Texas Jury Finds for CPM's Clients in Medicare Fraud Case
A federal jury in San Antonio, Texas, this morning found in favor of three whistleblowers represented by Burlingame-based Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP (“CPM”), in a case brought under the False Claims Act. The jury entered a verdict that will result in a damages award of $8.1 million after mandatory tripling under the False Claims Act. Additionally, the jury determined the defendant submitted over 7,000 false claims to the United States Medicare program. Each of those false claims will be subject to civil monetary penalties of over $11,000.
The defendant in the case is Peripheral Vascular Associates ("PVA"), a San Antonio-based physician group specializing in peripheral vascular disease. CPM's lawsuit alleged that the group overcharged taxpayers when it routinely billed Medicare for ultrasound services that were not provided.
CPM partners Justin T. Berger and Nazy J. Fahimi handled the case. Justin Berger commented:
"Unfortunately, fraud drives up the cost of healthcare for all Americans. We were extremely fortunate to have three clients who were willing to put their names and reputations on the line to help recover money for the Medicare program." He added, "Trials in False Claims Act cases are extremely rare because the stakes are so high for both sides."
CPM partner Nazy Fahimi stated:
"This jury verdict will hopefully send a message that companies must be 100% honest when they deal with Medicare. The False Claims Act is the most powerful tool we have to protect taxpayer money."
The case is United States ex rel. Tiffany Montcrieff, Roberta A. Martinez, and Alicia Burnett v. Peripheral Vascular Associates, P.A., SA-17-CV-00317-XR, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, San Antonio Division.