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DOJ gets less than a tenth of what it requested in kickback case

A New York science and technology news publication is reporting that a jury recently found the former CEO of a diagnostic testing lab and two marketing executives liable for Medicare fraud under the federal False Claims Act.

The testing lab is in Virginia and the marketing consulting firm is in Atlanta. The verdict resolves three separate whistleblower cases that were litigated simultaneously. The whistleblowers alleged that the executives conspired to pay kickbacks to physicians for blood test referals.

The jury decided on damages of slightly more than $16 million, though Department of Justice attorneys had asked for more than 10 times that amount.

It should be noted that damages under the False Claims Act are automatically tripled. The court can also impose other penalties.

An attorney for the plaintiffs said "the trial proved that the defendants continued to pay kickbacks even after they received a growing flood of warnings and corrected legal advice that showed [that the] defendants' continuation of such payments was a knowing or reckless disregard of the law."

In 2015, another diagnostic testing lab agreed to pay more than $48 million to settle with the government. Two other diagnostic firms agreed last year to settle similar kickback allegations for $6 million.

For those facing accusations of wrongdoing under the criminal Anti-Kickback Statute or civil Stark Law, careers, reputations, future employment opportunities, significant financial assets and even freedom can hang in the balance. Attorneys experienced in vigorous defense of allegations involving kickback violations can help protect you and your family.

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