Whistleblower Law Collaborative Blog and News

The largest of the federal Offices of Inspectors General is at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS OIG). As we have written before, Offices of Inspectors General are critical in protecting taxpayer dollars from fraud and helping whistleblowers and the Department of Justice (DOJ) enforce the False Claims Act. Given HHS’s immense responsibilities and budget, the large size of its OIG is fitting. HHS’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) administers…
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced yet another nursing home fraud settlement.  Last month, Saber Healthcare Group LLC (and related entities) agreed to pay $10 million to resolve a whistleblower lawsuit.  The suit (joined by the government for settlement) argued that, for years, Saber charged Medicare for rehabilitation therapy services that were not reasonable or necessary.  The government also alleged that therapists often provided basic nursing services, but billed the taxpayers for more expensive…
On May 15th, federal authorities in Florida arrested a Georgia woman for testing fraud. The criminal complaint charges Ashley Hoobler Parris with conspiring to violate the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) and to defraud Medicare by submitting false and fraudulent claims for cancer genetic testing (CGX) and for COVID-19 testing. The press release issued by the Department of Justice (DOJ) describes the scheme. Unfortunately, it is a scheme that has become all too familiar. Genetic Testing Fraud…
We’ve written before that chaos creates the perfect storm for fraud and opportunism. One of the reasons for this is the underlying nature of capitalism itself: capitalism rewards risk-taking and opportunism. But in the barely-regulated environment of an emergency, risk-taking and opportunism can result in massive losses of taxpayer dollars. A recent New York Times article on Covid-19 ventilator fraud provides a case in point. Covid-19 Ventilator Fraud Victimizes New York At the height of New…
Two New Englanders have the dubious distinction of being the first persons in the nation prosecuted for COVID-19 stimulus fraud. Federal authorities arrested the two men last week. They allegedly conspired to obtain by fraud forgivable loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA). Among other things, they falsely claimed to employ dozens of persons at four different businesses. In fact, no employees worked for any of those businesses. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Rhode…
The US Securities and Exchange Commission is moving aggressively against companies and individuals involved in COVID-19 investment scams. We have warned of the many ways bad actors will look to make a quick profit off the COVID-19 pandemic. Investors are prime targets for that fraud. Economic uncertainty, market volatility, and a global focus on finding treatments and cures create prime opportunities for scammers. However, the SEC is using all its tools to police financial markets…
We have been writing and speaking on the danger that scammers will try to take advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic. We have already seen evidence of pandemic related fraud.  For example, fundraising for illegitimate charities, theft of stimulus checks, and promotions of bogus cures. Now the Massachusetts United States Attorney is warning about Covid-19 Health Fraud. The Massachusetts United States Attorney’s Office Is Prioritizing Prosecution of Covid-19 Health Care Fraud Recently, Massachusetts U.S.…
Until last week, most members of the general public had never heard of Dr. Richard Bright. Since then, however, a public outcry has arisen after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) abruptly removed him from a key position fighting coronavirus. Dr. Bright intends to file a whistleblower complaint and is demanding an HHS inspector general investigation. Dr. Bright had been the Director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). BARDA…
This past Friday evening, Whistleblower Law Collaborative Co-Founder Bob Thomas appeared on Emily Rooney’s WGBH Program Greater Boston to discuss Covid-19 fraud. The news program rounds up the local and national news stories for the Boston television market.  The segment was the first part of the broadcast and lasted approximately seven minutes.    Ms. Rooney questioned Bob about whether the government should be faulted for some of the failures for stimulus checks to reach their intended…
Independent inspectors general (IGs) safeguard our tax dollars. The federal government will spend an unprecedented trillions of taxpayer dollars in response to the coronavirus crisis. With history as our guide, we know that opportunistic fraudsters will get their hands on large amounts of this money. Now more than ever, we need federal IGs. IGs are the independent, nonpartisan fiscal watchdogs created by Congress in 1978 to protect the public’s money and safety. Over 70 federal…