September 21, 2018 - Posts

Whistleblower Roundup – September 21, 2018

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


$750,000 Settlement Reached in Grant Fraud Lawsuit against Texas A&M University Research Foundation

Texas A&M University Research Foundation has agreed to pay $750,000 to resolve grant fraud claims under the False Claims Act. The two whistleblowers alleged fraud in connection with grant requirements or regulations, including time and effort reporting, the Texas rule of “longevity” pay, cost sharing, NSF
salary caps and transfers of residual funds. The claims pertained to grants issued from various federal agencies, including the Department of Energy, Department of Education, Department of Transportation, National Institute of Health, National Science Foundation and NASA. To read more click here.


Business Owner to Pay Nearly $630K for alleged fraud

Sonag Ready Mix, LLC owner Nicholas Rivecca has agreed to pay the Department of Justice $629,732 to settle the claim that the company violated the False Claims Act by defrauding the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program. This program is designed to provide small businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals a fair opportunity to compete for federally funded transportation contracts. The government alleges that Rivecca conspired to obtain a fraudulent DBE certification in order to win government-funded contracts.


Salem Pain Clinic Owner Pleads Guilty to allowing “drive-by” opioid visits, bilking Medicare

The owner of a Salem pain clinic allowed a non-professional office worker to write prescriptions during “drive-by” office visits that provided opioid painkillers to Medicare patients, federal prosecutors announced. Officials said more than a dozen patients of a Total Pain Care and Wellness received more than 200 prescriptions in the sham. U.S. Attorney Scott Murray alleged that billing Medicare for these office visits was healthcare fraud. To read more click here.



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