The phrase of the day is “qui tam.” It’s Latin for “million dollar payday,” assuming of course you are a False Claims Act whistleblower and you win, the way this federal case worked out.
California State Attorney General Jerry Brownannounced this morning news of a case in San Mateo concerning fraud and kickbacks and hundreds of millions of dollars. It’s a doozy. Read all about it in his words, below.
LOS ANGELES – Responding to a whistleblower’s allegation of “massive Medi-Cal fraud and kickbacks,” Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. joined legal action against seven private laboratories to recover hundreds of millions of dollars in illegal overcharges to the state’s medical program for the poor.
“In the face of declining state revenues, these medical laboratories have siphoned off hundreds of millions of dollars from programs intended for the most vulnerable California families.” Attorney General Brown said. “Such a pattern of massive Medi-Cal fraud and kickbacks cannot be tolerated, and I will take every action the law allows to recover what is owed,” Brown added.
According to whistleblower Chris Riedel, the CEO of Hunter Laboratories, “I confirmed with the California Department of Health Care Services that these practices were illegal. We then had a choice–either join the other labs in violating the law or be unable to compete for business. We choose to suffer the financial consequence, and follow the law.”
The lawsuit, which is pending in San Mateo Superior Court, contends that the 7 medical labs systematically overcharged the Medi-Cal program over the past 15 years.
Read more, after the jump: