Here are the stories of some whistleblowers who brought qui tam lawsuits and were represented by attorneys Phillips & Cohen. These whistleblowers exposed Medicare fraud, defense contractor fraud as well as financial fraud in the municipal bond market.
The decision on whether to file a False Claims Act (qui tam) lawsuit is never an easy one despite the reward and job protection the False Claims Act offers.
There are many factors for a person to consider, including the effect being a whistleblower will have on the his or her personal and professional lives. People who file qui tam lawsuits also have to be prepared to spend a tremendous amount of time and effort working on their cases.
But many people decide the risks of whistleblowing are worth taking because it’s the right thing to do or they fear that the fraud might result in someone getting injured or killed.
The stories of these whistleblowers are excerpted from published news stories and congressional testimony.
- John Kopchinski - a former pharmaceutical sales representative who brought a qui tam case against Pfizer Inc., alleging the pharmaceutical company was engaged in off-label marketing of Bextra, a pain-killer, in dangerous doses and for unsafe uses. As a result of his case, Pfizer paid $1.8 billion in civil and criminal penalties as part of a $2.3 billion Medicare fraud settlement with the government.
- Robert E. McCaslin Jr. - a hospital employee who exposed the hospital's practice of billing Medicare and Medicaid for the treatment of patients who weren't covered by the federal health programs.
- Cynthia Fitzgerald - a former senior product manager for the nation's largest group purchasing organization (GPO), or hospital purchasing company, who exposed GPO practices involving improper payments and fees that in effect cheated Medicare.
- Judith King – a registered nurse who brought a qui tam case against the hospital that employs her.
- Michael Lissack – an investment banker who revealed Wall Street’s secret scam in the municipal bond market.
- James Alderson – a former hospital executive who uncovered Medicare fraud by the nation’s largest for-profit hospital chain and the country’s largest hospital management company.
- Emil Stache – a manager for a defense contractor that was defrauding the Pentagon.
- Dr. Paul Michelson – an eye surgeon who brought a qui tam case against his former employer and a fellow surgeon for Medicare fraud.