False Claims Act Resource Center

Archive for December, 2010

Kaplan Dean on Trial for Computer hacking Claims His Employer framed him in retaliation for Whistle blowing Activities

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

A federal court trial against Former Kaplan Higher Education Dean Ben Wilcox began November 30, 2010.  The government charges that Wilcox hacked into Kaplan’s computer systems and sent harassing e-mails to Kaplan students, employees and executives.  Although Wilcox previously admitted to sending the e-mails, he is now defending on grounds that Kaplan framed him for threatening to blow the whistle on the Company’s fraud.  Wilcox is also a plaintiff in a pending lawsuit under the False Claims Act, which alleges that Kaplan inflated student grade and fraudulently increased its enrollment number to obtain additional federal government subsidies.  Although Kaplan denies any charges of fabrication of e-mails, the trial is likely to shed light on the details of Kaplan’s aggressive for-profit activities, which have become the target of increased congressional scrutiny. 

For more information see:  http://nationalcybersecurity.com/?p=41407

Drug Lobbyists Spin Kickbacks Arising from Omnicare Whistleblower Litigation to be in the Public Interest

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Drug lobbyists, PhRMA and BIO have been trying to sell the public on claims that kickbacks involved in the Omnicare Whistleblower Litigation, in which Omnicare, a prominent pharmacy benefit manager, allegedly accepted bribes from most top drug companies in return for pushing expensive medicines over cheaper alternatives, offered rebates to Omnicare, thereby lowering the net drug price, and made bogus payments for Omnicare’s prescription data and for educations programs to lower Omnicare’s price even further. 

The Lobbyists contend that these types of payments were completely legal and that discounts from manufacturers to healthcare providers ultimately reduce costs and promote competition.  The Department of Justice disputes these contentions, arguing that if the payments had been legal, then Omnicare would have disclosed them to the government.  It also pointed out that Johnson and Johnson made an additional $280 million in sales as a result of the scheme. 

For more information see: http://www.bnet.com/blog/drug-business/drug-lobbyists-argue-kickbacks-lower-the-cost-of-healthcare/6575

CDI agrees to settle False Claims Act suit for labor charges for $1.95 million

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

CDI, a Philadelphia supplier of engineering services on commercial and military projects, agreed to settle a false claims act lawsuit based on claims of mischarged labor costs for the period from January 2001 through December 2006.  An investigation revealed that CDI directed billing of labor costs (at increments less than .5 hours to evade detection) to be reimbursed by the military for work that was never done.  The qui tam relator was a former CDI employee in CDI’s regional office in Sharonville, Ohio. 

For more information see: http://www.thecypresstimes.com/article/News/National_News/

Haitian Immigrant Details Afghanistan fraud of Government Contractor Louis Berger

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Harold Salamon, a Haitian immigrant, who was hired as a financial analyst by government contractor Louis Berger group, became a whistleblower against the company.  The company recently settled civil and criminal fines in the amount of $69.3 million and accepted a deferred prosecution while allowing the company to continue bidding for government contracts.  Salamon uncovered evidence that Berger paid bribes in connection with its Afghanistan contract and overbilled the government through a complicated scheme to manipulate its overhead rates.  Upon discovering the fraud and being asked to cover it up, Salamon left the company in order to pursue his whistleblower claims. 

For more information see:  http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/11/21/1936877/whistle-blower-details-fraud-by.html

Philadelphia Bone Cement Device Company and its Executives Plead Guilty to Off Label trials

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Philadelphia based Norian Corp, its corporate parent, Synthes, Inc., and four Norian executives have pleaded guilty in connection with conducting unauthorized tests of its bone cement product in the spine of more than 200 patients, an “off-label” use for which it had trained many surgeons. The trial were made on over 200 spinal surgery patients, three of whom died during the operation. The government is seeking prison time for the company executives who pled guilty, Norian and Synthes will pay the maximum $23 million in fines for their conduct. Synthes also agreed to sell Norian and to enter into a corporate integrity agreement.

For more information see: http://www.sacbee.com/2010/11/30/v-print/3221598/pa-firm-admits-crime-in-human.html



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