An Overview Of The Largest False Claims Act Case Of 2021
The False Claims Act (FCA) is a federal law that imposes legal liability on individuals, businesses, and organizations that defraud the government. Under the FCA, a private individual who files a qui tam lawsuit on behalf of the government to stop fraud receives special whistleblower protections. Notably, the government recovered more than $2.2 billion in False Claims Act cases in 2020 alone.
That number may end up being even higher when the final tally is released for 2021. As noted by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the largest FCA case of 2021 recovered $160 million from a health industry company, Arriva Medical, that defrauded Medicare. In this article, our Florida IRS whistleblower attorney discusses the largest False Claims Act case of 2021.
Allegations: Diabetic Testing Supplier Paid Illegal Kickbacks
Arriva Medical is one of the largest diabetic testing kit supply companies in the United States. In 2017, the Coral Springs, Florida-based medical supply company ended operations. At the time of the alleged misconduct, the medical supplier was owned and controlled by its parent company Alere Inc.—a multi-billion dollar manufacturer with headquarters in Massachusetts. According to allegations raised in court, Arriva Medical—with approval from its parent company—paid illegal kickbacks to Medicare beneficiaries who sought diabetic testing supply kits.
Here is how the scheme operated: Arriva providing “free” glucometers and other diabetic supply kits to Medicare beneficiaries. To get the free glucometer, Medicare beneficiaries had to submit a claim to the federal program. If the claim was accepted, Medicare would then cover the cost. If the claim was denied the meters were advertised to consumers at “no cost.” In effect, Arriva was unlawfully providing financial incentives for people to seek their specific product and encouraging people to file false claims.
The False Claims Act Case Was Initiated By a Whistleblower
DOJ notes that the largest False Claims Act case of 2021 was initiated by a whistleblower. Gregory Goodman—a former Arriva employee based in Tennessee—filed a qui tam lawsuit against the company on behalf of the federal government. The $160 million settlement reached by DOJ, Arriva, and its parent company Alere also resolved the qui tam claim.
Through a qui tam lawsuit, a whistleblower may be awarded a percentage of the compensation that is eventually recovered on behalf of the government. In this case, the whistleblower was awarded more than $28 million by the court for his role in initiating the qui tam lawsuit.
Speak to a False Claims Act Whistleblower Rights Attorney in South Florida
At Guttman, Freidin & Celler, our Florida whistleblower rights lawyers have the professional skills and legal expertise to handle all types of state and federal False Claims Act (FCA) cases. If you are preparing to file a qui tam claim under the False Claims Act, we can help. Contact us now for a free, no obligation case review. From our law office in Miami, we provide nationwide representation in federal False Claims Act cases.