January 14, 2015
January 14, 2015 — The False Claims Act allows health care insiders to bring a whistleblower lawsuit on behalf of the government in cased of Medicare fraud
. Courageous whistleblowers help to protect the integrity of our Medicare program for those who need it. 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 entitled to a generous portion of the government’s recovery.
Owner of Louisiana Home Health Care Businesses and Accomplice Physician Plead Guilty to Medicare Fraud Charges
Mark Morad, the Louisiana kingpin of a $56 million Medicare fraud scheme, has pleaded guilty to health care fraud. The fraudster’s physician accomplice, Dr. Divini Luccioni, has also entered a guilty plea.
Morad owned a number of health care companies in the New Orleans area, including:
- Memorial Home Health Inc.,
- Interlink Health Care Services Inc.,
- Lexmark Health Care LLC,
- Lakeland Health Care Services Inc., and
- Med Rite Pharmacy Inc.
The businesses purportedly offered home health services and provided durable medical equipment (DME) to thousands of Medicare beneficiaries living in and around New Orleans. Morad himself ran every aspect of the businesses.
Morad used patient recruiters to scout out Medicare beneficiaries in the New Orleans area. Morad paid kickbacks to the scouts and used the beneficiaries’ Medicare numbers to file false claims with Medicare for services that either were unnecessary or not provided. Morad’s accomplice, Dr. Luccioni, reportedly
admitted to certifying falsely that Medicare beneficiaries were homebound when they were not and thus did not qualify for Medicare home health care services. In addition, Dr. Luccioni wrote prescriptions for expensive power wheelchairs and other DME that the Medicare pawns did not need.
From 2007 to 2014, Morad’s Louisiana companies filed more than $56 million in Medicare claims, most of which were phony. Medicare spent more than $50 million on those claims.
False Claims Act Lawsuits Target Violations 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 855.784.0268 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.