Legislation Prohibiting Punishment of Acquitted Conduct Introduced in Senate

By Sarah Wirskye - On

On September 26, 2019, a bill prohibiting punishment of acquitted conduct was introduced in the United States Senate.  The Prohibiting Punishment of Acquitted Conduct Act of 2019 (“Act”) would amend 18 U.S.C. § 3661 to stop increasing sentences based on conduct for which a defendant has been acquitted by a jury. Currently, § 3661 …

Government Continues to Focus on Opioid Cases

By Sarah Wirskye - On

The opioid epidemic has killed nearly 400,000 Americans since 1999, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And the death toll from opioid addiction continues to rise. Based upon the patient harm and the costs of managing this epidemic, there is no end in sight for federal, state and private …

Supreme Court Opinion Offers Guidance on False Claims Act Statute of Limitations

By Sarah Q. Wirskye - On

In Cochise Consultancy, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Hunt, No. 18-315 (2019), the Supreme Court held that the statute of limitations period in 31 U.S.C. § 3731(b)(2) begins to run when the government official responsible for acting, and not the relator, knew or should have known of the relevant facts.  This applies to False Claims …

Department of Justice Issues Guidance on False Claims Act

By Sarah Q. Wirskye - On

On May 6, 2019, the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued guidance explaining how the DOJ awards credit to defendants who cooperate during a False Claims Act investigation. The policy states that the DOJ will consider (1) voluntary disclosure of wrongdoing, (2) cooperation in an ongoing investigation, and (3) taking remedial measures in response to the …

Government is Getting Aggressive with Healthcare Providers Waiving Patient Responsibility

By Sarah Q. Wirskye - On

Healthcare providers’ offering patients a discount may be permissible under certain situations. However, in the current legal climate, providers must be extremely careful when doing so, because offering such discounts can implicate numerous federal and state laws. These laws include the federal and state antikickback statutes, the travel act, healthcare fraud and other state …

Doctors Reject Feds Claim They Lined Their Pockets at Patients’ Expense in Big Dallas Medical Bribery Trial

By Sarah Q. Wirskye - On

Dallas Morning News, Kevin Krause, www.dallasnews.com, February 21, 2019 They’re medical innovators and pioneers, their attorneys said, who saved some lives and improved many others. The surgeons brought patients to a “state-of-the-art” Dallas hospital called Forest Park Medical Center. But did they illegally put their own financial interests before everything else, including their patients? …

United States Sentencing Commission Releases Report on Federal Economic Crime Statistics

By Sarah Q. Wirskye - On

The United States Sentencing Commission just released a report containing sentencing statistics in economic crime cases, titled What Does Federal Economic Crime Really Look Like. https://www.ussc.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/research-and-publications/research-publications/2019/20190130_Econ-Crime.pdf. The report is a good resource for white collar criminal attorneys. It contains sentencing data for defendants sentenced under the economic crime sentencing guideline, §2B1.1.  The data includes …

Department of Justice Softens the Yates Memorandum

By Sarah Wirskye - On

In September 2015, the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued guidance to its prosecutors aimed at encouraging white collar criminal and civil cases against corporate executives.  This policy is commonly known as the Yates Memorandum. On November 29, 2018, DOJ Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein announced the revised policy.  Citing inefficiencies and wasted resources, …

New Opioids Anti-Kickback Law Targeting Non-Government Pay Patients

By Sarah Q. Wirskye - On

On October 24, 2018, President Trump signed legislation to combat the opioid epidemic called the Substance Use–Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act (SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act). Part of the legislation criminalizes illegal remunerations for referrals to recovery homes, clinical treatment facilities and laboratories (Recovery Kickback Provision …

Qui Tam Relator Cannot Intervene in Criminal Forfeiture Case

By Sarah Q. Wirskye - On

In United States v. Couch, No. 17-13402 (11thCir. Oct. 17, 2018), the court addressed whether the False Claims Act (FCA) allows a Relator to intervene in a criminal forfeiture proceeding when the government prosecutes the fraud criminally rather than intervene in the FCA case. The court held that even if the FCA could be …