Last year was a record year for False Claims Act penalties, and 2015 is pacing similarly so far. As the year draws to a close, it has become clear how seriously the government is dealing with organizations and corporations who involve themselves in fraudulent activity. In fact, in 2015, we saw two of the largest settlements under the False Claims Act—each one right around $500 million.
In the first six months of the year, approximately $1.96 in government funds was recovered from the healthcare, government contracts, and financial industry.
The Top False Claims Act Penalties of 2015
This global pharmaceutical company agreed to a $39 million False Claims Act settlement after a whistleblower revealed they had been paying kickbacks to physicians who agreed in advance to prescribe the drugs they produce. A part of the False Claims Act is the Anti-Kick Back Statute, which aims to avoid physicians’ recommendations being biased because they have received gifts, monetary or otherwise.
The whistleblower in this case, Kathy Fragoules, received $6.1 million as a reward for filing a complaint against her former employer, Daiichi Sankyo Inc.
Along with three affiliated hospital in New Mexico, Community Health Systems Professional Services Corporation (CHSPSC), agreed to a $75 million settlement after they were accused of making illegal donations to local governments. These donations were then used as part of the state’s Medicaid payments to the hospitals.
The whistleblower in this case, Robert Baker, was the former CHSPSC revenue manager and he received $18,671,561 as a reward for filing a complaint against his former employer.
This national kidney dialysis company announced in May that it would be paying a $495 million settlement as the result of a False Claims Act lawsuit. DaVita was accused of throwing away good medication after billing Medicare for it and are believed to fraudulently received millions of dollars of government funds as a result.
The whistleblowers in this case, Dr. Alon J. Vainer and Nurse Daniel D. Barbir, who were both employed by DaVita, will receive a combined total of $135 million as a reward for filing a complaint against their employer.
This government contractor was order to pay approximately $663 million after a judge deemed them liable for government funds lost as a result of the company’s actions. In the lawsuit against the company, it was revealed that Trinity has made changes to the guardrails they manufacturer without notifying federal regulators.
The whistleblower in this case was a former competitor of the company and they will receive an estimated $200 million dollars as a reward for filing a complaint against Trinity Industries.
If you have reason to believe you have information about fraudulent activity that may lead to False Claim Act penalties, contact a False Claims Act attorney by calling 770.643.1606.