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Samsung_Logo.svgThe American division of Samsung (Samsung Electronics America Inc.) has agreed to pay the U.S. government $2.3 million to settle allegations that the company violated trade agreements by lying about where Samsung products purchased under government contracts were manufactured. The settlement resolves whistleblower allegations filed by former Samsung employee Robert Simmons. At this time, it is unclear what Simmons’ share of the recovered money will be.

The terms of Government Service Administration (GSA) Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) contracts require that any products purchased should be either manufactured in the United States or a country that the U.S. has a trade agreement with. According to the Justice Department, Samsung provided the government with “inaccurate information” when federal agencies purchased Samsung products thought to be made in countries like South Korea or Mexico. In fact, the products were made in China, a country not part of a trade agreement.

“It is unacceptable to sell unauthorized foreign electronics to the United States,” said GSA Acting Inspector General Robert C. Erickson. “We expect all companies doing business with the federal government to comply with contracting laws.”

Tuesday’s settlement was reached due to the efforts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland, the Commercial Litigation Branch of the Justice Department’s Civil Division and the Government Service Administration’s Office of Inspector General.

The case is United States ex rel. Simmons v. Samsung Electronics America, Inc. et al., No. AW-11-2971 (D. Md.)  

Carondelet Health Network has agreed to pay $35 million to settle health care fraud allegations initially filed by a whistleblower. The settlement represents the largest amount recovered by the state of Arizona under the False Claims Act.

CHNLogoVertTwo Carondelet Health Network hospitals were accused of knowingly eimbursement from Medicare and other government health agencies between 2004 and 2011. According to the complaint, the rehab services were not reimbursable because the patients were not eligible to receive them.

Carondelet officials purportedly discovered the improper billing during an internal investigation in 2010, characterizing the finding as a “billing discrepancy,” according to the Arizona Daily Star. The investigation concluded that, in some cases, “documentation was lacking to fully support billing of inpatient rehabilitation services to federal health care programs.” However, the U.S. contends that the two hospitals continued to knowingly submit false claims to government health care agencies for at least a year after the improper billing was discovered.

The whistleblower that initially filed suit against Carondelet is Jacqueline Bloink, a former employee. Bloink will receive roughly $6 million for blowing the whistle on her former employer. Her case demonstrates the need for brave men and women to come forward with information of fraud and wrongdoing. Carondelet’s alleged fraud might have cost taxpayers millions had it not been for Bloink’s integrity and bravery.

Former Owner of Los Angeles Medical Clinic Management Company Pleads Guilty to $3.2 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme

August 15, 2014

The former owner of a Los Angeles area medical clinic management company entered a guilty plea today for his role in a Medicare fraud scheme worth $3.2 million. Mihran “Mike” Meguerian pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud before U.S. District Judge Beverly R. O’Connell of the Central District of [...]

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HHS Investigation: Medicare Spent Over $30 Million on Suspicious AIDS Medication Costs

August 6, 2014

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) says that Medicare spent over $30 million in 2012 on possibly dubious AIDS medication costs. The HHS investigation flagged 1,578 Medicare beneficiaries that questionably received AIDS medications. More than half of those flagged had never received an HIV diagnosis, had not visited labs to monitor the [...]

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Shipping Carrier to Pay Nearly $10 Million to Settle Improper Billing Charges

July 28, 2014

Matson Navigation Company, Inc. has agreed to pay the U.S. $9.95 million to settle whistleblower allegations that the shipping company allegedly made false claims to the U.S. Department of Defense concerning pricing practices. The claims were initially made by whistleblower Mario Rizzo, an Illinois freight consultant who filed the lawsuit against Matson and Horizon Lines [...]

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Dallas Doctor Faces 20 Years in Prison for Health Care Fraud

July 24, 2014

A Dallas doctor and hospital chain operator is facing 20 years in prison for stealing roughly $18 million from government health care agencies. Dr. Tariq Mahmood was found guilty today of eight counts of health care fraud, including conspiracy, and seven counts of aggravated identity fraud. Several of Dr. Mahmood’s employees at Renaissance Hospital Terrell [...]

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Justice Department Files False Claim Lawsuit Against Surgeon and Medical Device Manufacturer

July 17, 2014

The Justice Department filed a False Claims lawsuit today against Midwest Neurosurgeons L.L.C. and DS Medical L.L.C. claiming that the owners of both companies – Dr. Sanjay Fonn and Deborah Seeger, respectively – violated the False Claims Act and the Anti-Kickback Statute. Fonn and Ms. Seeger, his fiancée, allegedly conspired to benefit from the sale [...]

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Obstetricians in Illinois Billing Medicare for … Group Psychotherapy?

July 13, 2014

Illinois Medicaid Director Theresa Eagleson noticed a peculiar billing trend a few years ago. Eagleson saw that patients in nursing homes were being transported to off-site locations for group psychotherapy sessions, which were often performed by obstetricians/gynecologists, oncologists, urologists and other physicians who “didn’t have any training really in psychiatry.” What’s worse, Medicaid was paying [...]

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Takeda Whistleblower Asks Supreme Court to Revive Lawsuit

July 11, 2014

Dr. Helen Ge has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to revive her whistleblower lawsuit against Takeda Pharmaceuticals Company Ltd. Dr. Ge, a former medical reviewer at Takeda, filed a whistleblower lawsuit against her former employer in 2010 accusing the pharmaceutical giant of hiding the safety risks associated with one of their drugs. She states that [...]

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Whistleblower Protections Expanded Under New Amendment

July 10, 2014

The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station sits on the heavily populated shores of Southern California. Any nuclear disaster at the station would affect over 8 million people within 50 miles. Up until it was decommissioned a few years ago, workers at the San Onofre power plant voiced more safety complaints to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission [...]

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