Feds Join Whistleblower a 2nd Time in Medical Imaging Fraud Case

Whistleblower in Medical Imaging Case

HOUSTON – The U.S. Department of Justice has joined a whistleblower’s claims against a second former executive and co-owner of Cardiac Imaging Inc. as part of a multimillion-dollar scheme by the Illinois-based mobile medical imaging company to defraud Medicare and other government healthcare programs.

The Government’s False Claims Act (FCA) complaint filed against Rick Nassenstein in Texas federal court originated when a Waters Kraus Paul & Siegel client came forward with a FCA whistleblower claim.

In October 2023, the Justice Department reached an $85.4 million settlement in the same whistleblower’s case against Cardiac Imaging Inc. (CII) and its founder and CEO Samuel Kancherlapalli. The agreement was a record FCA settlement in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

The case centers on claims that the defendants violated the federal Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark Law by paying physicians to refer patients to its mobile cardiac PET scan services in violation of the FCA.

The latest complaint focuses on Nassenstein’s alleged role in CII’s scheme to pay above fair-market-value fees to doctors who referred patients to CII for PET-scan services in violation of the Stark Law and the FCA, allegations first brought by the whistleblower.

Qui Tam Whistleblower Exposes Healthcare Fraud

The operation was exposed after a former billing manager at the company came forward with information under qui tam whistleblower provisions of the FCA. The law allows individuals — also known as relators — to file an action on behalf of the government and receive up to 30 percent of the recovery.

The whistleblower is represented by Waters Kraus Paul & Siegel partners Charles Siegel and Caitlyn Silhan and Marchand Law partner David Marchand. Houston-based Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Green and Washington D.C.-based Samuel Lehman and Jake Shields, are leading the prosecution for the government.

The lawsuit is U.S.A. v. Cardiac Imaging Inc., et al., No. 18-cv-2674.

How Do We Fight Fraud Against the Government? 

Seek justice on behalf of taxpayers with the help of our experienced attorneys. Our Dallas, Texas, whistleblower team has battled corporate giants for 20 years, aggressively fighting to hold corporations, individuals, and other entities accountable for fraud committed against the government. If you believe you have a whistleblower case, we can help.

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