DOJ Announces Increase to False Claims Act Civil Penalties

Weekly Newsletter | June 26, 2020 | Subscribe

COVID-19 Related Fraud

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- JD Supra: Increased Compliance Practices in Nursing Homes can Stem New Wave of DOJ Enforcement AS DOJ and COVID-19 continues to highlight the bad actors in the nursing home industry, it is expected that, in the coming years, a new wave of enforcement will bring action against nursing homes. New enforcement is becoming more likely as, in many states, emergency civil immunity is being granted to nursing home staff and operators as qui tam suits are becoming the primary way to hunt out the abuse, neglect, and substandard care.

Dept. of Justice: Massachusetts Man Charged with COVID-19 Relief Fraud A Massachusetts man was arrested and charged in alleged COVID-19 fraud due to filing fraudulent applications that sought more than $13 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. He is the president and CEO of the company Sosuda Tech LLC and between April and June 2020, he misrepresented the number of employees and payroll expenses in the PPP applications and falsely certified that the U.S. was the primary residence for his employees.

Dept. of Justice: Texas Man Charged With COVID-19 Fraud, False Statements and Money Laundering A Texas man was charged with wire fraud, money laundering, and false statements to a financial institution for his alleged participation in a scheme to file fraudulent loan applications that sought $3 million in PPP loans under the CARES act.

Case Settlements & Opinions


Dept. of Justice: Atlanta hospital system to pay $16 million to resolve false claims allegations The Department of Justice announced today that Piedmont Healthcare, Inc. has agreed to pay $16 million to settle allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by billing Medicare and Medicaid for procedures at the more expensive inpatient level of care instead of the less costly outpatient or observation level of care.

Eleventh Circuit Decision: U.S. ex rel. Ruckh v. Salus Rehabilitation The Eleventh Circuit issued an overall favorable opinion in U.S. ex rel. Ruckh v. Salus Rehabilitation, reversing the district court’s decision granting the defendants’ motion for judgment as a matter of law and reinstating the jury’s verdict.

SEC: Whistleblower Awarded $7000,000 by SEC The Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it awarded $700,000 to a whistleblower who reported behavior that harmed investors. Since 2012, SEC has awarded a total of $501 million to 84 individuals.

SEC: Whistleblower Awarded $125,000 by SEC The Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it awarded $125,000 to a whistleblower who helped bring successful action against a fraudulent security offering. This payment is the 85th whistleblower since 2012 to be awarded by the SEC.

Law360: Aveta Settles $1 Billion Medicare Advantage FCA Suit Aveta Inc. settled a False Claims Act suit that alleged its Medicare Advantage plans collected $1 billion in government overpayments. The realtor, on behalf of its Medicare Advantage plans, MMM healthcare, and PMC Medicare Choice, asked a Puerto Rico federal judge to dismiss all claims and counterclaims with prejudice.

WJBF: Augusta University Medical Center Agreed to Pay $2.625 Million to Settle FCA Investigation Augusta University Medical Center agreed to pay $2.625 million to settle a False Claims Act investigation after it allegedly submitted claims to federal healthcare programs for a procedure that was not covered by Medicare or Medicaid.

Patch: Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Accused of Paying Kickbacks for Co-Pays The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts announced that the government filed a False Claims Act complaint against Regeneron Pharmaceuticals which states that it paid tens of millions in kickbacks as a foundation to cover co-pays for the drug Eylea. The government states that Regeneron violated the anti-kickback statute, prohibiting “indirect” kickbacks to subsidize prices of Medicare drugs.

DOJ News


Sidley Austin LLP: DOJ Announces First Increase to FCA Civil Penalties since 2008

The minimum False Claim Act minimum penalty will be raised from $11,181 to $11,665 per claim, and the maximum will increase from $22,363 to $23,331. Once accepted, these revised civil penalties will apply to all assessments of civil FCA civil penalties after the effective date.

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