Archive for January, 2015

Kellogg Brown Supreme Court Case Likely A Split For The Whistleblower

Supreme Court To Consider Whistleblower Cases

720px-Seal_of_the_United_States_Supreme_Court.svgOn January 13, 2015, the United State Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the matter of Kellogg Brown & Root Service, Inc., et al., v. United States, ex rel. Benjamin Carter that we previewed last year.  This qui tam case raised two issues for the Court to decide:

  1. Can the Wartime Enforcement of Fraud Act’s statute of limitations tolling provision be applied to civil claims brought by private citizens?
  2. Does the FCA’s “first-to-file” requirement act as a “one-case-at-a-time” rule, allowing as many related claims to be filed as long as no prior claim is pending?

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Dr. Paula Williamson, a Michigan Physician Sentenced to 15 Months in Prison for her Role in a $2.1 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme

A Michigan physician involved in a $2.1 million home health care fraud scheme was sentenced today to 15 months in prison.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade of the Eastern District of Michigan, Special Agent in Charge Paul M. Abbate of the FBI’s Detroit Field Office and Special Agent in Charge Lamont Pugh III of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), Office of Investigations Detroit Office made the announcement.

Dr. Paula Williamson, 69, of Redford Township, Michigan, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Paul D. Borman of the Eastern District of Michigan.  In addition to her prison term, Williamson was ordered to pay $1,343,261.61 in restitution.

According to her plea agreement, from August 2009 through October 2012, Williamson conspired with others to commit health care fraud by referring Medicare beneficiaries for home health care services that were medically unnecessary and never provided.  Williamson also falsified documents that were used to support false and fraudulent claims to Medicare.

Read rest of story here


Don’t Fall for IRS Phone Scam

Terry on phone scams

James Hoyer Senior Partner Terry Smiljanich offering advice on what to do about phone scams on Bay News 9 and Orlando’s News 13.

James Hoyer Law Firm Senior Partner Terry Smiljanich shared his expertise on how to spot a phone scam with Bay News 9 and Orlando’s News 13.  A former federal prosecutor, Smiljanich was among the many recently targeted by a pervasive IRS phone scam, where a person calls you saying  you owe money to the IRS and warns that  you  better call back or you could end up in a “legal mess.”

Smiljanich decided to call back to see what would happen.  The scammer quickly became confrontational, and, as you can imagine, Smiljanich was having none of it.  He describes how the call went:

“He got real aggressive and he said if you don’t give me the name of your lawyer, the Federal Marshals will be at your door in two hours. I said, ‘Well, let me tell you something, pal. I don’t need a lawyer. I am a lawyer and I used to be a Federal Prosecutor. Those words got out of my mouth and there was a click on the phone.”

A caller becoming aggressive and demanding money or action on your part is the sure sign of a scam. Your best defense is to hang up and report the call to the Federal Trade Commission.

Click here to read more about the IRS phone scam and what you can do about it.


Why Steven Solomon Is Wrong About False Claims Act Whistleblower Awards

Insurance Fraud

FCAOn December 30, 2014, the New York Times “DealBook” section posted a column by Professor Steven Solomon slamming whistleblower awards for rewarding wrongdoers who engage in fraud, likening the awards to giving bank robbers a cut of the loot. Solomon’s column, “Whistle-Blower Award Lures Wrongdoers Looking to Score,” suggests that whistleblowers are criminals who set up fraudulent schemes to make millions by flipping the script and reporting the very fraud that they initiated.

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