Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLP
Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLP
866-540-5505 877-891-9880

Dedicated Client Advocacy

False Claims Act Archives

Worker Drops FCA Suit Against Shipbuilder

Both sides agreed to walk away from a whistleblower complaint on April 7, claiming that neither party had made payments or admitted fault. A set of workers had alleged that shipbuilder, Austal USA LLC ("Austal"), had defrauded the U.S. government by billing for higher salaries than it paid out.

Abbott Fends Off FCA Claim

The False Claims Act ("FCA" or "the Act") exists as an opportunity for citizens to bring the government's attention to fraudulent conduct that unduly costs the American taxpayer. While Abraham Lincoln originally signed the Act in 1863, the two most substantial components of the Act were implemented as amendments in 1986 and 2009. The two amendments lowered the standards of proof and increased the potential damages in these types of cases.

Department of Justice Subpoenas Alere in FCPA Probe

The U.S. Department of Justice issued a subpoena to Alere Inc. ("Alere" or the "Company") this March in connection with potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act ("FCPA"). Alere operates primarily as a provider of point-of-service diagnostic devices and services for issues such as malaria and HIV. The launch of this investigation follows the Company's announcement that it is being acquired by Abbott Laboratories for $5.8 billion, which is expected to close by the end of the year.

U.S. Government Says D.C. Circuit Ruling Gives FCA Defendants Easy Out

Back in November, False Claims Act ("FCA") Defendants scored a huge victory in United States ex rel. Purcell v. MWI Corp. On February 8, the federal government asked the D.C. Circuit Court to reverse its judgment that held that Moving Waters Industries Corp. ("MWI)" was not liable for certifications it made to Nigeria because language in those certifications was ambiguous.

Novartis Settles $390M for Kickback Scheme

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation ("Novartis") currently faces several False Claims Act ("FCA") charges for its alleged kickback schemes. Recently, Novartis has agreed to pay out $390 million to settle one of its major cases, which claimed it incentivized specialty pharmacies to increase sales of Exjade, an iron-reducing drug, and Myfortic, an immunosuppressant.

DOJ Intervenes in Inchcape FCA suit

The Department of Justice ("DOJ") entered into a False Claims Act ("FCA") suit against a defense contractor that allegedly caused false claims to be made to the U.S. Government. Inchcape Shipping Services Holdings Ltd. ("Inchcape" or the "Company") is accused of overcharging the U.S. Government for port services around the world.

False Claims Act Case Settles for $256 Million

In some regions around the country, a kickback consists of a group of friends winding down and "kicking back" at a casual gathering. However, in the professional and legal arena, a kickback is a form of bribery. The False Claims Act ("FCA") prevents kickbacks in the healthcare industry under the Anti-Kickback Statute, which forbids healthcare facilities from, inter alia, bribing doctors to refer Medicare patients to them. Those practices are illegal because they are prompting the government to spend public funds superfluously solely for the companies' own profit. Furthermore, the qui tam provisions in the FCA provide certain protections and incentives to whistleblowers who file FCA lawsuits against companies and individuals that defraud the government.

Government Sues Florida Ambulance Company, Alleging False Claims

When an employee blows the whistle on an employer and files a qui tam lawsuit on behalf of the government, the government can choose whether or not to join the lawsuit. If the government investigates the case and decides not to join, the whistleblower can still go ahead with the lawsuit and, if successful, receive a percentage of any amount that is recovered.

DaVita Will Pay Nearly $500 Million to Settle FCA Claim

DaVita Healthcare Partners, Inc. ("DaVita") is a large provider of kidney dialysis treatment in the United States. The medical giant, as part of its first quarter SEC filings, disclosed that it has allotted $450 million to settle a False Claims Act ("FCA") case. Two whistleblowers brought the suit against DaVita alleging that the company defrauded the government by overcharging the Medicare system. The plaintiffs alleged that DaVita used "larger-than-necessary medicine vials or unnecessarily spread medicine dosages across multiple treatments knowing that Medicare would pay for what it considered 'unavoidable' waste."1 The company's leadership was accused of creating a procedure for employees to provide dosages of the drug Venofer, which treats anemia in patients with kidney disease, "over several treatments instead of one to increase reimbursements."2

Court Denies Summary Judgment in MassMutual ERISA Litigation in Important Victory for Retirement Plans

On May 20, 2014, the Honorable Patti B. Saris, Chief Judge of the United States Disctrict Court for the District of Massachusetts denied Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment in Golden Star, Inc. v. Mass Mutual Life Insurance Co., Civil Action No. 3:11-CV-30235-PBS (D.Mass.). In so holding, the Court specifically found that MassMutual was a fiduciary with respect to so-called revenue sharing payments because it retained the discretion to set its own compensation and treated revenue sharing payments as a form of compensation.