The FCA Insider

The FCA Insider

Insights and updates on False Claims Act Litigation

Category Archives: DOJ

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DOJ

DOJ Announces Plan for Coordinated Civil Rights Response to COVID-19

On April 2, 2021, Pamela S. Karlan, the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division (DOJ), issued a public statement regarding the Division’s intent to lead a coordinated civil rights response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The statement, which attached a resource guide, is intended… Continue Reading
DOJ, Investigations

COVID-19 Fraud Surge: Criminal Enforcement of Pandemic-Related Fraud Reaches “Unprecedented Pace,” DOJ Warns

While the spread of COVID-19 may finally be slowing, government enforcement of pandemic-related fraud is not. It is surging. And that may explain why you are hearing from the government more than usual, or will soon. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced last week that it has now charged nearly 500 defendants with crimes… Continue Reading
DOJ, FCA Defenses, Individual Liability

Eleventh Circuit Affirms 11-year Prison Sentence for Substance Abuse Treatment Center Physician

Last month, the Eleventh Circuit upheld the conviction and 11-year prison sentence of a physician-Medical Director of two substance abuse treatment centers in Florida who was convicted by a jury of participating in a conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud.  On appeal, Arman Abovyan, a board-certified internal medicine physician, challenged his convictions based on insufficiency of… Continue Reading
DOJ

DEA Investigation Leads to Record-Setting Settlement for Drug Diversion at a Health Care System

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) recently announced the nation’s largest settlement involving allegations of drug diversion at a health care system. The settlement, totaling $7,750,000, came after a years-long investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) into McLaren Health Care Corporation (MHCC).  The DEA concluded that MHCC’s handling of controlled substances violated… Continue Reading
DOJ, FCA Litigation, OIG

Eleventh Circuit Holds “Knowingly and Willfully” Does Not Require Motive for Kickback Recipient

A recent Eleventh Circuit opinion clarified the mens rea burden the Government must prove to establish criminal intent to violate the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute (“AKS”) for a recipient or payee of a kickback or bribe under 42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7b(b)(1), and affirmed a conviction against a healthcare provider.  The opinion in United States v. Alap Shah… Continue Reading
Defense Arguments, DOJ, Individual Liability, Investigations

Fifth Circuit Upholds Health Care Fraud Convictions for Home Health Agency Employees

The U.S. Fifth Circuit recently upheld convictions and sentences against five named defendants, each charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud, conspiracy to violate the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) and several counts of substantive health care fraud.  In United States v. Barnes, No. 18-31074, 2020 WL 6304699 (5th Cir. Oct. 28, 2020), the Fifth… Continue Reading
DOJ

California Doctor Pleads Guilty to EKRA Violations

On September 15, 2020, Doctor Akikur R. Mohammad, a California resident and drug treatment facility owner, pled guilty before the U.S. District Court of New Jersey for violating the Eliminating Kickbacks in Recovery Act (“EKRA”), one of the country’s first convictions under this statute targeting opioid kickbacks. Enforcement under EKRA can help shed light on… Continue Reading
DOJ

DOJ Puts Collection of Civil Penalties on Hold in Response to COVID-19

In a pair of recent memoranda from the Executive Office for United States Attorneys (“EOUSA”) issued on March 31, 2020, and April 13, 2020, the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) has effectively halted enforcement actions and the collection of civil penalties.  Included in this temporary suspension is the collection of civil penalties incurred in… Continue Reading
DOJ, Regulatory

Federal Authorities Crack Down on Fraudulent COVID-19 Schemes

As the public faces the crisis related to the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19), federal authorities announced initial actions against individuals and companies promoting fraudulent schemes and products to the public. Federal agencies suggest concerns that individuals and companies are targeting vulnerable consumers and seeking to profit from the confusion and widespread fear during the pandemic.… Continue Reading
DOJ

New DOJ Task Force to Target Substandard Nursing Home Care

In a March 3, 2020, speech by Attorney General Bill Barr, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a new nursing home enforcement initiative targeting “grossly-substandard” care of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries in nursing homes nationwide. The DOJ, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will also seek to enhance enforcement of civil and… Continue Reading
DOJ, Individual Liability, Settlements

DOJ Settlement Resolves Allegations of Individual Liability

On October 4, 2019, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California announced a settlement in which the Retina Institute of California Medical Group, its former CEO, and several of its physicians paid the United States and California approximately $6.65 Million to settle False Claims Act allegations.  The settlement related to accusations of… Continue Reading
DOJ

DOJ Offers Further Guidance on False Claims Act Prosecutions

At a conference earlier this year, Deputy Associate General Stephen Cox offered further guidance on a number of topics central to the DOJ’s enforcement attitude in FCA actions over the past several years. Cox’s comments help provide further clarity and color to several recent memorandums authored by the DOJ and provide guidance on the DOJ’s… Continue Reading

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