Hoyer Law Group, PLLC, of Tampa, FL, and The Rabon Law Firm of Charlotte, NC are pleased to announce the settlement of a False Claims Act lawsuit brought against numerous defendants in one of the largest-ever Medicare fraud cases involving telemedicine and durable medical equipment (DME).
Whistleblowers bring False Claims Act lawsuits on behalf of the United States and its taxpayers to recover money that wrongdoers have fraudulently obtained from the government. The United States will recover $20,332,516.00 in forfeited assets in this case. The False Claims Act provides whistleblowers with a share of the government’s recovery. Here, the whistleblower is expected to receive $4,676,478.00.
The whistleblower lawsuit, filed in March 2019 in the Tampa Division of the Middle District of Florida, was brought by Condra Albright against her former employer, Regency, Inc., and several other defendants. The lawsuit alleged that the defendants defrauded Medicare by setting up sham DME storefronts in order to engage in the illicit marketing and sale of DME—mostly back and knee braces– to senior citizens.
After the lawsuit was filed, the Department of Justice announced a coordinated nationwide raid on April 9, 2019, orchestrated by the Department of Justice, the FBI, and various federal agencies. The government named the investigation “Operation Brace Yourself.” It spanned 17 federal districts, involved more than 80 search warrants, and led to numerous arrests. Ms. Albright’s case played a crucial part in the success of Operation Brace Yourself.
“The False Claims Act is a tremendous tool for recovering money stolen from the taxpayers of our country,” said Hoyer Law Group partner Dave Scher. “But without the courage of whistleblowers like our client, coupled with incentives provided under the law, most fraud against the government would go unchecked.”
“Our client truly did the right thing here,” added Chet Rabon of The Rabon Law Firm. “When she determined precisely how the defendants were perpetrating fraud, she did her duty and reported this to the government and retained counsel to bring this case.”
The case is cited as: United States ex rel. Albright v. Regency, Inc., et al., 8:19-cv-686-T-30AEP (M.D. Fla.)
Hoyer Law Group, PLLC, has offices in Florida, Washington, D.C., Michigan, and California. Ms. Albright was represented by Dave Scher, Jesse Hoyer Estes, and Sean Estes. The firm specializes in False Claims Act ligation and employment law.