Executives and Counsel In the Crosshairs: What Recent Government Efforts to Prosecute Individuals Mean For Your Organization (And You!)
April 7, 2011
Earlier this month, the Department of Justice announced the criminal indictment of five former executives of WellCare Health Plans, Inc., including the former CEO, General Counsel and CFO. Last week, a federal district court dismissed an indictment of Lauren C. Stevens, former in-house counsel for GlaxoSmithKline, who was alleged to have obstructed justice and made false statements to the FDA. The government may seek to re-indict her.
These are just two of the most recent examples of the government’s rapidly shifting focus on prosecuting individuals, rather than organizations, in its efforts to combat health care fraud. Just four months ago, DOJ Civil Division Head Tony West stated that healthcare fraud enforcement will “not be limited to corporate actors.” Lew Morris, Chief Counsel for HHS-OIG, stated that people “who wear suits and ties and carry real business cards cost Medicare, Medicaid and U.S. taxpayers billions,” and that a “corporation is just a… fiction…. It’s run by people and… we are turning our attention to… find[ing] ways to hold corporate officials responsible for the misconduct of their subordinates.”
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