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Three FCPA Enforcement Trends We Saw in 2021

The Foreign Corrupt Practice Act, or FCPA, prohibits bribery of foreign officials and physicians to enhance business deals and ensures books and records are properly maintained for full transparency of expenses. The FCPA has an extensive reach that applies to prohibited conduct anywhere in the world.

Following a record-setting 2020, the year 2021 saw a more modest pace of FCPA enforcement, particularly as it relates to corporate actions. Below, we list several key highlights we saw in 2021.

1. Low Corporate Enforcement Figures

From the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that made it difficult for the DOJ and SEC to investigate outside the US to turnover in SEC and DOJ leadership, 2021 saw the lowest corporate FCPA enforcement figures in a decade. In 2021, the DOJ and SEC brought FCPA enforcement actions against four companies and imposed financial penalties totaling $282 million. For comparison, 12 companies paid a record $6.4 billion to resolve FCPA cases in 2020.

2. Surge in Whistleblower Claims

The SEC whistleblower program awarded more than $500 million in 2021, including two sizeable awards to FCPA whistleblowers. As a result of this incentive, the SEC received more than 12,200 whistleblower tips, which is the largest number of whistleblower tips received in a fiscal year representing a 77% increase from 2020. Approximately 258 of those tips alleged FCPA violations.

3. Renewed Focus On FCPA Enforcement Against Companies And Individuals

New policy initiatives like the Biden administration’s National Security Strategy Memorandum and the United States Strategy for Countering Corruption suggest a renewed focus on anti-corruption. These documents designate the fight against corruption as a core interest of national security. Also, the DOJ introduced new policies for how it will evaluate companies who are seeking “credit for cooperation and remediation in corporate white-collar matters, and with respect to the scrutiny it will apply to companies’ compliance with the terms of deferred and non-prosecution agreements.”

Do you have valuable information that can help bring fraud to light? If so, we encourage you to speak to our experts today. DJO is comprised of a highly experienced team of whistleblower experts, lawyers, and even former whistleblowers, who strive to deliver the highest monetary reward for brave individuals who have valuable information that can expose fraud.

If a whistleblower’s lawsuit is successful, the reward can be between 15% to 30% of the funds recovered. In most cases, the False Claims Act also offers whistleblowers protection against job retaliation.

DJO will be there every step of the way to ensure you are safe and your information is confidential so you will have confidence knowing you’re doing the right thing.

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Exposing Healthcare Fraud: University Pays $22M in Medicare Fraud Case Following Whistleblower Report

Billions of dollars are wasted every year due to scams and corruption involving Medicare fraud. In fact, $5 billion of the $5.6 billion total False Claims Act settlements and judgments of 2021 were related primarily to Medicare and Medicaid fraud.

When an individual or organization commits Medicare fraud, they take significant resources away from necessary health care services putting beneficiaries’ health and welfare at risk. Let’s take a look at a recent Medicare fraud case brought to light by a whistleblower.

University of Miami Pays $22M to Settle False Claims Act Allegations

In 2021, the University of Miami agreed to pay $22 million in fines and penalties after a whistleblower accused the university of Medicare fraud. According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), a former senior executive at the school had provided information claiming the university’s off-campus hospital facilities had engaged in three violations of the False Claims Act.

  1. The University of Miami knowingly engaged in improper billing relating to its hospital facilities. Medicare regulations require hospital facilities to notify beneficiaries when their Medicare program will face higher costs when receiving service. According to court documents cited by the DOJ, the university allegedly converted several of their physicians’ offices to hospital facilities and then sought payment at higher rates without informing Medicare program beneficiaries.
  2. The University of Miami billed federal health care programs for unnecessary lab tests for patients who received kidney transplants at the Miami Transplant Institute–a transplant program operated by the University of Miami and Jackson Memorial Hospital. According to DOJ allegations, every time a kidney transplant patient checked into the Miami Transplant Institute, the University of Miami’s electronic system ordered a standard protocol of tests regardless of whether they were necessary for the particular patient.
  3. The University of Miami allegedly had Jackson Memorial Hospital purchase pre-transplant lab tests from the university at inflated costs.

This case is a prime example of the seriousness of Medicare fraud and how powerful whistleblowers are in enacting change and demanding justice. Full details of the settlement can be found here.

DJO is comprised of a highly experienced team of whistleblower experts, lawyers, and even former whistleblowers, who strive to deliver the highest monetary reward for brave individuals who have valuable information that can bring fraud to light.

If a whistleblower’s lawsuit is successful, the reward can be between 15% to 25% of the funds recovered. The False Claims Act also offers whistleblowers protection against job retaliation.

DJO will be there every step of the way to ensure you are safe and your information is confidential so you will have confidence knowing you’re doing the right thing. If you have valuable information that can help expose fraud, we encourage you to speak to our experts today.