Posts Tagged ‘James Hoyer Law Firm’

Investigative Report on Medical Fraud Profiles James Hoyer Whistleblower Case

A powerful investigative report appearing on several Florida TV stations is exposing the alarming problem of medical equipment fraud, which costs taxpayers billions of dollars every year. (Watch the report above.)

James Hoyer clients Codi Fletcher & Daniel Yarbrough interviewed for investigative report (Photo courtesy: WPTV)

Two whistleblowers represented by the James Hoyer law firm were interviewed and shared their stories to help expose the problem.

Both former employees of AM-Med Medical Supplies in Florida, they explained how patients were endlessly harassed to buy equipment they didn’t want and then the government was billed for it.

Attorney Jesse Hoyer interviewed by Scripps Investigative Reporter Katie LaGrone. (Photo courtesy: WPTV)

 

James Hoyer partner Jesse Hoyer also talked with Scripps Investigative Reporter Katie LaGrone to explain how this whistleblower case is shining a light on this troubling issue.  The suit reveals that supplies were even sent to dead people with taxpayers picking up the tab.

LaGrone presents a compelling report on how this nationwide problem takes advantage of patients and taxpayers.

Click here to read the full report on the website for WPTV TV in Ft. Myers.  Or click here to read the full report on the website for Fox4 in Tallahassee. And click here to read the full report on ABC Action News in Tampa.

 

 

James Hoyer Client Named 2018 Whistleblower of the Year

Karin Berntsen

James Hoyer, P.A. is proud to announce that our client Karin Berntsen was named Whistleblower of the Year at the annual Taxpayers Against Fraud awards dinner, in Washington, D.C. This marks the second time in the past three years that a James Hoyer client has been bestowed with this great honor.

Ms. Berntsen blew the whistle on Prime Healthcare, the 5th largest healthcare system in the country, exposing evidence of improper billing and upcoding which she believed was putting patients at risk and abusing taxpayer dollars. Her fearless, tireless, seven-year commitment to the case resulted in the company paying $65 million dollars to settle civil charges of fraud against the government.

I am very honored to be selected as the 2018 Whistleblower of the Year by Taxpayers Against Fraud,” Ms. Berntsen said. “It wasn’t easy, but sometimes that makes you more determined. The more obstacles I had, the stronger it made me.  I knew the taxpayers were being cheated and the patients were put at risk, so coming forward was just the right thing to do.”

It took incredible courage and perseverance for Ms. Berntsen to continue with the case for seven long years, despite extreme personal hardship, which included serious illnesses, surgeries, and hospitalizations. Nevertheless, she endured through it all, remaining in place as an employee at Prime’s Alvarado Hospital in San Diego and wearing a wire for the FBI on multiple occasions to record evidence.

Partner Elaine Stromgren accepts the Whistleblower of the Year Award on behalf of James Hoyer client Karin Berntsen

“Karin’s dedication to justice was unwavering. I cannot imagine a more deserving individual for this prestigious honor. She put her career on the line against a powerful company, but through it all, she remained strong,” said James Hoyer Partner Elaine Stromgren, Ms. Berntsen’s lead attorney, who accepted the award on her behalf at the TAF dinner Thursday night in Washington, D.C.

Ms. Berntsen has dedicated her life to ensuring patient safety. She began her career as a registered nurse, then served as a patient safety officer, and also authored two published books on patient safety before eventually becoming Director of Performance Improvement at Alvarado Hospital. Her concern for the well-being of the patients was one of her main motivations for coming forward as a whistleblower.

“I continually witnessed blatant healthcare fraud at the highest level of the organization. The patients were becoming commodities. They were becoming dollar signs, not people,” Ms. Berntsen said.

Ms. Berntsen expressed her appreciation for receiving the award in a videotaped statement played at the awards dinner because she was unable to attend due to a recent surgery. Here is an excerpt:

“When my complaints fell on deaf ears and my job was threatened, I researched my options and found the James Hoyer investigative law firm. They had a solid record of success and stellar professionals working there.

I interviewed with Al Scudieri a retired FBI agent with a wealth of experience. My attorney Elaine Stromgren worked tirelessly with other attorneys and the government to expose the fraud at this organization.

Attorneys Clark Bolton, Elaine Stromgren & Jesse Hoyer at the TAF awards dinner.

It took seven years, and we were eventually headed toward trial, but with the work of many, we reached a successful settlement this year. I am very grateful to that team.  I want to say a very special thank you to Taxpayers Against Fraud for this wonderful recognition.”

Please join James Hoyer in congratulating Karin for this deserving recognition.

“We are proud to stand beside Karin and grateful we could assist her in this important battle on behalf of patients and taxpayers,” Stromgren said. “The courage it takes to become a whistleblower is enormous, and we hope her success will inspire others to come forward to do the right thing when they witness fraud against the government.”

Click here to view Karin’s acceptance of the Whistleblower of the Year award.

 

James Hoyer Expanding Presence to D.C./Michigan & Adding Employment Law Practice

Dave Scher & David Haron

James Hoyer, P.A. is pleased to announce that it is expanding its presence to Washington D.C. and Michigan with two recent additions.  First, attorney Dave Scher, principal at The Employment Law Group for the past decade, is joining the firm as partner and will lead our new Washington, D.C. office and our new employment law practice.  Second, James Hoyer has established a formal association with attorney David Haron, founder and CEO of Haron Law Group in Detroit, Michigan to collaborate on whistleblower cases.

Scher’s expertise in both whistleblower litigation and employment law will be a tremendous asset to James Hoyer.  He has built a reputation as a fierce advocate for his clients in whistleblower cases, and his location in Washington, D.C. provides close proximity to key decision-makers at the Department of Justice and other federal agencies.  Dave has represented hundreds of whistleblowers in Medicare, securities, government contracting, and financial fraud cases nationwide.  Victories for his clients have recovered nearly $100 million over the past decade.  Further, Scher’s expertise as an employment litigator in equal pay, gender bias, discrimination, retaliation, and whistleblower claims make him the perfect attorney to establish our employment law practice.

“We’ve had the good fortune of working with Dave Scher on multiple whistleblower cases over the past several years and are excited to have him on our qui tam team and also as a driving force behind our new employment law practice,” said James Hoyer Managing Partner Jesse Hoyer.  “His tireless dedication and rock-solid relationships with federal officials have proven incredibly valuable, and we are lucky to have him on board full-time.”

In addition, David Haron’s extensive experience with the False Claims Act and health care law also will be an important asset to James Hoyer.  For 35 years, he has been a major force in whistleblower litigation in Michigan and throughout the country.  Among his many clients, Haron represented the whistleblower in the case against a Detroit doctor who’s been labeled “a monster” for falsely telling patients they had cancer, so he could cash in on their chemotherapy treatments.  The doctor was convicted and sent to prison, and with Haron’s help, the government recovered $17 million dollars for the fraudulent billing of chemotherapy to Medicare.  The case was recently profiled on the new CBS program Whistleblowers.”  James Hoyer and Haron will jointly work False Claims Act, health care, SEC, and employment cases.

“Collaborating with David is a powerful new tool in our arsenal to fight for whistleblowers and battle fraud against the government,” Hoyer said.  “This is an exciting time for the James Hoyer firm and having David’s experience and boundless energy on board will help to propel us to new heights.”

James Hoyer is one of the premiere whistleblower/False Claims Act law firms in the nation.  Our cases have recovered billions of dollars on behalf of taxpayers and consumers over the past 25 years.  The additions of attorneys Dave Scher and David Haron give our firm two more powerful allies to continue our proven track record of success.

 

Class Members Get Checks in Long Awaited Payday Lending Settlement

Payday lending class action settlement profiled in report on WFLA channel 8 in Tampa. Watch the video to see the story.  James Hoyer Partner Jesse Hoyer is interviewed.

Long-awaited Settlement:

$4.3 million payday lending class action settlement

After a nearly two decade long battle, a $4.3 million class action settlement is returning thousands of dollars to Florida consumers who took out pay day loans in the late 90’s.  More than 3-thousand Floridians are receiving checks in the mail this week to compensate them for exorbitant fees they paid for their loans. National Cash Advance and/or Advance America charged customers interest rates of nearly 400%, which left many trapped in a cycle of debt.

“This is long-awaited and well-deserved compensation for these class members,” said James Hoyer Partner Sean Estes, one of the attorneys representing the class.

Payday lending class member Stephanie Marshall

WFLA channel 8 in Tampa interviewed class member Stephanie Marshall about the settlement. She received a check in the mail for $1521.90 as compensation for $570 in fees she paid for loans she took out 20 years ago to make ends meet.

“I remember it like it was yesterday,” Marshall said.  “Every other Saturday I went from one place to the next, writing a check, paying the fees, rolling it over.”

Marshall says she is grateful to receive the check today, but advised others thinking about taking out payday loans not to do it.

“Don’t do it! I was like a rat chasing my tail.  I had to stop cold turkey to get control back,” she said.

More than 3000 class members receive checks

Payments to consumers range anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to more than $3,000 dollars, and include people in Tampa, Orlando, Miami, Jacksonville, and dozens of other cities in Florida and around the country. The class claims are for violations of the: Florida Lending Practices Act; Florida Consumer Finance Act; Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act; and Civil Remedies for Criminal Practices Act.

James Hoyer Partner Jesse Hoyer interviewed by WFLA

The victory is somewhat bittersweet.  While several thousand class members will receive long awaited and well deserved compensation, more than 100-thousand others who signed a mandatory, arbitration clause with the check cashing companies will not receive restitution, because the clause includes a class action waiver.  It’s important for consumers to understand the dangers of mandatory arbitration, as well as predatory payday loans, which continue in Florida and across the country, under some new restrictions.

“Mandatory arbitration is dangerous for consumers, because it takes away a lot of your rights. ,” said James Hoyer Partner Jesse Hoyer.  “You’ve got to be careful what you’re signing up for. Make sure you read and understand the terms.”

Click here to read the detailed class settlement notice.

 

$65 Million Prime Healthcare Whistleblower Settlement

Prime Whistleblower

Whistleblower’s Fearless 7-Year Pursuit of Justice:

Los Angeles, CA- August 3, 2018— The 5th largest for-profit hospital system in the country has agreed to pay $65 million to settle civil charges of healthcare fraud against the government. Prime Healthcare has also agreed to abide by a Corporate Integrity Agreement with strict requirements and oversight to ensure it will follow Medicare rules in the future. Prime, headquartered in Ontario, CA, has 45 hospitals in 14 states. It was a long-fought battle against the healthcare giant lasting nearly a decade, but whistleblower Karin Berntsen is grateful to finally see Prime held accountable.  Read More…