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Category Archives: Blog

The Department of Justice Needs Individuals to Report Drug Pricing Fraud for False Claim Act Enforcement

One available use of the False Claims Act is to stop pharmaceutical manufacturers and pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs) from artificially inflating drug prices.  Skyrocketing drug prices directly caused by schemes concocted by major players in the health care space are invariably passed along to federal health care programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE for military […]

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$2.2 Billion in Fraudulently-Taken Monies Returned to the Taxpayer in Fiscal Year 2020.  DOJ Paid the Individuals Who Reported the Fraud $309 Million.

This past year, the Justice Department went after companies that cheated taxpayers out of $2.2 Billion.  Those monies were recovered on behalf of defrauded taxpayer-funded programs, grants, and contracts.  That $2.2 Billion figure represents only one single year of fraud recoveries under the False Claims Act.  Well over 70 percent of these taxpayer cheats were […]

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Chinese Earrings at Center of $400,000 False Claims Act Settlement for Unpaid Customs Duties by Former Jewelry Importer

TSI Accessories Group, Inc., a former jewelry importer, agreed to pay $402,637 to settle allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by failing to pay customs duties on sterling silver earring imports from China. The amount of customs duties owed depends on the item’s value—the more expensive the item is, the lower the duty […]

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Federal Judge in Texas Rules That Lying About Eligibility For 8(a) Business Development Program Violates False Claims Act; Whistleblower’s Qui Tam Case Can Move Forward

Another court has joined the growing chorus of judges who are singing the same tune on set-aside fraud:  when a government contractor lies about its eligibility for a set-aside contract, it violates the False Claims Act, and can be sued by either the Department of Justice or a whistleblower. The new case is United States […]

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Mortgage Company Agrees to Pay $24.9 Million to Settle Fraud Allegations Related to Federal Mortgage Insurance

Guild Mortgage Company (Guild) of San Diego, California, agreed to pay the U.S. government $24.9 Million to settle allegations that Guild violated the False Claims Act by knowingly breaching material program requirements when underwriting and originating mortgages insured by the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Federal Housing Administration (FHA). The settlement resolves allegations that […]

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Court of Appeals Issues Important Decision on Application of the False Claims Act to Set-Aside Contracts

On December 3, 2020, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued its decision in United States v. Strock (Strock), a ruling that will significantly strengthen the hand of the government, and of qui tam whistleblowers, in False Claims Act cases against companies awarded government set-aside contracts but do not meet the […]

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Two Former Senior Department of Justice Prosecutors Join Tycko & Zavareei LLP to Enhance Whistleblower Practice

Renée Brooker and Eva Gunasekera, former prosecutors in senior leadership positions at the United States Department of Justice’s Civil Fraud Section (DOJ), have joined boutique law firm Tycko & Zavareei LLP (https://www.tzlegal.com/) as Partners, and will represent whistleblowers in Qui Tam litigation under the False Claims Act and whistleblower-reward programs of the SEC, CFTC, and IRS.  The combination […]

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Two Large U.S. Government Contractors Reach a $57.75 Million Settlement to Resolve Fraudulent Time Charging Claims

Two U.S. government contractors, Bechtel National Inc., Bechtel Corporation (Bechtel) and AECOM Energy & Construction, Inc. (AECOM), along with subsidiary Waste Treatment Completion Company, LLC (WTCC), have agreed to pay $57.75 million to resolve fraud allegations for overcharging the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for unallowable idle time charges for workers on the Hanford nuclear […]

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U.S. Government Announces One of Its Largest Customs Fraud Settlements

The Department of Justice last week announced a $22.8 million settlement involving customs duty fraud—one of the largest False Claims Act settlements involving customs duties to date. A former company employee reported the alleged violations against German multinational chemical and gas company, Linde AG, and its American subsidiary, Linde Engineering North America, Inc. (collectively, “Linde”). […]

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Scripps Research Institute Pays $10 Million To Settle Allegations Related to Improper Charges to NIH-Sponsored Research Grants

The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), located in  Florida and California, agreed to pay $10 Million to resolve claims that it improperly charged NIH-funded research grants for time spent on non-research related activities. The non-related activities included developing, preparing, and writing new grant applications, teaching, and engaging in other administrative activities. The settlement resolves allegations that […]

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