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Make room JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and CitiGroup; Morgan Stanley is the latest Wall Street firm to reach a settlement with the government to “resolve certain claims” related to the mortgage bubble and subsequent financial collapse in 2008. The Justice Department announced today that Morgan Stanley will pay $2.6 billion to settle claims related to the bank’s mortgage division.

6a00d8341c4eab53ef01bb078afcc3970d-250wiAccording to CNN, Morgan Stanley packaged bad loans into mortgage-backed securities, and then misrepresented their risk to investors. The settlement represents the largest sum the financial institution has paid in connection with the 2008 financial crisis. Morgan Stanley had previously reached a smaller settlement in 2014 when it agreed to pay the Federal Housing Finance Committee $1.25 billion over mortgages it sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Today’s settlement has not yet been finalized, and according to a Morgan Stanley regulatory filing, the deal could still fall through. Earlier this year, the New York bank reported that it had earned $2.95 per share for the full previous year. The settlement with the government will eat into roughly half of what Morgan Stanley made last year, on a per-share basis.

Several Wall Street banks have reached settlements with the government over the last two years over claims that they grossly misrepresented the volatility of subprime mortgage bonds to investors. Bank of America reached a massive settlement with the Justice Department last year worth $16.7 billion, while JPMorgan Chase settled in 2013 for $13 billion.

Goldman Sachs, another large financial institution, is still in the process of working out settlement terms with the government. Like Morgan Stanley, Goldman reached a settlement with the Federal Housing Finance Committee last year over claims that it misrepresented the quality of mortgages sold to Fannie and Freddie. That settlement came in at $3.15 billion.

Last week, Attorney General Eric Holder gave federal prosecutors 90 days to decide whether they can bring charges against individuals who played roles in the 2008 financial collapse.

One can only hope that justice will be done …

Pharmaceutical manufacturer AstraZeneca LP has agreed to pay $7.9 million to resolve allegations that the company paid kickbacks in the form of price concessions to a pharmacy benefit manager. AstraZeneca, a Delaware company, markets and sells pharmaceuticals in the United States. Today’s settlement announcement resolves whistleblower claims filed by two former employees. Each will earn rewards for their role in exposing the alleged fraud.

AstraZeneca-logo-3DAccording to the whistleblower lawsuit, AstraZeneca provided kickbacks to Medco Health Solutions, a pharmacy benefit manager with headquarters in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey. The kickbacks were designed to give AstraZeneca drugs like Nexium (a popular acid reflux medication) “sole and exclusive” status in Medco formularies.

The Justice Department claims that AstraZeneca offered remuneration to Medco in the form of price concessions on other company drugs like Plendil, Toprol XL and Prilosec. These price breaks constituted a violation of the Federal Anti-Kickback statute, which led to the submission of false claims concerning drugs like Nexium to the Retiree Drug Subsidy Program.

AstraZeneca issued a statement following the settlement announcement, denying any wrongdoing. A spokesman for Express Scripts Co., the company that now owns Medco, did not wish to comment on the case.

The settlement resolves claims initially filed in 2010 by Paul DiMattia and F. Folger Tuggle, two former AstraZeneca executives. The government decided to intervene in their case. As a reward for bringing the alleged fraud to the government’s attention, DiMattia and Tuggle will collectively receive $1.42 million.

The two whistleblowers claim that AstraZeneca engaged in the Nexium fraud scheme before the ink had dried on a $520 million settlement in 2010 concerning allegations of illegally marketing another drug called Seroquel. AstraZeneca allegedly marketed the anti-psychotic drug for off-label uses (uses not approved by the Food and Drug Administration).

Medtronic Settles Whistleblower Lawsuit for $2.8 Million

February 9, 2015

The Justice Department announced last Friday that medical device maker Medtronic Inc. has agreed to pay $2.8 million to resolve whistleblower claims that the company submitted false claims to government health care agencies for services that were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The lawsuit was filed by former Medtronic sales representative [...]

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Pulaski County Optometry Practice Settles False Claims Allegations for $800,000

February 4, 2015

The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that a Somerset, Kentucky optometry practice will pay $800,000 to settle allegations that the company bilked money from federal health care agencies by submitting claims for unnecessary eye exams performed on nursing home residents over a period of five years. According to the DOJ, Associates in Eye Care (AEC) [...]

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Whistleblower Receives $18.6 Million Reward for Exposing Alleged Health Care Fraud Scheme

February 2, 2015

A whistleblower will receive an $18.6 million reward for filing a qui tam lawsuit that claims Community Health Systems Professional Services Corporation (CHSPSC) and three New Mexico hospitals made illegal donations to county governments in an effort to increase Medicaid payments. CHSPSC announced today that it has agreed to pay $75 million to settle the [...]

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Eastern Kentucky Ambulance Service Settles Whistleblower Allegations for $1 Million

January 26, 2015

An eastern Kentucky ambulance service has agreed to pay nearly $1 million to settle whistleblower allegations that it submitted fraudulent claims for Medicare reimbursement. Floyd County-based Lafferty Enterprises, which conducts business under the name Trans-Star Ambulance Services, stood accused of transporting Medicare beneficiaries to and from dialysis clinics by ambulance under circumstances not covered by [...]

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Supreme Court Enhances Whistleblower Protections

January 21, 2015

The Supreme Court voted on Wednesday in favor of enhancing protections for government whistleblowers. The 7-2 decision involved a federal air marshal who had been terminated in 2005 for disclosing planned cutbacks to air marshals on commercial flights. In 2003, air marshal Robert MacLean received a text message from the Transportation Safety Administration saying the [...]

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South Florida Medical Supply Company Accused of Medicare Fraud Has Ties to ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ Movie

January 15, 2015

The South Florida medical supply company raided by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents this week has ties to the ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ movie, according to an FBI spokesman. Investigators raided Med-Care Diabetic and Medical Supply Inc. in Boca Raton this week in connection with a whistleblower lawsuit that claims the company defrauded government healthcare [...]

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Daiichi Sankyo Settles Whistleblower Claims For $39 Million

January 12, 2015

The Justice Department announced last week that Daiichi Sankyo Inc., a Japanese-based pharmaceutical company with U.S. headquarters in New Jersey, has agreed to pay $39 million to settle fraud allegations initially filed by a whistleblower. A former Daiichi sales representative accused the pharma company of violating the False Claims Act by paying kickbacks to induce [...]

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Federal Judge Denies Christ Hospital’s Motion to Dismiss Whistleblower Lawsuit

January 7, 2015

A federal judge in Cincinnati has rejected Christ Hospital’s motion to dismiss a whistleblower lawsuit filed by a former employee. Cincinnati-based Christ Hospital provides health services in cancer, cardiac care, major surgery, orthopedics, women’s health and behavioral medicine. Glenda Overton, a former administrator at the hospital, filed the whistleblower lawsuit after she was fired in [...]

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