A Florida whistleblower will receive $200,000 from a recent whistleblower case that led to her employer being found guilty of Medicare fraud. This action recovered millions of dollars of taxpayer money. The office manager at Clear Vue Eye Center became suspicious when she began to see a connection between billings for services that were never provided and the extravagant lifestyle her boss was enjoying.
In an interview with WPTV News in Lake Worth, Florida, the whistleblower said she became especially suspicious of her boss’s actions when her lifestyle exceeded the amount of compensation that would be possible based on the business activity of the corporation. The boss’s multiple homes, expensive cars, lavish vacations, and the pursuit of a side career in entertainment raised red flags when she connected them to billings for services never performed.
Most of the fraudulent billing was for unnecessary services provided to nursing home and assisted living patients. In many cases the services were never performed, but were submitted to Medicare for payment with coding that paid higher benefits than allowed to the doctor. In some cases, these services were noted as being performed on days that the doctor was out of the country.
Whistleblowers are Protected Against Retaliation
When the office manager reported the fraud to her boss, her boss fired her in retaliation, which violates federal law protecting whistleblowers from retaliatory actions. The plaintiff stated that she approached the doctor with proof of her illegal activity, and asked her to stop the fraudulent billing. When she refused to agree to falsify records that would cover up the fraud, she was fired. The doctor was subsequently audited by Medicare and fined $36,000 for over billing. The whistleblower then pursued federal action.
The employer was charged with Medicare fraud under the False Claims Act, which prohibits deceptive actions against the federal government for monetary gain. The federal judge and U.S. lawyers assigned to the case found the defendant guilty of fraud and imposed a civil fine of $1,000,000. Under the False Claims Act, whistleblowers that provide original and pertinent information that leads to a successful outcome in a case where the government was being defrauded are eligible to receive a percentage of the recovered funds.
Cherry Hill Whistleblower Lawyers at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. Ensure That Whistleblower Protections Are Enforced
If you or someone you know is considering reporting the fraudulent actions of an employer, the experienced Cherry Hill whistleblower lawyers at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. can ensure that your legal protections are enforced. Our team will work diligently with you throughout the legal proceedings to make sure you receive the compensation you may be entitled to under the law.
Call us in Cherry Hill at 856-985-9800, or in Red Bank at 732-842-6500, or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. Our offices serve clients in Camden County, Burlington County, Monmouth County, Middlesex County, and Ocean County.