Updated: Sep 13
Weekly Newsletter | July 31, 2020 | Subscribe
COVID-19 Related Fraud
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- New York Times: Florida Man Took Coronavirus Aid and Bought a Lamborghini A Florida man who received nearly $4 million in Paycheck Protection Program loans spent the money on a new Lamborghini Huracán sports car and other fraudulent purchases. He has been arrested and charged with bank fraud, making a false statement to a lending institution and engaging in transactions in unlawful proceeds. If convicted on all charges, he could face up to 70 years in prison.
National Law Review: Fix the False Claims Act to Effectively Combat COVID-19 Frauds COVID-19 has led to an unprecedented amount of government spending and with it an increased risk that taxpayers will be defrauded. Since the False Claims Act was born for this type of emergency, it is the key coronavirus anti-fraud law.
CFO Dive: False claims expected to be principal source of Main Street loan enforcement The federal government is expected to rely on the federal False Claims Act to prosecute misuse of loans originated under the Main Street Loan Program, which seeks to help small and mid-sized businesses survive the downturn. It is similar to the Paycheck Protection Program where companies experiencing pandemic business disruptions apply to private lenders for the money; however, unlike PPP, amounts can be large, up to $35 million or $300 million, depending on the type of loan taken out, compared to a maximum $10 million, and there's no forgiveness.
Dept. of Justice: Washington Tech Executive charged with COVID-Relief fraud and money laundering A Washington tech executive was taken into custody and charged with fraudulently seeking over $5.5 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and laundering the proceeds. The complaint alleges that the tech executive submitted at least eight fraudulent PPP loan applications on behalf of six different companies to federally insured financial institutions and made numerous false and misleading statements about the companies’ respective business operations and payroll expenses.
The Washington Post: Scathing SBA watchdog report details ‘pervasive’ fraud in coronavirus disaster-loan program A federal watchdog reported that it has identified more than $250 million in taxpayer-subsidized coronavirus loans given to “potentially ineligible recipients,” pointing to widespread fraud. The Small Business Administration launched numerous investigations after it received more than 1,000 hotline complaints about potentially fraudulent transactions.
Dept. of Justice: Utah Man Posing as Medical Doctor to Sell Baseless Coronavirus Cure Indicted on Fraud Charges Utah resident has been indicated for posing as a medical doctor to sell a baseless coronavirus cure. He fraudulently promoted and sold ingestible silver-based products as a cure for COVID-19 despite having no evidence that his products could treat or cure the disease, and he also alleged to have claimed to be a physician and worn a stethoscope and white lab coat in videos and photos posted on the Internet to further his alleged fraud scheme
Dept. of Justice: Florida Man Charged with COVID Relief Fraud, Health Care Fraud and Money Laundering A Florida man has been charged regarding allegations that he fraudulently obtained a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan and an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), and that he orchestrated a conspiracy to submit false and fraudulent claims for reimbursement to Medicare and CareCredit, and to defraud his own patients by charging them thousands of dollars for chiropractic services under false pretenses.
Case Settlements & Opinions
Bloomberg Law: Wire-Wearing Novartis Whistle-Blower Gets $109 Million Award A former Novartis sales representative will get a $109.4 million whistleblower award after the pharmaceutical giant agreed to resolve the lawsuit accusing it of paying kickbacks to thousands of doctors who prescribed its drugs. This award is one of the largest payouts.
Dept. of Justice: Six Former NFL Players Charged in Superseding Indictment Alleging Nationwide Fraud on Health Care Benefit Program for Retired NFL Players Six former NFL players have been charged for superseding indictment in the Eastern District of Kentucky for their alleged roles in a nationwide fraud on a health care benefit program for retired NFL players. The alleged fraud targeted the Gene Upshaw NFL Player Health Reimbursement Account Plan (the Plan), which was established pursuant to the 2006 collective bargaining agreement and provided for tax-free reimbursement of out-of-pocket medical care expenses that were not covered by insurance and that were incurred by former players, their wives and their dependents – up to a maximum of $350,000 per player.
D & O Diary Guest Post: How the SEC Whistleblower Program Has Changed Corporate Compliance and SEC Enforcement The D&O guest post disucusses some of the ways in which the SEC whistleblower program has affected both corporate compliance and the SEC’s enforcement efforts, including: 1) strengthening the SEC’s ability to detect, investigate, and punish fraud; 2) strengthening corporate compliance programs; 3) strengthening compliance personnel’s ability to expose fraud; 4) curbing the use of non-disclosure agreements and policies to impede whistleblowing to the SEC; and 5) raising the stakes for whistleblower retaliation.
Dept. of Justice: Pharmaceutical Company Agrees to Pay $3.5 Million to Resolve Allegations of Violating False Claims Act Pacira Pharmaceuticals Inc. agreed to pay $3.5 million to resolve allegations that it paid kickbacks to doctors in the form of bogus research grants to induce them to prescribe its analgesic Exparel. The allegations rose from a whistleblower, a pharmacist, who brought the misconduct to the government’s attention.