False Claims Act Recovers $2.2 Billion in FY2020

Weekly Newsletter | January 15, 2021 | Subscribe

Biden Transition

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Reuters: Biden to name Gary Gensler as U.S. SEC chair, sources say Gary Gensler will be named chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by President-elect Joe Biden, said two sources familiar with the matter. Gensler was chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) from 2009 to 2014, and since November has led Biden’s transition planning for financial industry oversight.

ABC: Biden expected to pick Merrick Garland as attorney general President-elect Joe Biden has named Judge Merrick Garland to serve as his attorney general. Garland currently serves as chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. In addition to Garland, Biden named Lisa Monaco as his deputy attorney general, Vanita Gupta as his assistant attorney general, and Kristen Clarke as his assistant attorney general for civil rights.

COVID-19 Related Fraud


New York Times: Government watchdog warns of $3.6 billion in potentially fraudulent P.P.P. loans More than 57,000 potential ineligible borrowers collected $3.6 billion from the government’s flagship small-business relief program last year, the Small Business Administration’s inspector general said Monday. The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis and some bankers believe the final total to be $4 billion or more.

Dept. of Justice: Eastern District of California Obtains Nation’s First Civil Settlement for Fraud on Cares Act Paycheck Protection Program SlideBelts Inc., an internet retail company and debtor in bankruptcy, and Brigham Taylor, the company’s president and CEO, have agreed to pay the United States a combined $100,000 in damages and penalties to resolve allegations that they committed fraud. SlideBelts also repaid the Paycheck Protection Program funds it received.

New York Times: Small-Business Loan Program Will Restart Monday, but Not for All Lenders who specialize in working with Black- and minority-owned small businesses will have a head start in tapping Paycheck Protection Program funds when the program reopens next week, a move meant to address complaints that the aid was not distributed equitably the last time around.

Case Settlements & Opinions


Dept. of Justice: Justice Department Recovers Over $2.2 Billion from False Claims Act Cases in Fiscal Year 2020 The DOJ announced it had obtained more than $2.2 billion in settlements and judgments from False Claims Act cases. In total, $64 billion have been recovered from False Claims Act cases since the law was strengthened in 1986.

Dept. of Justice: Insitu Inc. to Pay $25 Million to Settle False Claims Act Case Alleging Knowing Overcharges on Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Contracts Insitu Inc., headquartered in Bingen, Washington, has agreed to pay $25 million to settle allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by knowingly submitting materially false cost and pricing data for contracts with the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and the Department of the Navy (Navy) to supply and operate Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), the Department of Justice announced today.

Dept. of Justice: Patient Recruiter Convicted in $2.8 Million Telemedicine Scheme Against Medicare The owner of an Orlando-area telemarketing call center was convicted for his role in a kickback scheme involving expensive genetic tests and fraudulent telemedicine services that resulted in the payment of approximately $2.8 million in false and fraudulent claims to Medicare. The evidence showed that the telemedicine doctors approved the expensive testing even though they were not treating the beneficiary for cancer or symptoms of cancer, and often without even speaking with the beneficiary.

Dept. of Justice: Court Orders Georgia Defendants to Stop Selling Vitamin D Products as Treatments for Covid-19 and Other Diseases A federal court entered a permanent injunction barring a Georgia company from selling unapproved vitamin D products touted as treatments for COVID-19, the Department of Justice announced today. According to the complaint, the defendants violated the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) by introducing unapproved new drugs into interstate commerce.

Becker’s Spine Review: Texas spine clinic to pay $330,898 to settle improper billing claims Longview-based Spinal Decompression Clinic of Texas agreed to pay CMS $330,898 to settle False Claims Act allegations related to the implantation of neurostimulators, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. During a 10-month period, the clinic billed CMS for the implantation of 41 P-Stim devices, an electroacupuncture system typically implanted through surgery.

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