Whistleblowers Will Play an Important Role in COVID-19 Vaccine Process


Weekly Newsletter | November 25, 2020 | Subscribe


COVID-19 Related Fraud

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Forbes: Whistleblower Cases Are A Warning to Covid-19 Vaccine Makers Whistleblowers are expected to play an essential role as pharmaceutical companies race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. Whistleblowers help make sure that manufacturers don’t exaggerate their results, take unsafe shortcuts, or skip good manufacturing practices in order to distribute a vaccine to the public in good time.


Washington Post: ‘Fraud’ Is a Banned Word in U.S. Aid Program Awash with It Employees for the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan program have allegedly been told not to use the word fraud if they see suspicious applications. The employees were allegedly told to use alternative terms instead of “fraud.”


Los Angeles Times: Scams led California to send COVID jobless benefits to Scott Peterson, death row inmates Investigations have uncovered $400,000 in state benefits paid to death row inmates and more than $140 million to other incarcerated people in California’s 35 prisons. District attorneys are calling this “the most significant fraud on taxpayer funds in California history.”


Case Settlements & Opinions

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Dept. of Justice: Former Owners of Therakos, Inc. Pay $11.5 Million to Resolve False Claims Act Allegations of Promotion of Drug-Device System for Unapproved Uses to Pediatric Patients Medical Device Business Services (MDBS), a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, and the Gores Group (TGG) agreed to pay $11.5 million to resolve allegations that Therakos, Inc., a subsidiary company, violated the False Claims Act. MDBS agreed to pay $10 million to settle allegations that Therakos engaged in off-label marketing when promoting a medical device meant for performing extracorporeal photopheresis (ECP) to treat T-cell lymphoma, for unapproved uses in pediatric patients. TGG agreed to pay $1.5 million to settle allegations that Therakos continued its alleged sales and promotion practices after TGG acquired the company in 2012.


Dept. of Justice: Federal Contractor Agrees to Pay $18.98 Million for Alleged False Claims Act Caused by Overcharges and Unqualified Labor Cognosante LLC agreed to pay $18,987,789 to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by overcharging the United States for services provided to government agencies under two GSA contracts. Cognosante allegedly overcharged the United States by providing false information concerning its commercial discounting practices during contract negotiations and that it charged for labor that failed to meet qualifications in one of the contracts.


Dept. of Justice: Home Health Agency and Former Owner to Pay $5.8 Million to Settle False Claims Act Allegations Doctor’s Choice Home Care and its former owners agreed to pay a total of $5.8 million to resolve allegations that it paid illegal kickbacks for doctor referrals. The two former owners will each pay $647,000 while Doctor’s Choice will pay $3,856,000 and an additional $675,000 to resolve separate allegations of employees pressuring clinical personnel to increase the number of patient visits which would increase Medicare payments.





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