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Top 10 Settlements Of 2011

  1. Quest Diagnostics agreed to pay $241 million to settle a case brought under the California False Claims Act that alleged that the company overbilled California’s Medicaid program for diagnostic and testing services. The lawsuit was filed by whistleblowers Chris Riedel and his company Hunter Laboratories, a Quest competitor that was placed at a disadvantage due Quest’s alleged unlawful practices.
  2. Oracle Corporation agreed to pay $199.5 million to settle a False Claims Act lawsuit alleging that the company provided false or misleading information to the Government Services Administration (GSA) that resulted in the Government paying more for Oracle products and services than it would have paid had Oracle provided accurate information. This was the largest settlement ever obtained for fraud upon the GSA. Oracle’s alleged misconduct was brought to the attention of the Government by whistleblower Paul Frascella, a former Oracle employee.  As a reward for disclosing his employer’s alleged fraud, he received $40 million from the settlement.
  3. Novartis’s Sandoz unit agreed to pay $150 million to resolve claims that the company overbilled the federal Government and the States for its pharmaceuticals. The False Claims Act case was originated by relator Ven-a-Care, a Florida pharmacy that has brought numerous similar actions against the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies. Of the $150 million, $75 million will go to the state of California, approximately $39 million to the state of Florida, and $35 million to the Federal Government. The relator will receive approximately $8.3 million from the California and Florida recoveries. The relator’s share from the Federal recovery was not disclosed.
  4. Maxim Healthcare Services, Inc., one of the nation’s leading providers of home health care services, agreed to pay $150 million to resolve allegations in a False Claims Act lawsuit that the company billed for services that were not rendered, not properly documented, or were performed in unlicensed offices. This qui tam case was brought to the attention of the Government by Richard West, who was receiving home nursing services through Maxim. Mr. West will receive a $15.4 million share of the settlement.
  5. Verizon Communications, Inc. agreed to pay the Government approximately $93.5 million to settle a False Claims Act lawsuit alleging that the company improperly invoiced the Government Services Administration for a variety of federal, state, and local taxes and surcharges in violation of government-wide voice and data telecommunications services contracts.
  6. Medline Industries, Inc. agreed to pay $85 million to settle a False Claims Act lawsuit accusing the company of paying unlawful kickbacks to hospitals that purchased Medline supplies that were paid for by Medicare and Medicaid. Medline’s alleged misconduct was brought to the attention of the Government by whistleblower Sean Mason, who will receive a $23.4 million share of the settlement.
  7. New York City agreed to pay the Federal Government $70 million to resolve allegations that the City defrauded the Medicaid program. Dr. Gabriel Ethan Feldman was the determined whistleblower in this qui tam case. He continually tried to raise public awareness surrounding New York City’s alleged abuse of Medicaid and finally filed his case in 2009.  Dr. Feldman will be receiving $14.7 million as his reward for bringing the City’s alleged fraud to the attention of the Government.
  8. LHC Group Inc., another one of the nation’s largest home health care providers, has agreed to pay the Government $65 million to settle allegations that the company violated the False Claims Act by submitting false bills to Government health care programs such as Medicare and Tricare for services that were medically unnecessary. The government was made aware of LHC’s fraud by whistleblower Judy Master.  Ms. Master discovered the fraud while she worked for a consulting firm LHC had used.  She will be receiving over $12 million from the settlement.
  9. LabCorp agreed to pay $49.5 million to resolve a lawsuit under the California False Claims Act asserting that the company overbilled California’s Medicaid program for testing services and paid unlawful kickbacks to doctors for patient referrals. This case was also brought to the attention of the California Attorney General’s Office by Chris Riedel and his company Hunter Laboratories, a LabCorp competitor turned whistleblower.
  10. Pharmaceutical manufacturers Serono Laboratories, EMD Serono, Inc., Merck Serono S.A., and Ares Trading S.A. agreed to pay $44.3 million to resolve allegations that the company violated the False Claims Act by paying kickbacks to health care providers to induce them to prescribe the drug Rebif. The qui tam lawsuit was originally brought by whistleblower Tim Amato, who will receive a $5.19 million share of the settlement.