Category: Settlements

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...

Latest PPP Fraud Settlement Showcases Civil and Criminal Penalties for Knowingly Submitting False Claims

The Department of Justice (“DOJ”) continues racking up more settlement agreements under the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. § 3729 et seq (“FCA”) with companies and individuals alleged to have improperly used funds received through the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP” or “Program”). The latest PPP fraud settlement illustrates that attempts to fraudulently obtain forgiveness of PPP loans used for ineligible expenses invites potential liability under...

DOJ Shows No Sign of Slowing Down Prosecution of Individuals Connected to FCA Cases

Following a record year for False Claims Act (“FCA”) settlements and judgments in 2021, the Department of Justice (”DOJ”) continues to aggressively pursue the prosecution of not only corporations, but also the individuals connected to corporate criminal cases. Within the first quarter of 2022, the DOJ has already announced numerous False Claims Act violations involving corporate defendants, including a $260 million settlement with pharmaceutical company...

Home-Health Services Company Settles After Allegations of Double-Billing Scheme

The Department of Justice recently announced that a home-health services company has agreed to pay over $45,000 to resolve alleged False Claims Act (“FCA”) violations.  Professional Family Care Services, Inc. (“PFCS”), a North Carolina corporation, faced allegations of fraudulent billing for work by an employee that was convicted of wire fraud and sentenced to prison for her role in the alleged scheme. For two years...

DOJ Announces More FCA Settlement Agreements Over PPP Fraud

Fresh off the new year, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) continues to announce new settlements under the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. § 3729 et seq (“FCA”)—further cementing the trend of private parties suing borrowers for violating requirements of the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP” or the “Program”). Two new FCA settlements were announced earlier this month involving relators’ allegations that borrowers made false statements when applying for...

Settlement Illustrates Continued Use of FCA to Combat PPP Fraud

The trend of private parties suing businesses under the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. § 3729 et seq (“FCA”) for violating requirements of the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP” or the “Program”) continues. Just recently, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) issued a press release announcing its latest settlement in an FCA case involving Sextant Marine Consulting, LLC (“Sextant”) and a whistleblower named J. Bryan Quesenberry (“Relator”)....

Enforcement Standards Tighten on Private Insurers: Sutter Health Settles for $90 Million Following Dispute With DOJ

On August 30, 2021, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced that Sutter Health and several of its affiliated entities (“Sutter”) agreed to pay a total of $90 million to settle allegations that Sutter violated the False Claims Act (“FCA”), 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729-3733, by “knowingly submitting inaccurate information about the health status of beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage Plans.”  Sutter Health and Affiliates to Pay...

No Claim Too Small: Contractor Settles FCA Claims for Failure to Return $14,000 of Reimbursed Equipment

On May 28, 2021, a District of Maine judge granted a joint motion for stipulated judgment in favor of the United States, ending the False Claims Act suit against a Coast Guard contractor hired to assist with the excavation of a World War II-era airplane crash site.  United States of America v. Luciano A. Sapienza, et al., No. 2:21-cv-00073-NT (Me.). As alleged in the amended...

Northern District of Texas Refuses to Enforce Purported Pre-Filing Qui Tam Claim Release on Public Policy Grounds

On April 30, 2021, a Northern District of Texas judge denied a motion to dismiss an FCA qui tam action alleging “a fraudulent scheme to obtain Government subcontracting opportunities reserved for eligible small businesses under the Small Business Act.” United States ex rel. Haight v. RRSA (Commer. Div), LLC, 3:16-CV-1975-S, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82894, at *1-4 (N.D. Tex. Apr. 30, 2021). In the complaint,...

Justice Department Annual Release Shows Decreased FCA Recoveries But Increased FCA Matters in FY2020, Suggesting Likely Uptick in 2021

On January 14, 2021, the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) issued its annual press release highlighting its recoveries from False Claims Act (“FCA”) enforcement over the last fiscal year.  Total recoveries in FY2020 exceeded $2.2 billion, with the majority—$1.8 billion—of those recoveries coming from the healthcare industry.  These totals are down substantially from FY2019, in which total recoveries exceeded $3 billion with $2.6 billion...