March 6, 2018 - Posts

Whistleblower Roundup – March 6, 2018

A look back at the week’s news and developments affecting whistleblowers

 

Brattleboro Memorial Hospital

Brattleboro Memorial Hospital Pays $1,655,000 To Resolve Allegations Of False Claims Act Violations

The Department of Justice reports that Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, Inc. (BMH), a nonprofit community hospital in Vermont, has paid $1,655,000 to the United States and the State of Vermont to resolve allegations that it violated the federal and state False Claims Acts. The whistleblower, Amy Beth Main, alleges that Brattleboro Memorial knowingly submitted a number of outpatient laboratory claims that lacked proper documentation, which resulted in overpayments from Medicare and Medicaid.

 

Doctor Admits Disclosing Patient Info to Drugmaker Aegerion

Dr. Eduardo Montana, a Georgia pediatric cardiologist, plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge for disclosing patient info to a sales representative at Aegerion Pharmaceuticals Inc. Reuters reports that Dr. Montana gave the Aegerion sales representative access to his electronic medical records to assist him in identifying potential new users of Juxtapid, an expensive cholesterol drug. This plea follows the settlement of a False Claims Act case against Aegerion for the off-label marketing of Juxtapid, which settled for $36 million.

 

Deloitte & Touche Agrees to Pay $149.5 Million to Settle Claims Arising From Its Audits of Failed Mortgage Lender Taylor, Bean & Whitaker

The Department of Justice announced that Deloitte & Touche LLP will pay $149.5 million to settle potential False Claims Act liability for its involvement in Taylor, Bean & Whitaker’s mortgage fraud scheme. Deloitte audited Taylor Bean for fiscal years 2002 through 2008, during which the mortgage leader was fraudulently selling fictitious or double-pledged mortgage loans. The lawsuit alleges that Deloitte’s audits Deloitte’s audits “knowingly deviated from applicable auditing standards and therefore failed to detect TBW’s fraudulent conduct and materially false and misleading financial statements.”

 

Judge Awards Whistleblower Nearly $15 Million

The New York Times reports that a judge awarded a Birmingham whistleblower nearly $15 million in a False Claims Act and the Anti-Kickback lawsuit against Abanks Mortuary & Crematory. Abanks had an agreement with the Alabama Organ Center to collect tissues for transplants and medical research prior to the deceased being cremated. The whistleblower, a former employee, discovered that Abanks paid illegal kickbacks to the Alabama Organ Center in exchange for business referrals. In an act of retaliation, the whistleblower’s former boss threatened to cremate him alive if he reported the fraud.

 

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