Whistleblower Law Collaborative Blog and News

Earlier this month, the Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund (TAFEF) formally announced the launch of a national COVID-19 Anti-Fraud Task Force. The Task Force will assist federal and state law enforcement in identifying, exposing, and prosecuting fraud related to COVID-19. It consists of former government prosecutors and experienced False Claims Act qui tam attorneys. Collectively, these attorneys have assisted federal and state governments in recovering over $20 billion.  The Task Force is chaired by…
The Massachusetts U.S. Attorney’s Office announced that it will sue drug manufacturer Regeneron Pharmaceuticals for health care fraud. The False Claims Act complaint alleges that Regeneron paid tens of millions of dollars to induce prescriptions for its drug Eylea. Regeneron’s scheme to use a third-party foundation to hide copay waivers is a growing focus of government prosecutors.  Below, we explain what Regeneron did, and why it is illegal. Regeneron Copay Waiver Scheme According to…
Here at the Whistleblower Law Collaborative, we try to keep our work focused on the rights and claims of our clients, and the interests of law enforcement in protecting the American public from waste, fraud, and abuse.  We often hold our tongues in political matters, lest our work be misunderstood as connected to partisan interests. But not all “politics” is partisan, and not all public matters of controversy are the same.  We feel compelled…
Last week, the Department of Justice announced that a private, for-profit beauty school has agreed to pay $425,000 to resolve education fraud allegations. The defendant is Metro Beauty Academy, LLC (“MBA”), located in Allentown, PA. A whistleblower originally brought the case, which alleged that the school fraudulently sought federal  aid for students who were ineligible for such aid. Federal Financial Aid Program Requirements According to DOJ’s press release, MBA operates various educational and technical…
This week, Department of Justice officials appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee. They described steps DOJ is taking to detect, investigate, and prosecute COVID-19 scams. The two officials were Associate Deputy Attorney General William Hughes and U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey Craig Carpenito. DOJ has given Mr. Hughes responsibility for coordinating DOJ’s response to criminal misconduct relating to COVID-19. Mr. Carpenito leads DOJ’s Hoarding and Price Gouging Task Force. In their joint
The US Securities and Exchange Commission awarded nearly $50 million to a single whistleblower who provided “highly significant” information about foreign currency trading fraud. The SEC takes whistleblower confidentiality very seriously.  As a result, the SEC removes almost every detail from its award orders and press releases.  In this case, however, the financial media identified the whistleblower as a former currency trader at Bank of New York Mellon (BNYM). Roadmap Leads to Nearly $50 Million…
The False Claims Act requires a penalty for each each violation. The penalty amount also increases with inflation each year. As of 2020, penalties can range as high as $23,330 per violation. Moreover, some frauds involve tens of thousands of individual violations. Thus, total penalty assessments can run into the millions or tens of millions of dollars. Unfortunately, whistleblowers and their lawyers fail to understand how large total penalties can be.  As a consequence, this leads…
Many insurance companies require patients to make a copay when the insurance pays for certain medical bills.  Co-pays can be burdensome for patients.  But the government views them as an important part of Medicare.  As a result, routine copay waiver is illegal and results in criminal and civil penalties. Routine co-payment waiver also violates the False Claims Act, and the government and whistleblowers can recover millions of dollars for this practice. What is a…
The largest of the federal Offices of Inspectors General is at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS OIG). As we have written before, Offices of Inspectors General are critical in protecting taxpayer dollars from fraud and helping whistleblowers and the Department of Justice (DOJ) enforce the False Claims Act. Given HHS’s immense responsibilities and budget, the large size of its OIG is fitting. HHS’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) administers…
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced yet another nursing home fraud settlement.  Last month, Saber Healthcare Group LLC (and related entities) agreed to pay $10 million to resolve a whistleblower lawsuit.  The suit (joined by the government for settlement) argued that, for years, Saber charged Medicare for rehabilitation therapy services that were not reasonable or necessary.  The government also alleged that therapists often provided basic nursing services, but billed the taxpayers for more expensive…