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Pennsylvania Joins Multi-state Settlement with Medtronic

The Pennsylvania attorney general’s office has joined a $2.8 million multi-state and federal settlement with the medical device maker, Medtronic.

The state’s attorney general, Kathleen Kane, made the announcement on Monday, according to the Washington Examiner. More Pennsylvania Joins Multi-state Settlement with Medtronic

Nursing Home Owner and Three Former Employees Indicted by a Federal Grand Jury on Racketeering and Fraud Charges

Four people connected to the shuttered Brian Center nursing home in Scott County, Virginia, have been indicted by a federal grand jury on racketeering and healthcare fraud charges.

The indictment is the result of a joint investigation carried out by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, IRS Criminal Investigations, the Virginia Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration, TImesNews.net wrote.

The Brian Center’s former owner was charged with one count of racketeering conspiracy, one count of conspiracy to commit wire, mail and healthcare fraud, 10 counts of wire fraud, one count of healthcare fraud, 55 counts of mail fraud, one count of obstruction of justice and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, TimesNews.net reported.

The former director of nursing operations was charged with one count of racketeering conspiracy, one count of conspiracy to commit wire, mail and healthcare fraud, eight counts of wire fraud, one count of healthcare fraud and one count of conspiracy to make false statements.

Each racketeering charge carries a maximum punishment of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The money laundering charges carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, according to TimesNews.net.

According to Tuesday’s indictment, the four carried out an elaborate scheme aimed at defrauding Medicare and Virginia Medicaid by operating the Brian Center without adequate staff or supplies, which violates federal nursing facility laws, TimesNews.net reported.

The group is also accused of defrauding center vendors and employees. Authorities say employees had money taken from their paychecks for benefits that were not provided, according to TimesNews.net.

Residents of the 90-bed Brian Center nursing home allegedly lived in unsanitary and unclean conditions and were subjected to poor nutrition, bed sores and other forms of neglect. Residents often went without basic hygiene, including bathing, toileting, cleaning, turning and feeding, TimesNews.net reported.

Nursing home residents have a legal right to live in an environment free of physical abuse and neglect. Care centers are required to meet minimum state and federal legislative standards of care to prevent nursing home injury and abuse.

Nursing homes that don’t abide by federal requirements for long-term care facilities as instructed under the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (42 CFR Part 483) cannot participate in Medicare or Medicaid programs. Under this “Residents’ Bill of Rights,” certain staffing levels are required to ensure residents’ physical, nutritional, medical and emotional needs are met.

The Brian Center, which made a 2010 list of the worst nursing homes in Virginia, had a long history of compliance problems. The home also once operated as Continuum Care, TimesNews.net reported.

The center closed in 2012 after the federal government took action to terminate the home’s ability to accept Medicare and Medicaid payments, according to TimesNews.net.

Two Wistleblowers Split $875,000 Award

Two people who provided information and assistance to help the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) bring an enforcement action were awarded a whistleblower award of more than $875,000 to be split evenly.

The SEC’s whistleblower program was authorized by the Dodd-Frank Act and rewards top-quality, original information that leads to an SEC enforcement action with sanctions exceeding $1 million, according to CorporateCrimeReporter.com. Whistleblower’s can be awarded anywhere from 10 percent to 30 percent of the money collected in a case. More Two Wistleblowers Split $875,000 Award

New York Attorney General Sues Trump for Fraudulent University

New York’s Attorney General filed a civil lawsuit against Donald Trump, accusing him and his profit-making investment “university” of taking part in illegal, fraudulent, and deceptive activity.

The lawsuit, filed by Eric Schneiderman, seeks restitution for people across the country who were tricked into paying for a series of expensive courses that did not deliver on their promises, the New York Times reported. Trump has defended his investment course, claiming that students were 98 percent satisfied with the program.

More New York Attorney General Sues Trump for Fraudulent University

Abbott Sued for Racketeering for Its Off-Label Marketing of Epilepsy Drug Depakote

A lawsuit has been filed against Abbott Laboratories, alleging that the company was involved in racketeering when it marketed the epilepsy drug depakote for unapproved uses.

Last year, Abbott agreed to pay a $1.6 billion to settle a lawsuit charging that it promoted Depakote use to treat bipolar mania and to prevent migraine headaches, Bloomberg Businessweek reported. The settlement featured $800 million to conclude civil claims and a $700 million criminal penalty. The final $100 million was for states to resolve consumer protection matters, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.

More Abbott Sued for Racketeering for Its Off-Label Marketing of Epilepsy Drug Depakote

Studies that Once Promoted Benefits of Novartis Heart Medication Diovan Get Retracted

Researchers in Japan have withdrawn studies that promoted the benefits of one of Novartis’s top-selling drugs in the country, the heart medicine Diovan.

The retraction came after investigations found data had been tampered with to create false results, the Wall Street Journal reported. Based on the revelation, at least eight hospitals have indicated that they’ll stop prescribing Diovan. It is currently believed that there will be limited impact in the U.S. because Diovan is well established to the point that its patent has expired, according to the Wall Street Journal. The drug’s Japanese IP protection is due to end later this year.

More Studies that Once Promoted Benefits of Novartis Heart Medication Diovan Get Retracted

Judge Orders Mediation for Couple Suing J&J After Son Grew Lactating Breasts While on Risperdal

 

A couple has filed a lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company owned by Johnson & Johnson, claiming a bipolar-disorder drug caused their teenage son to develop breasts.

A Texas family told KRISTV.com that their 16-year-old son grew female breasts that began lactating after taking Risperdal for 18 months. The boy was prescribed Risperdal to treat his mood and behavioral disorders. Risperdal, which is made by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., is usually used to treat bipolar disorder. In the lawsuit, the family said this is an issue no teen should ever have to deal with.

More Judge Orders Mediation for Couple Suing J&J After Son Grew Lactating Breasts While on Risperdal

Michigan Spine Surgeon a Focal Point of DOJ’s Investigation into Physician-Owned Distributorships

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is examining physician-owned distributorships (PODs) amid concerns that the weight doctors carry with regard to hospital purchasing practices could result in serious conflict of interest.

Michigan spine surgeon Dr. Aria Sabit is at the center of the DOJ’s broader investigation of PODs, which allow doctors to take a cut of the profits, MassDevice.com reported.

More Michigan Spine Surgeon a Focal Point of DOJ’s Investigation into Physician-Owned Distributorships

Federal Antitrust Class Action Suit Filed over Alleged Ramen Noodle Price Fixing

A Koreatown market filed a federal antitrust class action against four South Korean companies alleging the companies fixed the price of instant ramen noodles for more than a decade.

The lawsuit was filed by The Plaza Company, which runs the Plaza Market in Koreatown. It names Nong Shim Co. and its Rancho Cucamonga-based subsidiary, Nong Shim America; Ottogi Co. and its Gardena subsidiary, Ottogi America; Samyang Foods Co. and Samyang USA of Santa Fe Springs; and Korea Yakult and its U.S. affiliate, Paldo America as defendants. The federal action claims that the defendants and their U.S. subsidiaries conspired six times between 2001 and 2008 to fix prices on dozens of Korean instant noodle products, resulting in price increases of nearly 54 percent, CourthouseNews.com reported.

More Federal Antitrust Class Action Suit Filed over Alleged Ramen Noodle Price Fixing

Solar Panel Industry Plagued by Quality Issues During What Should Be Boom Time

Increasing reports of solar panels faltering earlier than promised has left the solar industry anxious.

The New York Times recently chronicled the story of faulty solar panels that covered a warehouse roof in the Inland Empire region east of Los Angeles. According to the story, the panels were only two years into their expected 25-year life span when they started to fail. The coatings that protect the panels had disintegrated and other defects led to two fires that took the system offline for two years. The damage cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenues, the Times reported.

More Solar Panel Industry Plagued by Quality Issues During What Should Be Boom Time