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Medtronic whistleblower gets $1.73 million for exposing illegal kickbacks, false claims

A whistleblower who exposed illegal kickback schemes and false claims at Minnesota-based Medtronic Inc. will receive $1.73 million as his share in the government’s nearly $10-million recovery, the U.S. Justice Department said. Medtronic, a major manufacturer of pacemakers and defibrillators, agreed to pay the U.S. government $9.9 million to resolve allegations brought by Adolfo Schroeder, a former Medtronic employee, under the False Claims Act. The Act’s qui tam or “whistleblower” provisions allow individuals with knowledge of fraud and other wrongdoing targeting U.S. agencies and programs to sue on behalf of the federal government. In return, whistleblowers receive up to 30 ... Read More

Whistleblower claims Nike fired him for reporting safety concerns

A whistleblower who sued footwear giant Nike claiming the company fired him for reporting unsafe working conditions at its 600-acre headquarters in Beaverton, Ore., should receive a jury verdict within the next few days, the Portland Business Journal reports. Douglass Ossanna, who worked for Nike for years as an electrician, says the company fired him in 21013 in retaliation for raising safety concerns. He seeks economic damages of $572,000, non-economic damages of $1.5 million, and punitive damages up to $25 million from the company. His lawyer argued that Mr. Ossanna reported adverse working conditions to six different Nike managers over ... Read More

U.S. government joins whistleblower complaint against technology contractor

The federal government has filed a complaint against information technology contractor CA. Inc. for violations of the False Claims Act, accusing the company of intentionally overcharging the government for its products and services over the course of several years. The government’s lawsuit was prompted by another complaint brought by a former CA employee who filed a lawsuit against the company under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act. The U.S. government contracted CA in September 2002 to provide software licenses, maintenance, training, and consulting services to the U.S. Departments of Defense, Energy, Health And Human Services, and Labor. According ... Read More

Alabama nurse receives $15 million whistleblower reward for exposing Medicare fraud

A Monroeville, Ala., nurse who filed a False Claims Act lawsuit against a home health care company will receive more than $15 million for her part in helping the U.S. recover $150 million in funds that she and others claim were fraudulently taken from Medicare and other health care programs. April Brown filed her whistleblower lawsuit in a federal court in Birmingham in 2010, alleging that her employer, Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based Amedisys Inc. billed for health care services that she hadn’t provided or were provided but not medically necessary. Ms. Brown, a home health care nurse in the Monroeville area, ... Read More

U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission resolves its first whistleblower case

A whistleblower who provided tips that led to the first-ever recovery by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) since its two-year-old whistleblower program was created will receive $240,000. On Tuesday CFTC Chairman Mark Wetjen said that the whistleblower provided valuable information about violations of the Commodity Exchange Act. The whistleblower’s identity has not been disclosed in compliance with regulations that require confidentiality to protect the whistleblower from retaliation. “I am pleased to announce this first award, which illustrates that the CFTC’s Whistleblower Program is a valuable resource for the American public. Information received under the Whistleblower Program helps the agency ... Read More

Oregon pays $450,000 to settle whistleblower allegations of wrongdoing in state prison system

The State of Oregon will pay a former state prison executive $450,000 to settle his whistleblower claims that he was terminated for exposing dubious spending and hiring practices within the Oregon Department of Corrections. According to The Oregonian, the settlement is one of the largest payoffs the state has made in recent history. It includes $25,000 for financial losses, $150,000 for attorney fees, and $275,000 for emotional distress whistleblower plaintiff Rob Killgore attributed to corrections officials lashing out against him. Mr. Killgore was the administrator of Oregon Corrections Enterprises (OCE), a semi-independent agency that runs factories, call centers and other ... Read More

Whistleblower says Wyoming county defrauded U.S. government by falsifying financial records

A Wyoming county employee has filed a whistleblower lawsuit alleging officials in Natrona County, Wyo., defrauded the federal government by falsifying financial records to acquire more grant money from the U.S. government. The whistleblower also says he was fired from his job of 22 years after he reported the fraud. Charles Loraas, who served as the superintendent of Alcova Reservoir from 1989 to 2011, claims that Natrona County Bridge and Parks division cheated the U.S. government by falsifying financial records related to the cost of maintaining the reservoirs and expenses it incurred in operating the lakes. “While creating the appearance ... Read More

Whistleblower lawsuit alleges company defrauded Medicare with false power wheelchair prescriptions

The U.S. government has intervened in a whistleblower lawsuit against Orbit Medical Inc. and its former vice president Jake Kilgore, alleging the company knowingly defrauded Medicare and other taxpayer-funded health care programs by altering and forging physician prescriptions and other required documentation in order to boost sales of its power wheelchairs and accessories. According to the U.S. Justice Department, “Orbit Medical sales representatives, at Kilgore’s direction and encouragement, knowingly altered physician prescriptions and supporting documentation to get Orbit Medical’s power wheelchair and accessory claims paid by Medicare, the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan, and the Defense Health Agency.” Medicare will ... Read More

Teachers file whistleblower lawsuit against Minnesota school

ST. PAUL, MINN. — A Minnesota private school faces a whistleblower suit filed by two teachers who claim they were subjected to discrimination and retaliation when they raised concerns about an allegedly unsafe field trip to Thailand, wrongly claimed and misused federal funds for student lunches, and suspected cases of child abuse within the school. According to the Pioneer Press, Megan Deutschman and Ana Panone filed the whistleblower lawsuit in Ramsey County, Minn., District Court this week against the Community School of Excellence, seeking unspecified damages and attorneys’ fees as well as injunctions that would change the school’s leadership, better ... Read More

CVS submitted false claims to Medicare for improperly dispensed drugs, lawsuit alleges

A national health insurance company is suing CVS Pharmacy in federal court under the False Claims Act, alleging the drugstore chain routinely and knowingly submitted claims for the reimbursement of invalid prescriptions to federal and state Medicare and Medicaid programs. Fox Rx Inc., a provider of Medicare Part D coverage, accuses CVS of routinely submitting claims for a number of highly potent and addictive drugs, such as codeine, oxycodone, cocaine, and methamphetamine, without providing a U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) licensing number. Adding a proper DEA number to the claim ensures prescriptions are valid and not illegally dispensed. The insurance ... Read More