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 …

Supreme Court Broadens Sales Tax Obligations on Online Retailers

By Sarah Wirskye - On

In South Dakota v. Wayfair, 138 S. Ct. 2080 (2018), the Court held that states can require internet retailers to collect sales taxes in states where they have no physical presence. The 5-4 opinion was written by Justice Kennedy, and Justices Thomas, Ginsburg, Alito and Gorsuch joined the majority opinion. President Trump, who has …

False Claims Act Basics

By Sarah Q. Wirskye - On

The False Claims Act (31 U.S.C. §§3729-3733) (“FCA”) imposes liability on persons and companies who defraud the government.  It is the federal Government’s primary tool in combating fraud against the Government. There are also similar provisions under most states’ laws.  Because of changes in the law, which make it easier to file these actions, …

Government’s Use of the Travel Act to Combat Bribery in Healthcare Fraud Cases

By Sarah Q. Wirskye - On

Healthcare fraud continues to be a government priority.  And right now the government is focusing on cases with healthcare business referrals in exchange for something of value. The government usually prosecutes these cases under the federal anti-kickback statute, 42 U.S.C. §1320a-7b(b). The anti-kickback statute criminalizes the offering, paying, soliciting or receiving anything of value …