HCA whistleblower uses reward money from qui tam case to establish college program

May 15, 2006 -- HCA whistleblower James Alderson and his wife, Connie, have given some of the reward money from his qui tam case to Montana State University’s College of Business to establish the Alderson Program in Entrepreneurship.

The amount of the gift is undisclosed. But the university said the size of the gift puts funding for the entrepreneurship program “on par with some of the most prestigious programs in the country.”

Phillips & Cohen LLP represented Alderson in a qui tam lawsuit against HCA, the nation’s largest for-profit healthcare provider. The qui tam lawsuit, brought under the False Claims Act, alleged a deliberate scheme of Medicare fraud and launched the nation’s largest healthcare fraud investigation. Alderson’s qui tam case and a related one returned more than $500 million to the federal government.

“. . . My experience in whistleblowing taught me what a good education I had at MSU and it prepared me to compete at any level,” Alderson said in an MSU press release. “I want to see that expanded.”

Rich Semenik, dean of the business college, expressed gratitude for the Aldersons’ gift. “Their generosity will affect students immediately and for generations to come,” he said in the press release. The money will be used for scholarships, field research grants and other funding needs.

Entrepreneur magazine this month recognized the Alderson program as one of the best programs in the U.S. that offer minors or an emphasis in entrepreneurship.