COLUMBIA, S.C. — Two women who were executives of a company that provided services to children and adults with autism on Feb. 5 pleaded guilty in South Carolina federal court to charges of fraudulently billing Medicare and encouraging employees to bill the program for time that was not spent providing services to patients (United States v. Angela B. Keith, et al., No. 19cr91, D. S.C.).
TAMPA, Fla. — A federal magistrate judge in Florida on Feb. 7 recommended accepting a psychologist’s guilty plea for one count of obstructing a Medicare audit in 2012, finding that the defendant was knowledgeable of the allegations against him and that he entered the plea willingly (United States v. Charles Gerardi, No. 18cr289, M.D. Fla.).
BOSTON — A federal judge in Massachusetts on Feb. 7 ordered a man to pay $217,000 to Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. after finding that he was unjustly enriched when the insurer accidentally overpaid him for a life insurance policy held by his now-deceased father (Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. v. Eric A. Beard, No. 16-11782-PBS, D. Mass., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20053).
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — An insurance company’s complaint contains sufficient allegations to support its claim that a business policy holder fraudulently inflated losses it suffered as a result of water damage to the building it rented, a federal magistrate judge in Alabama ruled Feb. 5 in denying the insured’s motion to dismiss (Cincinnati Insurance Co. v. Atlas Healthcare LLC, No. 17-cv-1310, N.D. Ala., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17875).
PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania-based compounding pharmacy on Feb. 4 entered into an agreement in Pennsylvania federal court with the federal government in which it agreed to pay $1.7 million to resolve allegations in a suit brought by a former employee under the qui tam provision of the False Claims Act in which she claimed that the company submitted fraudulent bills to Medicare and Medicaid for its drug Proplete (United States et al. ex rel. Jean Brasher v. Pentec Health, Inc., No. 13-cv-05745, E.D. Pa.).
NEW YORK — The Government Employees Insurance Co. (GEICO) and its subsidiaries on Feb. 4 filed a lawsuit in New York federal court accusing two doctors and their practices of submitting $1.9 million in claims for services to patients who were purportedly injured in automobile accidents that were medically unnecessary or not provided (Government Employees Insurance Co., et al. v. Marina Galea, M.D., et al., No. 19-cv-0663, E.D. N.Y.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A juror was properly excused from an insurance fraud trial for failing to deliberate, a California appeals panel ruled Jan. 31 in upholding a man’s conviction of two counts of insurance fraud, finding that the presiding judge did not err when relying on the notes and testimony of another juror (People of the State of California v. Adam Scott Ravaglia, No. A149657, Calif. App., 1st Dist., 3rd Div., 2019 Calif. Unpub. LEXIS 798).
ATLANTA — An 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 1 affirmed a federal judge in Georgia’s denial of a man’s motion for acquittal after he was found guilty of conspiracy to commit arson, holding that the government presented sufficient evidence to show that he engaged in a pattern with his co-defendants of purchasing properties, obtaining insurance and then setting the houses on fire (United States v. Elbert Walker Jr., No. 16-13642, 11th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 3328).
FLINT, Mich. — A federal judge in Michigan on Jan. 29 denied in part a motion to compel filed by the Michigan Automobile Insurance Placement Facility (MAIPF) seeking records from a number of chiropractic clinics and employees accused of engaging in a scheme intended to fraudulently generate bills for unnecessary medical services provided to individuals submitted claims for no-fault personal injury protection benefits, ordering the facility to refine its records requests and the defendants to provide more details for their objections (Michigan Automobile Insurance Placement Facility v. New Grace Rehabilitation Center PLLC, et al., No. 17-11007, E.D. Mich., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13511).
LOS ANGELES — A trial court judge in California on Jan. 25 awarded summary judgment to a laboratory accused by a woman of violating the California Insurance Fraud Prevention Act (CIFPA) for fraudulently billing her insurer for urine drug tests that were not medically unnecessary, holding that the woman failed to present any evidence showing that the defendant engaged in an unlawful relationship with health care providers to recruit patients and that it intended to defraud insurers (California, ex rel. Alison Tonti v. Living Rebos LLC, et al., No. BC674091, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).
NEW YORK — A federal magistrate judge in New York on Jan. 24 recommended granting in part a motion for default judgment filed by the Government Employees Insurance Co. (GEICO) and its affiliates against a doctor accused of breaching a settlement agreement that prevented him from submitting claims for electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction velocity (NCV) testing that he did not perform, holding that only the doctor, not a corporation he formed after the entry of the settlement agreement, should be liable for repaying the insurer the amount it paid for the claims (Government Employees Insurance Co. v. Michael Alleyne, et al., No. 17-CV-4778, E.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12604).
HARTFORD, Conn. — A trial court judge in Connecticut on Jan. 2 vacated in part a ruling finding a dentist in contempt of court for failing to produce subpoenaed patient files requested as part of the state department of public health’s investigation into possible fraudulent billing, holding that a daily coercive penalty of $1,000 per day is no longer useful and that the agency should be allowed to search the dentist’s office (Connecticut, Commissioner of the Department of Public Health v. Anthony Colandrea, No. HHDCV156064394S, Conn. Super., Hartford Dist., 2109 Conn. Super. LEXIS 5).
NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on Jan. 22 adopted a magistrate judge’s Dec. 18 recommendation to grant a motion for default judgment filed by the Government Employees Insurance Co. (GEICO) and its subsidiaries against the operator of two clinics that allegedly submitted $2.6 million in false claims to her insurer and order her to pay $4 million damages for fraud, unjust enrichment and violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (Government Employees Insurance Co., et al. v. Azu Ajudua, M.D., No. 15-cv-5199, E.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10301).
BEAUFORT, S.C. — A federal judge in South Carolina on Jan. 16 dismissed portions of a False Claims Act (FCA) suit brought by two women accusing Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings Corp. (LabCorp) of submitting claims to Medicare for unnecessary testing, reverse false claims and violations of the California Insurance Frauds Prevention Act (CIFPA) and Illinois Insurance Claims Fraud Prevention Act (ICFPA), finding that the plaintiffs failed to sufficiently state claims under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) (United States, ex rel. Scarlett Lutz, et al. v. Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings Corp., No. 14-cv-3699-RMG, D. S.C., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7486).
FLORENCE, S.C. — Plaintiffs in a state court legal malpractice lawsuit against a lawyer and his firm can intervene in a suit brought by an insurance company seeking to rescind a professional liability policy issued to the firm over alleged misrepresentations on the policy application, a federal judge in South Carolina ruled Jan. 17, holding that the intervenors satisfied the four criteria of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24(a)(2) (Maxum Indemnity Co. v. Biddle Law Firm P.A., et al., No. 18-cv-00742-RBH, D. S.C., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8219).
LOUISVILLE, Ky.— A federal judge in Kentucky on Jan. 15 denied a motion for an evidentiary hearing filed by a pharmacy owner and a pharmacist accused of illegally writing prescriptions for tramadol and fraudulently billing an insurance company, finding that the court had previously addressed the issue in ruling on a motion for dismissal and that factual disputes prevent a ruling on whether the venue is proper (United States v. Philip E. Michael II, et al., No. 16-cr-00101-RGJ, W.D. Ky., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6791).
NEW YORK — A federal magistrate judge in New York on Dec. 18 recommended entering a $4 million default judgment against the operator of two clinics that allegedly submitted $2.6 million in false claims to the Government Employees Insurance Co. (GEICO) and its subsidiaries, finding that the insurer sufficiently alleged that the operator engaged in fraud, unjust enrichment and violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (Government Employees Insurance Co., et al. v. Azu Ajudua, M.D., No. 15-cv-5199, E.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 213930).
HARRISBURG, Pa. — A Pennsylvania Superior Court panel on Dec. 24 overruled a man’s challenges to the sufficiency of evidence presented during a trial on allegations that he committed reckless burning, aggravated arson and insurance fraud, finding that deficiencies in his brief resulted in a waiver of his arguments (Pennsylvania v. Steven Michael Krcelich, No. 959 WDA 2018, Pa. Super., 2018 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 4792).
RICHMOND, Va. — A Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Jan. 14 affirmed a man’s convictions for witness tampering and conspiracy to commit wire fraud as part of a scheme in which he and others fraudulently obtained insurance policies for homes and cars and then submitted claims after setting them on fire, holding that the evidence presented by the government supported the jury’s decision (United States v. Verndon Taylor, No. 18-4041, 4th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 1187).
CHICAGO — A federal judge in Illinois on Dec. 20 denied a man’s request to vacate his 75-month sentence for health care fraud, finding that the attorneys that represented him during plea negotiations and sentencing acted effectively (Ankur Roy v. United States, No. 17 C 5217, N.D. Ill., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 215539).