Whistleblower Receives $14.7M for Exposing Illegal Kickbacks at Funeral Home
A jury awarded a Birmingham whistleblower who uncovered and reported illegal kickbacks and false billing scheme that defrauded the Alabama Organ Center and taxpayers $14.7 million. The whistleblower uncovered a scheme that violated the federal False Claims Act and the Anti-Kickback Statute. The Justice Department estimated the scheme allowed the funeral company to bill up to $60,000 each month in false charges to the Alabama Organ Center.
About the Whistleblower Statute
In 1863 to combat fraud in Union contracts during the Civil War, Congress passed the Whistleblower or Qui Tam statute. It was not until 1986 before Congress modernized the Whistleblower statute and renamed it to the False Claims Act (FCA). It became the government’s primary tool to combat fraud. Individuals who report government-program fraud bring the lawsuit on behalf of the government.
Multi-Million Dollar Whistleblower Award
In June 2006, Barry Taul began working for Nagel-Abanks, a funeral home in Alabama. Taul uncovered that the funeral home and crematorium had an arrangement with the Alabama Organ Center to collect tissues for life-saving transplants and medical research prior to home cremating the deceased. The director of the organ center was giving illegal kickback payments to the funeral home’s owner in exchange for contractual referrals. The scheme violated the federal False Claims Act and the Anti-Kickback Statute. The Justice Department estimated the scheme allowed Nagel-Abanks to bill up to $60,000 each month in false charges to the Alabama Organ Center.
The directors at the organ center plead guilty to healthcare and mail fraud charges. A jury ordered them to pay nearly $500,000 in restitution. also, both received 13-month sentences. The Qui Tam statute entitles Taul to 27.5% of the proceeds of the lawsuit as a whistleblower award. This came out to almost $15 million.
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Most of all, our law office is resourceful and dedicated to pursuing any compensation you are due. Because of this, we have received a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement, such as inclusion on numerous Plaintiff Steering Committees. We will take whatever legal measures are necessary when fighting for your rights to damages.
Therefore, if you believe you have uncovered evidence of fraud involving a government-funded program, contact us today. Our attorneys have represented many clients in the past with complex cases. We will work tirelessly to obtain results on your behalf.