After a seven day trial conducted by McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt attorneys Jim McEldrew and Dan Purtell, our client has been awarded a verdict of $1.836 million by a Philadelphia jury for a spinal injury.
We are pleased to announce that James J. McEldrew, III, has been named to the 2017 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list. Brandon Lauria and Daniel Purtell were named to the 2017 Pennsylvania Rising Stars list published by the same organization.
Jim McEldrew has scheduled his annual holiday party for Philadelphia’s railroad workers. This year, it will be Friday, December 8, 2017 starting at 6:30 PM at Chez Colette (located inside the Sofitel Hotel). Chez Colette is located at 120 S. 17th St. in Center City, Philadelphia.
Gretchen Carlson of Fox News interviewed Jim McEldrew this afternoon on her television show. Jim has been representing injured individuals in railroad litigation for more than thirty years and formerly served as the President of the Academy of Rail Labor Attorneys. They discussed the implications of the foreign object and the potential for the railroad engineer to be confused as to his geographical position on the tracks.
The Pennsylvania CPA Journal published a piece by McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt Partner Eric L. Young in its Winter 2017 edition on the changes to the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) Code of Ethics. The new ethics guidelines greatly clarify the steps for accountants to take when they confront suspected noncompliance with laws and regulations (NOCLAR) during the performance of their duties for clients.
The “Whistleblower”, who wishes to remain anonymous (hereinafter referred to as “Mr. Doe”), worked as a CPA in the accounting department of a Fortune 500 financial services firm. While carrying out his basic job responsibilities, Mr. Doe discovered that his employer failed to properly disclose the extent of its tax liability and also claimed tax credits in excess of permissible amounts. Mr. Doe initially reported these accounting errors to company management. However, to his dismay, the Company decided not to correct the accounting errors discovered and, to make matters worse, the company made a conscious decision not to inform the IRS who was in the midst of performing a large case examination. By withholding this information from the IRS, Mr. Doe determined that the Company had committed tax fraud in the form of an underpayment totaling in excess of $20 million.
Mr. Doe originally filed his tax fraud whistleblower case pro se in April 2007, after the newly formed IRS Whistleblower Office opened. After having been contacted and interviewed early on, years went by during which time Mr. Doe received no information of feedback from the IRS. Mr. Doe became concerned that if the IRS conducted an investigation and recovered back taxes as a result, that his claim to a reward under the new whistleblower program may not be assured. It was then that Mr. Doe retained Eric L. Young, Esquire, an Egan Young founding partner, to represent him.
Mr. Young, an experienced whistleblower attorney, assessed the case and determined not only that Mr. Doe’s allegations should be of significant interest to the IRS, but that the case appeared to not have been properly docketed by the IRS Whistleblower Office. Mr. Young proceeded to work with the IRS’ Whistleblower Office by resubmitting Mr. Doe’s claim and assuring that a “Claims Number” was assigned by the Whistleblower Office — something that did not occur before Mr. Young assumed representation in this case.
After securing a Claims Number for Mr. Doe’s claim, Mr. Young proceeded to provide all of the original case documents and information to the IRS Whistleblower Office, further exposing the Company’s substantial fraud. At the same time, Mr. Young determined that an investigation had ensued and over the course of his representation, both he and his associate, Brandon J. Lauria, Esquire, maintained close contact with the IRS Whistleblower Office in order to assure that Mr. Doe’s allegations were investigated and that his right to a reward would be protected in the event of a recovery by the IRS.
Mr. Doe’s decision to retain Mr. Young and his law firm paid off. On April 7th, 2011, Mr. Doe received the first-ever mandatory whistleblower reward (as confirmed by the IRS Whistleblower Office) in the amount of $4.5 Million. Although the IRS code provides that rewards may range from 15 to 30 percent of the IRS recovery, Mr. Young’s representation and the Whistleblower’s cooperation directly led to an enhanced reward of 22 percent!
Last spring was a pretty busy time for whistleblower news at McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt. It has been the same this year!
We are pleased to announce that our client, Todd Mihajlovic, exposed the concealment of the origin of goods imported into the United States by ECL Solutions Limited, Inc., a British company doing business with the U.S. military as Ban-Air Storage Systems (“ECL”). Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that ECL pleaded guilty to conspiring to smuggle goods into the United States and was ordered to pay a forfeiture money judgment of $1,066,132.10 in the criminal prosecution in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The Government’s press release announcing the success in the criminal matter can be found on the DOJ’s EDPA website here.
We represented Mr. Mihajlovic, who filed a civil qui tam lawsuit under the False Claims Act in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware in 2012. Mr. Mihajlovic’s complaint alleged that ECL violated the False Claims Act because of false representations made by the company that products it sold to the United States complied with the Buy American Act (BAA) and the Trade Agreements Act (TAA). According to the Complaint, ECL obscured the fact that its steel racking systems sold to the U.S. military were actually imported from China.
Mr. Mihajlovic has our profound gratitude for bringing the company’s scheme to the attention of the U.S. Government. Here at McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt, Attorney Brandon Lauria took the lead on the case and spent countless hours on the case to see it to a successful resolution. We were assisted by United Kingdom Solicitor-Advocate Howard S. Brown, who is associated with Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLP.
This case is an example of the rise of international whistleblowing, as our client is located outside the United States. Fortunately, the whistleblower laws incentivize reporting by individuals regardless of their location and citizenship. The False Claims Act, as well as the SEC, CFTC, and IRS whistleblower programs, do not restrict the U.S. Government from rewarding international whistleblowers. Otherwise, in the era of transnational commerce, fraud might go unchecked simply because the evidence of the corporate wrongdoing is located in a foreign country.
If you are a whistleblower, located here in the United States or abroad, interested in reporting customs fraud in America or the bribery of customs officials abroad, contact our office for a free initial legal consultation concerning your case.
Eric Young was interviewed for the January 16, 2017 edition of the Corporate Crime Reporter on the new auto whistleblower reward program established by Congress in 2015 as part of the FAST Act. With Takata and VW paying large fines to the U.S. Government in the past two weeks, it is a timely read.
Whistleblower lawsuit results in a ruling that Renal Care Group, a dialysis company formerly headquartered in Nashville, must pay $19.4 million plus interest to the United States government after it allegedly set up a shell company in order to inflate its Medicare billing.
Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) March 24, 2010 — United States District Court Judge William J. Haynes, Jr. issued an order on March 22, 2010 awarding the United States $19,366,705.00 plus prejudgment interest on unjust enrichment claims against Renal Care Group (“RCG”), RCG Supply Company (“RCGSC”) and Fresenius Medical Care Holdings, Inc. as the successor-in-interest to RCG and RCGSC. This award to the United States arises from claims made in a whistleblower complaint alleging fraudulent Medicare and Medicaid billing practices by RCG and RCGSC that violated the False Claims Act.
RCG engaged in a multi-state scheme whereby it created a sham supply company, RCGSC, solely to take advantage of higher reimbursement rates paid for home dialysis supplies under the now defunct Medicare Method II billing program, according to the qui tam Complaint filed on behalf of former RCG employees, Julie Williams and John Martinez, M.D.
This ruling serves as a significant reminder that fraudulent Medicare billing practices are not going to be tolerated. RCG was aware, as evidenced by their own internal communications and documents, that they were attempting to operate ‘above the law.’ Through the persistence and dedication of the government and our clients, the Court has rendered justice RCG’s operations not only took advantage of taxpayers through fraudulent Medicare billing, they also took advantage of the sick and vulnerable nature of their patients using their Medicare beneficiary status to line corporate pockets.
Between January 1999 and December 2005, RCGSC submitted claims for reimbursement to the Medicare program for home dialysis equipment and supplies provided to End-Stage Renal Disease (“ESRD”) patients. All of these claims, as well as related claims for support services rendered by RCG dialysis clinics were ineligible for reimbursement because RCGSC was not qualified to bill Medicare for these home dialysis patients.
According to Eric Young, “RCG’s operation of a bogus supply company in order to artificially increase its Medicare reimbursements came at a great cost to taxpayers. Due to the courageousness of people like Ms. Williams and Dr. Martinez, in addition to the hard work and tenacity of counsel, including federal prosecutors, Andrew Lay and Laurie Oberembt, Fresenius is being held accountable for RCG’s misconduct. It is our hope that this decision will encourage more people who become aware of fraud on the government to step forward, particularly when waste and abuse of our tax dollars is at an all time high.”
In granting judgment for the United States, Judge Haynes found that RCG and RCGSC were unjustly enriched by their receipt of Method II payments for dialysis supplies that RCGSC procured unlawfully. Additionally, the Court found that the supply company itself was not a legitimate supplier of home dialysis supplies. The federal investigation into RCG’s fraudulent billing practices was conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri under the direction of acting U.S. Attorney Michael W. Reap, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Lay with the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Tennessee, under the direction of U.S. Attorney Edward Yarborough, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa Rivera, and Laurie Oberembt from the Department of Justice.
United States ex rel. Williams, et al. v. Renal Care Group, et al. Middle District of Tennessee CA No.: 3:09-00738