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This site provides news and information about the False Claims Act qui tam whistleblower law, the Tax Whistleblower law and the Securities and Commodities Whistleblower law. On this site you can learn the basics of each law and the process of bringing a case as well as read about the latest developments.

Getnick & Getnick LLP is a Manhattan-based law firm dedicated to business integrity and anti-fraud cases. Our whistleblower cases have resulted in recoveries of over a billion dollars for U.S. taxpayers.
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Monday, June 30, 2014

BNP Paribas to Plead Guilty and Pay $8.9 Billion for Violating US Economic Sanctions

BNP Paribas, France’s largest and the world’s fourth largest bank, agreed to plead guilty and pay an $8.9 billion penalty for conspiring to violate U.S. economic sanctions by transferring billions of dollars through the U.S. financial system on behalf of Sudan, Iran, and Cuba--all blacklisted by the U.S. According to the U.S. DOJ, BNP Paribas concealed these prohibited transactions using various schemes such as setting up “satellite banks,” routing illegal payments through third party financial institutions, and instructing other financial institutions not to mention the name of sanctioned entities in payments sent through the U.S. While the bank’s illegal conduct mainly occurred between 2002 and 2009, some stretched into 2012, well after the government had begun investigations. This is the first time a global bank has agreed to plead guilty to such large-scale violations of U.S. economic sanctions.

BNP Paribas also pled guilty in New York State Supreme Court to falsifying, and conspiring to falsify, business records. The New York State Department of Financial Services announced that BNP Paribas agreed to terminate the Group Chief Operating Officer and other bank employees; suspend U.S. dollar clearing operations through its New York Branch and other affiliates for one year; and pay a cash penalty of $2.2434 billion to the Department of Financial Services. The investigation into BNP Paribas began with a whistle-blower tip to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

Read the entire DOJ press release, “BNP Paribas Agrees to Plead Guilty and to Pay $8.9 Billion for Illegally Processing Financial Transactions for Countries Subject to U.S. Economic Sanctions"
Read the article, “BNP Paribas Expected to Plead Guilty and Pay $8.9 Billion Fine"

Posted by eithurburn on 06/30 at 01:26 PM

U.S. Bank to Pay $200 Million to Settle Allegations of FHA Mortgage Lending Violations

U.S. Bank, an Ohio-based banking services company, agreed to pay the United States $200 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by engaging in lax mortgage underwriting practices in violation of the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA’s) lending requirements. As part of the settlement, U.S. Bank admitted that, from 2006 through 2011, it repeatedly certified for FHA insurance mortgage loans that did not meet the underwriting requirements of FHA’s parent agency, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). U.S. Bank also admitted that its quality control program did not meet FHA requirements and it consequently failed to identify deficient loans, self-report them to HUD, and take corrective action as required under the program.

Read the entire press release, “U.S. Bank to Pay $200 Million to Resolve Alleged FHA Mortgage Lending Violations"
Read the settlement agreement here

Posted by eithurburn on 06/30 at 09:25 AM

Friday, June 27, 2014

USAO and NY AG Intervene in Suit Against Hospitals and Operator for Improper Medicaid Claims

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and New York Attorney General’s Office filed intervening complaints in a whistleblower lawsuit against Continuum Health Partners, Inc., Beth Israel Medical Center, and St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center for failing to repay money they received after improperly billing the state’s Medicaid Program. According to the complaints, between 2009 and 2010, Beth Israel and St. Luke’s-Roosevelt submitted improper claims to Medicaid due to a computer error. In February 2011, Continuum, the former operator of the two hospitals, allegedly identified 900 potentially improper claims worth nearly $1 million to Medicaid, but failed to return all of the payments--repaying only small batches over the next two-plus years.

The case was initiated by Robert Kane, a former employee of Continuum who was tasked with the company’s internal investigation of improper claims.  Kane was allegedly fired after his review turned up $1 million in overpayments.

Read the SDNY USAO’s press release, “Manhattan U.S. Attorney Files Civil Fraud Suit Against Hospital Group For Fraudulently Delaying Repayment Of Nearly $1 Million Of Medicaid Overcharges"
Read the NY AG’s press release, “A.G. Schneiderman Announces Lawsuit Against Continuum Health Partners, Beth Israel Medical Center And St. Luke’s-Roosevelt"
Read the entire article, “Software Glitch Sparks FCA Suit Against Hospitals for Late Repayment of Medicaid Reimbursements"

Posted by eithurburn on 06/27 at 09:19 AM

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Omnicare Reaches $124 Million Settlement Involving Healthcare Fraud Allegations

Omnicare Inc., the nation’s largest provider of pharmaceuticals and pharmacy services to nursing homes, will pay $124.24 million for allegedly providing improper discounts to nursing facilities to induce them to select Omnicare as their pharmacy provider. The settlement resolves allegations that Omnicare submitted false claims by entering into below-cost contracts to supply its drugs to nursing homes in return for their continued use of Omnicare drugs to treat elderly Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. In addition to the facilities’ reimbursement claims for treatment rendered to Medicaid patients, Omnicare also submitted its own claims for reimbursement to Medicare and Medicaid. Of the $124.24 million that Omnicare will pay, $8.24 million will go to states affected by Omnicare’s conduct.  The settlement with Omnicare stems from two whistleblower lawsuits. The first whistleblower, Donald Gale, is a former Omnicare employee and will receive $17.24 million.

Read the entire press release, “Nation’s Largest Nursing Home Pharmacy Company to Pay $124 Million to Settle Allegations Involving False Billings to Federal Health Care Programs"

Posted by eithurburn on 06/25 at 01:07 PM

Government Boasts Success of Anti-Fraud Measures

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that its Fraud Prevention System, a system that uses predictive analytics to identify potential fraud, prevented more than $210 million in improper Medicare payments over the last fiscal year--twice the amount the government saved in the program’s inaugural year. According to CMS’ report to Congress, using this advanced private sector technology, CMS was able to identify and take action against 938 health providers and suppliers. According to CMS, this system is part of a larger anti-fraud strategy that has led to $19.2 billion in fraud recoveries over the past five years.

Read the entire press release, “CMS Fraud Prevention System Identified or Prevented $210 Million in Improper Medicare Payments in 2nd Year of Operations"
Read CMS’ report to Congress, “Report to Congress, Fraud Prevention System, Second Implementation Year"

Posted by eithurburn on 06/25 at 09:29 AM
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