Archive for September, 2010
Cisco Systems and Westcon Group North America have settled claims of overcharging the federal government and have agreed to pay the government $48 million. The settlement resolves a qui tam lawsuit brought by Norman Rille and Neal Roberts in Arkansas. The settlement covers a fraction of sales to the General Services Administration from 1997-2009 involving Westcon sales of Cisco products to the government.
For more information see: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-09-07/cisco-westcon-to-pay-48-million-for-overbilling.html
The First Circuit Court of Appeals Rules that State Wrongful Discharge Lawsuit triggers Public Disclosure Bar under the False Claims ActMonday, September 13th, 2010
On September 8, 2010, the First Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed a false claims act case by invoking the public disclosure bar. The court held that a complaint for wrongful discharge under state law triggers the public disclosure bar where the wrongful termination is based on the same set of operative facts as the qui tam action. The public disclosure bar prohibits false claims act lawsuits when the facts supporting the lawsuit have ben publicly disclosed in other legislative, administrative or judicial proceedings. The circuit court noted the limited applicability of the decision in light of recent amendments to the False Claims Act that only prohibits lawsuits based on disclosures only in federal proceedings in which the government or its agent is a party.
See the opinion at: http://www.docstoc.com/docs/document-preview.aspx?doc_id=54343127
The Justice Department is considering joining a qui tam lawsuit now under seal concerning the use of performance enhancing drugs in cycling races. The qui tam relator is Floyd Landis, a former teammate of Lance Armstrong. The federal connection to the lawsuit involves the US Postal Service’s sponsorship of Armstrong’s team for several years, during which time Landis claims that he and others, including Armstrong illicitly used performance-enhancing drugs. The government paid $30.6 million to the team’s management company to sponsor the team from 2001-04. In connection with the Justice Department’s review of the lawsuit, the agency requested documents from an arbitration involving Armstrong’s alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs. Although Armstrong denies the charge of doping, the federal government is investigating claims of cheating in professional cycling. Armstrong’s lawyers recently met with prosecutors in Los angeles.
In 2006, Charles Donigan sued his former employer, St. Jude Medical, under the Federal False Claims Act for allegedly paying kickbacks to physicians and other health care providers to induce them to use St. Jude medical devices, including pacemakers. Four years later, after the government indicated its intent to intervene in the lawsuit, St. Jude is discussing settlement with the government. The allegations center around payments made to physicians for data collection and studies of St. Jude products, which included entertainment, travel and passes to sporting events. It is not clear how much money St. Jude might pay to settle. But, the case is part of a broader investigation of medical device kickbacks in which Boston Scientific recently settled claims for $22 million.
For more information see: http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20100826-711507.html
Hewlett – Packard settled claims that it knowingly paid kickbacks to systems integrator companies in return for recommendations that federal agencies purchase H-P products. The government also claimed that H-P defectively priced a 2002 contract with the General services Administration by failing to disclose complete information during the negotiating process. Under the terms of the settlement, H-P will pay the government $55 million.
For more information see: http://www.ibabuzz.com/politics/2010/08/30/hp-pays-55-mil-but-gets-up-to-800-mil-from-feds/
Allergan settled claims of off-label marketing of its Botox pharmaceutical and other claims for a total of $600 million. The government accused Allergan of recommending Botox for unapproved uses including headache, pain, spasticity and juvenile cerebral palsy. As part of the settlement, Allergan also pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charge of misbranding, or inadequate labeling of products for intended uses. Allergan is also required under the settlement to hire and pay for a third-party to monitor is compliance efforts for the next five years.
For more information see: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703882304575465371767239834.html?mod=googlenews_wsj
A physician, clinic owner and a number of clinic nurses pleaded guilty to participating in a large Medicare fraud conspiracy. Dr. Fred Dweck, Yudel Cayro and others referred numerous Medicare recipients for unnecessary home health care services and charged those services to Medicare. In total, Medicare paid more than $32 million of the $53 million fraudulent claims billed. The clinic owner admitted to receiving kickback from individuals who recruited Medicare recipients, and from owners of Miami home health agencies. Several nurses also pleaded guilty for falsifying patients files of Medicare beneficiaries to make it appear that they qualified for home health care and therapy services. Each of the defendants faces up to 10 years in prison for each conspiracy county to commit health care fraud.
For more information see: http://www.bizjournals.com/southflorida/stories/2010/08/30/daily16.html