Michael Volkov sheds light on recent False Claims Act cases brought against Duke University and MedStar Health – both with violations spanning multiple years.
Companies that depend on federal
funding (e.g., health care, government contractors and university researchers)
face significant risks for False Claims Act prosecutions. Relying on
pro-government False Claims Act statutes, potential whistleblowers can earn enormous
judgments by filing private actions under seal and seeking federal government
intervention in the matter to prosecute False Claims Act violations. In
those cases where the federal government agrees to intervene, it almost always
wins the case or reaches a favorable settlement.
In two recent examples, the DOJ
collected $112.5 million from Duke University for False Claims Act violations
related to scientific research misconduct and $35 million from MedStar Health
for illegal kickbacks to a cardiology group in exchange for patient referrals.
In the Duke
University case, the DOJ brought a False Claims Act action based on
issued raised by a whistleblower. Specifically, the DOJ alleged that from 2006
to 2018, Duke submitted grant applications and progress reports that contained
falsified research on federal grants to the National…