Category: Relators

More DOJ Double-Dipping PPP Fraud News

The Department of Justice (“DOJ”) continues rolling out new settlement agreements related to COVID-19 fraud—highlighting the government’s and a common relator’s efforts to crack down on those alleged to have improperly received monies through the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP” or “Program”). A new settlement agreement once again showcases these trends and illustrates the civil liability that businesses and individuals may face under the False Claims...

Eight Years Later: “Speculative” and “Straightforward” FCA Allegations Against Walmart Dismissed

Walmart successfully ended eight years of protracted litigation under the False Claims Act (“FCA”) on June 4, 2021, when the Sixth Circuit affirmed dismissal of Medicare and Medicaid fraud allegations against the major retailer.  The case was first filed in February 2013.  See United States ex rel. Sheoran v. Wal-Mart Stores E., No. 13-10568, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140710, at *2 (E.D. Mich. Aug. 20,...

Omnicare and CVS’s “Novel” Argument Fails to Defeat FCA Claims

On March 19, 2021, a Southern District of New York judge denied a motion to dismiss a False Claims Act (“FCA”) suit alleging that Omnicare—a subsidiary of CVS Health Corp.—“dispensed drugs based on invalid prescriptions to potentially tens of thousands of individuals living at more than 3,000 residential facilities.” See United States ex rel. Bassan v. Omnicare, Inc., No. 1:15-cv-4179 (CM), 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS...

Triggering the Public Disclosure Bar: It’s in the Details

On February 5, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania rejected a defendant’s public disclosure bar defense, allowing the relators to proceed with their qui tam action under the False Claims Act. Sturgeon, et al., v. PharMerica Corp, No. 15-cv-6829, 2020 WL 586978, at *1 (E.D. Pa. Feb. 5, 2020).  In denying defendant PharAmerica’s motion to dismiss, the Court explained why the...

DOJ’s Procurement Collusion Strike Force Priorities Highlighted By Bid-Rigging Qui Tam Settlement

In an article published late last year, Dorsey reported on the Department of Justice’s announcement regarding the formation of a new Procurement Collusion Strike Force.  The Strike Force focuses on the nexus between antitrust and public procurement, with the stated aim of targeting antitrust crimes “such as bid-rigging conspiracies and related fraudulent schemes.”  If there was any question whether DOJ was serious about targeting such...

Justice Department Touts FY2019 False Claims Act Statistics as Evidence of Administration’s “High Priority” Against Fraud, but the Numbers Show Less of a Priority on Qui Tams

Earlier this month, the United States Department of Justice issued a press release to announce recoveries of over $3 billion from False Claims Act cases in FY2019. In making the announcement, Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt of the Civil Division emphasized, “The significant number of settlements and judgments obtained over the past year demonstrate the high priority this administration places on deterring fraud against the...

Relator Strikes Twice Against Walgreens

For those who pay close attention to FCA settlements, the January 22 press release from the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York of a $60 million settlement against Walgreens related to its Prescription Savings Club (“PSC”) program should not come as a complete surprise. In an earlier press release, almost two years ago to the day, the Southern District of New...

In One Decision, The Eleventh Circuit Creates Two Circuit Splits

Rejecting the views of the Fourth and Tenth Circuits, the Eleventh Circuit held the FCA’s three year statute of limitations period in § 3731(b)(2) applies to a relator’s claim even when the United States declines to intervene, and in so doing held it is the knowledge of a government official, not the relator, that triggers the three year limitations period, rejecting the contrary view of...

Two Recent Justice Department Memoranda May Have Significant Consequences for Pending and Future False Claims Act Enforcement

In recent weeks, the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) issued two memoranda that might change the calculus of False Claims Act (“FCA”) cases.  The memoranda at a minimum provide organizations with new—or at least invigorated—defenses to qui tam actions and civil enforcement matters. First, on January 10, Michael Granston, Director of DOJ’s Civil Frauds section, issued a memorandum encouraging DOJ trial attorneys to consider dismissing...

Court Rules that “Upon Information And Belief” Allegations of FCA Violations Leveled Against Competitor Fail to Withstand Pleading Requirements

A Federal court in Ohio recently dismissed a qui tam lawsuit brought under the False Claims Act by Kustom Products, Inc. against Hupp & Associates, Inc., a defense contractor, and in so doing provided judicial treatment of the common practice of alleging facts “upon information and belief.”  United States ex rel. Kustom Prods. v. Hupp & Assocs., No. 2:15-cv-03101, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72814 (S.D. Ohio May...