Jerry Martin, a partner at Barrett Johnston Martin & Garrison, LLC announced today that the Department of Justice has reached a $160 million settlement with Alere Inc., and its subsidiary Arriva Medical, LLC arising from a whistleblower lawsuit filed by the firm on behalf of its client, Greg Goodman. The lawsuit was filed 8 years ago and alleged that the Medicare program had been defrauded through an illegal kickback scheme by Arriva. Specifically, the complaint alleged that Arriva waived co-pay obligations and offered “free” home blood glucose monitors in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute. According to the lawsuit, Arriva submitted false claims to the Medicare program that were tainted by this kickback scheme.
Arriva was at one time the country’s largest supplier of mail order diabetic testing supplies for Medicare beneficiaries. But the company is now defunct, after having its Medicare supplier number revoked in 2016 once the government uncovered, as part of this investigation, that the company had billed Medicare for deceased beneficiaries. This $160 million settlement is the largest False Claims Act recovery ever in the Middle District of Tennessee.
“This has been a true David versus Goliath story,” said Jerry Martin, who represented the whistleblower in this action. “Mr. Goodman was not a high-ranking executive; he worked at an Arriva call center. But he saw evidence of a major kickback scheme unfolding, and the False Claims Act gave him a tool to bring that scheme to the Government’s attention, and to ultimately help the Government recover $160 million in taxpayer money.” Mr. Martin’s colleague, Seth Hyatt added, “This case is a perfect example of the type of public-private partnership that the False Claims Act was meant to promote. We are grateful to the Department of Justice for their tireless work on this matter and for the incredible results achieved.”
Mr. Martin served as a presidentially appointed United States Attorney from 2010 through 2013 in the Middle District of Tennessee. During his tenure, he was a leader in the federal government’s efforts to fight healthcare fraud. Today he represents individuals who wish to come forward and expose fraud and corruption.
The lawsuit was filed under the qui tam or whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act. Under those provisions, a private party can file an action on behalf of the United States and receive a portion of any recovery. To read more about our whistleblower practice group, click here.