Articles Tagged with false claims act law firm

As a False Claims Act law firm, we are always interested to find out what people know about the law, a fundamental issue given the large role private citizens play in bring False Claims Act (“FCA” or “the Act”) lawsuits.  One of the things we’ve learned is that even the people who are familiar with the law are surprised to learn the wide variety of contexts in which it can apply.  Likewise, its many state counterparts are versatile tools for the fight against fraud.

Overview of the False Claims Act

The Legal Information Institute (“LII”) at Cornell University Law School explains that the FCA is a “[f]ederal statute setting criminal and civil penalties for falsely billing the government, over-representing the amount of a delivered product, or under-stating an obligation to the government.”  Although not emphasized in the LII article, false claims only violate the Act if made knowingly, with deliberate ignorance, or willful disregard of the claim’s falsity (see The False Claims Act: A Primer published by the Department of Justice (“DOJ”)).

No matter how long we serve as a law firm for Medicare fraud matters, we continue to be appalled by the nature of these crimes.  These crimes often involve more than just shifting money into the perpetrators’ wallets.  Medicare fraud often directly impacts the care beneficiaries receive or, in some cases, the care they don’t receive.  We are also disturbed by the number of people involved in certain frauds like the wide-ranging scheme to profit from prescribing unneeded medications to nursing home residents.  While there are often more active participants than we’d like to imagine (i.e. more people willing to risk others’ well-being for profit), many more are silent observers.  It is these individuals who have the most power when it comes to fighting fraud – they can become the whistleblowers in False Claims Act whistleblower litigation.

A Drug Marketing Scheme Involving Numerous Companies and Individuals

Earlier this year, The Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting examined a plot to profit from using pushing the (over)use of certain medications by nursing home residents.  To understand the schemes, one needs to know that specialized companies operate nursing pillcuphome pharmacies.  These providers, including PharMerica and Omnicare “occupy a strategic place in the flow of drugs to nursing home patients,” buying medications from pharmaceutical manufacturers and often repackaging them in foil packs referred to as “bingo cards” before dispensing them to nursing home residents via the company’s consulting pharmacists.

For-profit schools provide an education to many students who might otherwise be unable to attend post-secondary school.  However, these schools have a dual mission: a commitment to educating students and a commitment to earning money for investors and shareholders.  While many, perhaps most, are ethical and education-oriented, some for-profit schools misuse federal student aid funds perpetuating scams that hurt the government and students alike. Today, our false claims act law firm looks at federal student loan fraud and reminds readers of the importance of whistleblowers in all government fraud cases.

Education Affiliates Pays $13 Million to Resolve False Claims Allegations

classroomOn June 24, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced that Education Affiliates (“EA”) agreed to pay $13 million to settle False Claims Act (“FCA”) claims against the for-profit institution.  EA operates 50 campuses providing post-secondary training in a range of fields in five states.  The suits were brought by five whistleblowers who will share approximately $1.8million under the FCA’s qui tam provisions.  EA denies any wrongdoing.

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