SAN FRANCISCO — A federal magistrate judge in California on Aug. 19 held that a relator sufficiently stated claims under the False Claims Act (FCA) and California False Claims Act (CFCA) concerning a laboratory company's alleged operation of schemes that involved the payment of illegal referral fees and the capping of patient deductibles but dismissed without prejudice the relator's causes of action under the California Insurance Frauds Prevention Act (IFPA) because it did not sufficiently allege that it was an interested party (United States, ex rel. STF LLC v. Vibrant America LLC, No. 16-2487, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150345).
TOLEDO, Ohio — An Ohio appeals panel on Sept. 4 affirmed a trial court judge's decision to order a man who pleaded guilty to insurance fraud to undergo a 180-day substance abuse treatment program and behavioral treatment, finding that court-appointed counsel for the man was effective during his community control hearing (Ohio v. Artis Layson, No. L-19-1204, Ohio App., 6th Dist., Lucas Co., 2020 Ohio App. LEXIS 3222).
PORTLAND, Ore. — A federal judge in Oregon on Sept. 10 sentenced a woman to two concurrent 21-month prison terms and ordered her to pay $1.3 million in restitution after she pleaded guilty to counts of health care fraud for submitting inflated bills to private insurers and tax evasion (United States v. Saffron Gustafson, No. 19-cr-369, D. Ore.).
BALTIMORE — A federal judge in Maryland on Sept. 15 denied a chiropractic clinic's motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. and an affiliate over the submission of allegedly fraudulent bills based on the statute of limitations, finding that the insurer sufficiently alleged that it did not discover the scheme until three years before filing suit (State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. v. Carefree Land Chiropractic, et al., No. 18-1279, D. Md., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168131).
NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on Sept. 15 denied a request for reasonable bail or release pending appeal of his conviction and 72-month prison sentence for his role in a slip-and-fall fraudulent insurance scheme, finding that he still poses a threat to the community and that his appeal is merely for the purpose of delay (United States v. Bryan Duncan, No. 18-cr-289, S.D. N.Y., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168647).
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — A nurse practitioner pleaded guilty in federal court in Illinois on Sept. 8 to one count of felony health care fraud for her alleged submission of 251 claims to Medicare and Medicaid for medically unnecessary visits to nursing homes from May 30, 2017, to June 26, 2007 (United States v. Jami L. Mayhew, No. 20-cr-30132, S.D. Ill.).
STATESVILLE, N.C. — A federal judge in North Carolina on Sept. 14 dismissed a False Claims Act (FCA) lawsuit brought against a now-defunct health care network, its owner and two of its managers after they agreed to pay $900,000 to resolve allegations that they submitted fraudulent bills to Medicare and Medicaid for medically unnecessary diagnostic tests and procedures (United States, ex rel. David Majure v. Carolina Comprehensive Health Network PA, No. 15-134, W.D. N.C.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Justice announced Sept. 10 that a Louisiana company that provides upper and lower extremity prosthetics to patients entered into an agreement in federal court in Louisiana in which it agreed to pay $1.6 million plus interest to resolve a whistleblower's lawsuit accusing it of violating the False Claims Act (FCA) when billing Medicare for services after its supplier number was deactivated (United States ex rel. Kimberly Throgmorton v. Shreveport Prosthetics Inc., No. 17-881, W.D. La.).
CINCINNATI — A Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 11 affirmed a jury verdict finding entertainer Chris Brown liable for insurance fraud for submitting a fraudulent claim for coverage of a burglary and fire at a building he owned, rejecting "three weak arguments about the judge's management of the trial and the admission of evidence" (Hanover American Insurance Co. v. Tattooed Millionaire Entertainment LLC, et al., Nos. 19-5483, 19-5550, 19-5551, 19-5562, 6th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 28889).
NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on Sept. 9 denied a request for compassionate release filed by a defendant who pleaded guilty to his involvement in two health care fraud schemes, holding that the 45-year-old's alleged health conditions did not place him at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 or suffering from severe complications from the virus (United States v. Ilya Kogan, No. 16 CR 221, S.D. N.Y., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165653).
NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on Sept. 3 denied the federal government's request to order a man who pleaded guilty to counts of health care fraud and conspiracy to commit health care fraud to pay $6.8 million in restitution, finding that the man should be required only to pay $554,331.51 because the clinic where the man worked submitted $6.3 million in bills to insurers for medical services that were provided (United States v. Absaar Haaris, No. 16-cr-756, S.D. N.Y., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 161315).
DAYTON, Ohio — An Ohio federal judge on Sept. 1 granted a homeowners insurer's motion for summary judgment on a bad faith claim because no reasonable juror could find that the insurer's denial of coverage for a fire loss claim was unreasonable (Charles A. Waldren v. Allstate Vehicle and Property Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-290, S.D. Ohio, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159161).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A federal judge in Alabama on Aug. 24 sentenced a doctor who was found guilty of fraudulently billing Medicare and private insurers for $7.8 million of medically unnecessary immunotherapy and opioid prescriptions to a total of 30 years in prison and sentenced the defendant's sister, a registered nurse who was also involved in the scheme, to three years in prison (United States v. Patrick Emeka Ifediba, et al., No. 19-cr-0103-RDP-JEO, N.D. Ala.).
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — A dentist was sentenced to one year and one day in prison and ordered to pay $671,845.20 in restitution by a federal judge in Illinois on Aug. 12 after the provider pleaded guilty in February to three counts of health care fraud (United States v. Yun Sup Kim, No. 19-cr-30111, S.D. Ill.).
DAYTON, Ohio — A 2-1 Ohio appellate panel vacated and remanded a trial court judge's de novo resentencing of a woman that required her to serve sentences for one count of insurance fraud and one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity consecutively, finding that there were no new facts in the case that warranted the change (State v. Eva Christian, No. 27236, Ohio App., 2nd Dist., Montgomery Co., 2020 Ohio App. LEXIS 2729).
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A New York appellate panel on July 24 overruled a man's arguments that his convictions for insurance fraud and falsifying business records should be vacated because a trial court judge improperly admitted evidence and because the sufficiency of the evidence did not support the jury's decision (People v. Terrell L. Murray, No. 299 KA 14-00921, N.Y. Sup,. App. Div., 4th Dept., 2020 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 4351).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A West Virginia federal judge on Aug. 18 dismissed insureds' claims for breach of contract and bad faith after determining that the insureds failed to allege sufficient facts in support of their breach of contract claim arising out of the insurer's denial of coverage for a fire loss (Robert Sizemore, et al. v. Allstate Vehicle and Property Insurance Co., No. 19-704, S.D. W.Va., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148245).
SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah appeals court panel on Aug. 13 affirmed a man's conviction for second-degree felony insurance fraud, finding that the evidence presented by the state demonstrated that he submitted a claim for damage to his automobile with the intent to defraud the company and that his friend's testimony was properly considered by the jury because it was not inherently improbable (Utah v. Chad Roland LeVasseur, No. 20190299-CA, Utah App., 2020 Utah App. LEXIS 121).
LOS ANGELES — A California appeals panel on Aug. 12 ruled that it lacked jurisdiction to review a relator's voluntary dismissal with prejudice of a qui tam action brought under the state's Insurance Fraud Prevention Act (IFPA) against companies accused of submitting fraudulent insurance bills for substance abuse treatment and found that the lower court should vacate the ruling because the woman did not obtain the required court approval before seeking dismissal (California ex rel. Alison Tonti v. Living Rebos LLC, et al., No. B295815, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., 1st Div., 2020 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5140).
ST. LOUIS — An Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 10 affirmed the convictions of a chiropractor and two runners who were involved in a scheme known as "Operation Backcracker" that involved the recruitment and submission of insurance claims for victims of automobile accident victims pursuant to the state's No-Fault Act based on the sufficiency of the evidence, but vacated orders regarding the amount of restitution the chiropractor and one of the runners should pay (United States v. Carlos Patricio Luna, et al., Nos. 18-1814, 18-3302, 18-3304, 8th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 25171).