a discount, which gave Organon a competitive edge against other drug manufacturers. Organon then reported the drug’s full cost when it sought reimbursements from the Medicaid programs in multiple states, the plaintiffs alleged. Washington D.C. and ... Read More

Anti-insurance-fraud coalition objects to Illinois court’s ruling against whistleblower

The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud has filed an amicus brief in Illinois state appellate court following a lower court’s ruling that struck down a physical therapist’s whistleblower complaint. According to the Property Casualty 360, the Coalition believes the Illinois court’s decision will weaken the state’s whistleblowing laws and diminish fraud-fighting efforts there. The objectionable ruling centers on complaint brought by Jocelyn Zolna-Pitts against her former employer accusing the clinic of routinely overbilling insurers for patient services. Ms. Zolna-Pitts filed her whistleblower lawsuit in an Illinois Circuit Court under the state’s Insurance Claims Fraud Prevention Act. The court dismissed the lawsuit, ... Read More

Whistleblower case against guardrail manufacturer to be re-tried this week

A whistleblower who claims a leading guardrail manufacturer secretly changed the design of its guardrail systems, making them extremely dangerous and in some cases deadly, will have his case heard again this week after the first trial ended in a mistrial. Joshua Harmon, a safety advocate from Virginia, is suing Trinity Industries Inc. under the qui tam provisions of the federal False Claims Act, which allow private individuals to sue on behalf of the U.S. government. Mr. Harmon alleges that Trinity secretly changed the design of its widely used ET guardrail system to save money, shortening the end terminals. But ... Read More

Preparation is key to a successful whistleblower case

Fraud, abuse, mismanagement, and other forms of wrongdoing are all too common in both the private and public sectors of society these days – an unfortunate fact that elevates the role of the whistleblower in the fight against misconduct and corruption. With lawyers seeing more and more potential whistleblower cases pour in, it’s vital that whistleblowers properly document and state their case before taking it to a lawyer for review. After whistleblowers select experienced and competent legal counsel for their False Claims Act case, they should prepare a concise and well documented “pitch.” The Taxpayers Against Fraud (TAF) Education Fund ... Read More