Stephen Hasegawa, a partner at Phillips & Cohen, represents whistleblowers in qui tam cases and whistleblower submissions involving numerous industries, such as healthcare, defense, aerospace, financial services and government procurement.
He has been named to Lawdragon’s “500 Leading Lawyers in America” for the past five years for his work representing whistleblowers.
A number of Mr. Hasegawa’s cases have achieved significant results, including the largest settlement so far of a false claims case against a Medicare Advantage plan and one of the largest settlements in a whistleblower case alleging evasion of customs duties.
Some of his more prominent qui tam cases and settlements:
- A subsidiary of Community Health Systems and three CHS hospitals – $75 million settlement. The qui tam lawsuit alleged the hospitals engaged in a scheme to improperly increase federal payments intended for indigent patient care.
- Office Depot – $68.5 million settlement. More than 1,000 California cities, counties, school districts and other government entities that allegedly were overcharged for office supplies shared in the recovery.
- Companies involved in the sale of allegedly substandard water distribution parts – $60 million settlement. Phillips & Cohen and their co-counsel won three important appellate court decisions in the case.
- ResMed – $39.5 million settlement of five whistleblower cases. Phillips & Cohen’s qui tam complaint alleged the medical equipment provider paid kickbacks to hospital and home health companies that sold its equipment to treat sleep apnea.
- Freedom Health, Optimum Healthcare and their affiliates – $32.5 million settlement. The whistleblower case, brought by a doctor, was one of the first cases involving a Medicare Advantage plan’s obligation to provide its members with adequate access to healthcare services.
- Linde GmbH and Linde Engineering North America LLC – $22.8 million settlement. The whistleblower lawsuit alleged the multinational industrial gas and engineering company evaded US customs duties.
- Christus Hospital and St. Vincent Regional Medical Center – $12.2 million settlement. The qui tam lawsuit alleged Christus and its hospital in New Mexico manipulated federal funding for an indigent care program to boost their revenues.
Mr. Hasegawa is co-counsel in a case against UnitedHealth Group and other defendants alleging use of fraudulent risk-adjustment data in Medicare Advantage plans. It is one of the first major whistleblower cases alleging risk adjustment fraud by a Medicare Advantage plan run by a major health insurer.
Based partially on the results that Mr. Hasegawa obtained in two of his whistleblower cases, Phillips & Cohen was named to the National Law Journal’s “Elite Trial Attorneys” list in the employment law practice area.
Mr. Hasegawa joined Phillips & Cohen after eight years with Irell & Manella LLP in Los Angeles, during which he was recognized as a “Super Lawyers Rising Star” in both Northern and Southern California. He litigated numerous securities matters, including matters involving private securities litigation, SEC actions and inquiries, criminal investigations, internal investigation and state securities laws. His practice also covered a diverse range of commercial disputes, including litigation under the California False Claims Act, entertainment-industry litigation, class actions and numerous cases concerning copyright, trademark, trade secrets and contracts.
Mr. Hasegawa graduated with honors from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was Articles Editor of the University of Chicago Legal Forum.
Mr. Hasegawa serves as Phillips & Cohen LLP’s General Counsel. He is admitted to the bar in California.
“We're a small firm that is very successful handling big cases, so we're used to dealing with giant, well-funded defense firms . . .
- “Calif. Retailer, Co-Founder Settle Customs Duty Fraud Suit,” Law 360, November 8, 2023.
- “High Court’s FCA Ruling Reopens Constitutionality Question,” Law 360, June 16, 2023.
- “Supreme Court Backs Dismissal of Whistleblower’s Fraud Suit,” Bloomberg Law, June 16, 2023.
- “California Whistleblower Protections Apply to Tips Already Known by Employers,” SHRM, June 1, 2023.
- “Supreme Court Reopens Fraud Suits Against SuperValu, Safeway,” Bloomberg Law, June 1, 2023.
- “Whistleblower Attorneys Hail High Court Ruling in Drug Reimbursement Case,” National Law Journal/Law.com, June 1, 2023.
- “FCA Chases ‘Shrewder’ Kickbacks As 50-Year Hunt Intensifies,” Law 360, May 10, 2023.
- “Whistleblower Hopes Supreme Court Will Curb DOJ Dismissal Power,” Bloomberg Law, December 5, 2022.
- “In Their Words: What Attorneys Expect If Garland Becomes AG,” Law360, January 7, 2021.
- “Linde agrees to $22.8m settlement of whistleblower lawsuit,” gasworld, September 28, 2020.
- “How A Compliance Chief Went From Ignored To Whistleblower,” Law360, July 20, 2020.
- “ResMed to pay more than $37.5M to settle kickback allegations made in 5 whistleblower lawsuits,” FierceHealthcare, January 15, 2020.
- “ResMed to pay $39.5 to settle kickback allegations,” HealthLeaders Media, January 15, 2020.
- “Court To Hear Drug Patent Case Based on Alleged False Claims,” Bloomberg Law, December 19, 2019.
- “Präsidiale Tweets gegen Whistleblower – Wie steht es in den USA um ihren Schutz?” Deutschlandfunk, November 18, 2019.
- “Gilead Whistleblowers may be well placed to fight DOJ dismissal,” Bloomberg Law, January 16, 2019.
- “Credit Suisse: AbbVie’s fraud allegations mirror common biopharma strategy,” S&P Global Market Intelligence, September 19, 2018.
- “High hopes, 1 result from Justice Department false claims memo,” Bloomberg Government, July 17, 2018.
- Wells Fargo Will Appeal $5.4M OSHA Whistleblower Award, Corporate Counsel, April 4, 2017.
- Interview with “Elite Trial Lawyer” and Phillips & Cohen partner Stephen Hasegawa, National Law Journal.
- “Office Depot settles whistleblower suit for $68.5 million,” San Bernadino County Sun, January 16, 2015.
- “Office Depot to Pay $68.5 Million to Settle False Claims Charge,” Corporate Crime Reporter, January 14, 2015.
- “Santa Clara County to get $3 million in settlement with Office Depot in overcharges for office supplies,” San Jose Mercury News, January 16, 2015.
- “Community Health Systems, hospitals to pay $75M in Medicaid scam,” The Tennessean, February 2, 2015.
- “CHS settles false claims allegations for $75M,” Beckers Hospital Review, February 2, 2015.
- “U.S. Renal Care settles billing fraud case brought by nurse,” Nephrology News.
- “U.S. Renal Care Will Pay $7.3 Million to Settle False Claims Charge,” Corporate Crime Reporter, May 21, 2013.
- “500 Leading Lawyers in America” – Lawdragon, 2019-2023
- “500 Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyers” – Lawdragon, 2019-2023
- National Law Journal – Elite Trial Lawyers (firm award), 2015
- Consumer Attorneys Of California – Consumer Attorney of the Year Finalist (firm award), 2015
- Rising Stars – National Law Journal
- Best Lawyers in America” – Best Lawyers, 2024
VIDEO: Mr. Hasegawa was filmed by CAOC about his case against Office Depot.
- “Litigation Funding Attacks Pose Threat to FCA” – Law360
- “Opinion: Quebec’s AMF should offer rewards to whistleblowers” – Montreal Gazette
- “Attack on SEC Rule for CEO Pay Disclosure Uses Inconsistent Economic Arguments” – Forbes.com
- “Confidentiality Agreements Must Not Protect Crimes” – WSJ
- “The SEC’s Secret Enforcement Weapon: Whistleblowers” – Private Funds Management
- Moderator of “Developing Issues Involving the Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark Law,” 19th Annual Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund Conference, October 2, 2019.
- “The DOJ’s evolving civil enforcement priorities: from the Yates memo to the Brand memo and beyond,” George Mason University Law & Economics Center Panel, February 22, 2019.
- “Compliance: New Risks, Challenges, and Approaches,” New York University, October, 2016
- “When/How to Attack Affirmative Defenses,” Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund Conference, 2015.
Phillips & Cohen attorney Stephen Hasegawa – a partner at our San Francisco office – underscores the unique value of whistleblowers at George Mason Law & Economics Center’s recent panel on False Claims Act enforcement. See video of the panel discussion.