What do Parsons Government Services and four Florida HCA hospitals have in common? They’re the two major contributors of the notable $7 million sum collected by the South Carolina U.S. Attorney’s Office through fiscal year 2015 civil and criminal actions.
According to a December 3 U.S. Attorney’s Office statement, U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles announced that the District of South Carolina collected nearly $4.5 million in criminal actions and over $2.6 million in civil actions in FY2015.
Parsons Forfeits $3.8 Million for Per Diems and Admin Overbilling Allegations
Of the $7 million recovered, $3.8 million came from Parsons Government Services, a Savannah River Site contractor who agreed to pay the substantial sum to resolve allegations it overbilled for administration and chose to pay per diem relocation fees (rather than less expensive one-time relocation costs) for employees on projects being conducted at Aiken, South Carolina’s nuclear weapons complex. Overcharging the government via fraudulent means is a violation of the False Claims Act – put in place to prevent abuse of government funds and to preserve taxpayer dollars for necessary, legitimate uses.
Whistleblower Kelly Oxendine Helps Recover $2M on HCA Allegations of Billing Fraud
In November, another $2 million was handed over to the U.S. government by four Florida hospitals – making up the HCA Healthcare chain, after whistleblower Kelly Oxendine, an HCA Holdings Inc. employee, brought claims alleging the chain was double-billing Medicare for non-stress analyses and billing for unnecessary and/or unordered laboratory LDL tests. Oxendine collected a whistleblower reward of $400,000 (20% of the total settlement funds) plus costs and attorney’s fees for reporting the alleged false healthcare Medicare claims activity.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch said, “The Department of Justice is committed to upholding the rule of law, safeguarding taxpayer resources, and protecting the American people from exploitation and abuse. The collections we are announcing today demonstrate not only the strength of that commitment, but also the significant return on public investment that our actions deliver.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Offices act to enforce and allocate recoveries from civil and criminal litigation for state and federal government funds. A Crime Victims’ Fund collects and distributes restitution for victims suffering financial loss or injury, supplying state victim assistance and compensation programs.
DOJ Reclaims Collective $23.1 Billion in FY2015 Civil and Criminal Actions
Overall, the Department of Justice recovered $23.1 billion in civil and criminal actions for FY2015. Civil collections resulted from cases against individuals and/or corporations alleging fraudulent spending, or violations of federal health and safety laws, environmental laws or civil rights violations. A number of federal agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Education and Health and Human Services were among those recompensed for the alleged violations.
U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles explained, “Our office has made a substantial commitment to combat ting fraud and collecting funds improperly procured. Our commitment, including 10 full time lawyers and investigators, has made this district one of the leaders in combating government fraud. We hope that businesses and individuals who commit fraud recognize that the consequences of fraud are more than just the cost of doing business.”