March 23, 2015 — The False Claims Act empowers health care insiders to file a whistleblower lawsuit on the government’s behalf. Courageous whistleblowers help to protect the integrity of our federal healthcare programs, like Medicare or Medicaid, for those who need them. Under the Act, the United States may choose to intervene in the lawsuit and take primary control for litigating it. The statute provides for the government’s recovery of three times the actual damages plus civil penalties. For their willingness to notify the government, tipsters — also referred to as “relators” — are rewarded with a portion of the government’s recovery.
Owner of Psychotherapy Clinic Submitted $3.3 Million in False Claims to Medicare for Services Not Provided
The former owner of a psychotherapy clinic in Michigan has admitted to filing false claims with Medicare. New York resident Gerald R. Funderburg Jr. has admitted that between November 2006 and April 2011, he was the owner of Funderburg Clinical & Community Services (FCCS) in Michigan. Funderburg used the psychotherapy clinic to file $3.3 million in false claims to Medicare for purported psychotherapy services.
To carry out the health care fraud scheme, Funderburg used Medicare information for hundreds of Medicare beneficiaries to file claims for reimbursement for psychotherapy sessions that never occurred. Funderburg did not obtain the beneficiaries’ consent prior to engaging in the fraud. Funderburg also obtained personal information belonging to licensed social workers and used their Medicare provider numbers to file false claims with Medicare seeking reimbursement for services that the unwitting social workers did not provide.
Funderburg has been sentenced to an 87-month prison term and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,453,064.59.
Contact Us to File a False Claims Act Lawsuit Targeting Abuse by Medical Providers
While Waters & Kraus is not handling this particular False Claims Act case, we are representing whistleblowers in similar lawsuits. If you have comparable claims against a different medical provider, contact us by email or call our qui tam attorneys at 800.226.9880 to learn more about our practice and how we can work together to notify the government about fraudulent abuses of government-funded programs. Michael Armitage and Louisa Kirakosian, two of the firm’s qui tam attorneys in our Southern California office, protect tipsters throughout the whistleblower lawsuit process.