October 15, 2014
The US Department of Justice’s criminal division continues to increase its attention on false claims in the healthcare industry. Healthcare fraud is an ongoing serious problem and more criminal cases involving fraud are expected as the DOJ ramps up its review of whistleblower cases. The division is increasing its pursuit of all false claims lawsuits, but there will continue to be special attention paid to healthcare fraud.
What is involved in the more aggressive campaign?
The DOJ’s criminal division has invested additional resources into the review of cases. The division is currently the most highly staffed criminal prosecution team dedicated to health care fraud in the country. It features 40 attorneys, which accounts for nearly half of the total number of attorneys in the department’s fraud section. This Criminal Division immediately reviews all whistleblower actions as soon as they are submitted to the Civil Division. This streamlines the review process with the goal of creating a quicker parallel criminal investigation.
October 6, 2014
A foreign tipster will collect a whistleblower award of more than $30 million as a result of his or her decision to report violations to the SEC. The award is part of an increasing effort to boost the amount whistleblower’s receive for bringing information to authorities. The award is more than double the highest previous award. The SEC whistle blowing program, related to Dodd-Frank legislation, has been in place since 2011, but it wasn’t until recently that awards were significant enough to garner such media attention.
The whistleblower in this case will remain anonymous, but had approached the SEC with information about an ongoing fraud. Had the tipster brought the activity to the SEC’s attention sooner, the award might have been even larger. It is not publicly known how long the tipster waited to report. It is important to note that the tipster is not a US resident. While this proves that non-residents stand to gain a great deal from sharing illegal activity with the government, their efforts are not with without risk.