Articles Posted in Government Contracts

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Relators filed a qui tam action under the False Claims Act (FCA), 31 U.S.C. 3729-3733, alleging that defendants submitted claims to Medicare without adequate authorization from the relevant Medicare beneficiaries and claims that were the product of unsolicited telemarketing calls to Medicare beneficiaries. The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment to defendants with one modification. The court explained that, although the district court applied an erroneous scienter standard, the evidence proffered by relators as to defendants' state of mind with respect to the assignment of benefits forms was insufficient to survive summary judgment under the proper standard. The district court did not err in granting summary judgment as to relators' claims that defendants violated Medicare's unsolicited telephone contact rules. View "Phalp v. Lincare, Inc." on Justia Law

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Relators filed a qui tam suit against Keiser University under the False Claims Act (FCA), 31 U.S.C. 3729-3733, alleging that the University falsely certified compliance with a federal law banning incentive payments to university admissions counselors. After relators appealed a limited trial victory, the United States stepped in and settled the case with Keiser, securing a larger monetary recovery than relators did at trial. On appeal, relators challenged the district court's ruling as to the United States and the district court's subsequent award of reduced attorneys' fees and costs. The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the judgment, holding that the United States did not need to satisfy the good-cause intervention requirement for qui tam actions under 31 U.S.C. 3730(c)(3) because that subsection applies only when the government intervenes for the purpose of actually proceeding with the litigation—not when it is stepping in only for the purpose of settling and ending the case; the proposed settlement was fair, adequate, and reasonable; the district court did not err in declining to compel discovery in this case; and the district court did not abuse its discretion in awarding fees and costs. View "United States v. Everglades College" on Justia Law

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Relator filed a qui tam action under the False Claims Act (FCA), 31 U.S.C. 3729-3733, claiming that Fresenius violated the FCA by billing the government for overfill that it received for no cost—allegedly a violation of the statutes governing Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) billing. The district court granted Fresenius's motion for summary judgment. Because the allegations that are the basis of this complaint were publicly disclosed and relator is not an original source, the court lacks jurisdiction to hear this case. The court did not reach the merits of the motion for summary judgment. Accordingly, the court reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment on the merits and remanded for entry of an order dismissing the case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. View "United States ex. rel. Saldivar v. Fresenius Medical Care Holdings, Inc." on Justia Law

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Relator filed a qui tam action under the False Claims Act (FCA), 31 U.S.C. 3729-3733, alleging that healthcare clinics provided, and the Humana defendants either knew of or promoted, a variety of free services for patients and health plan members. Relator alleged that the clinics offered such services without regard for medical purpose or financial need and that the value of the services is more than nominal. The court affirmed the district court's dismissal of the amended complaint with prejudice where, under the prior or amended version of section 3730 of the FCA, relator cannot overcome the public disclosure bar. View "Osheroff v. Humana Inc." on Justia Law

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The Federal Acquisition Regulation, 48 C.F.R. 9.407-4(b), governs the acquisition of supplies and services by all federal agencies. At issue was whether a federal agency may suspend two affiliates of an indicted government contractor for the duration of the legal proceedings against the indicted contractor under the Regulation. Because the suspension of an affiliate was included as part of the suspension of the indicted government contractor, the court concluded that legal proceedings initiated against the indicted government contractor tolled the 18-month time limit for the suspension of the affiliates. Accordingly, the court reversed the grant of summary judgment in favor of the affiliates and rendered a judgment in favor of defendants. View "Agility Defense & Gov't Svcs, et al. v. U.S. Dept. of Defense, et al." on Justia Law

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In this interlocutory appeal, the Secretary appealed the district court's order granting Odebrecht a preliminary injunction barring the Department's enforcement of a Florida law known as the Cuba Amendment, 2012 Fla. Laws 196, section 2. The Amendment prevented any company that did business in Cuba - or that was in any way related to a company that did business in Cuba - from bidding on state or local public contracts in the State of Florida. The court concluded that Odebrecht has demonstrated a substantial likelihood of success on its claim that the Cuba Amendment violated the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution under principles of conflict preemption; Odebrecht would have suffered irreparable harm absent the injunction; the balance of harms strongly favored the injunction; and the injunction did not disserve the public interest. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "Odebrecht Construction, Inc. v. Secretary, FL DOT" on Justia Law

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When Defendant Ralph Merrill sold millions of rounds of ammunition to the United States Army, he concealed that the ammunition was manufactured by a Communist Chinese military company because his contract with the Army prohibited the delivery of that kind of ammunition. Defendant had the ammunition repackaged which made it unsafe for later use. Defendant was convicted for conspiracy to commit false statements, major fraud, and wire fraud against the United States and for major fraud and wire fraud. On appeal, Defendant argued that the district court misinterpreted the regulation that prohibited the Department of Defense from acquiring munitions manufactured by a Communist Chinese military company, that the regulation did not apply to the ammunition he sold, and that he did not defraud the government because he did not misrepresent a material fact when he lied about the origin of the ammunition. Upon review, the Eleventh Circuit concluded Defendant's arguments failed because his interpretation of the applicable statutes was flawed and, "more fundamentally, is irrelevant to his misconduct." Because all of Defendant's arguments failed, the Court affirmed his convictions. View "United States v. Merrill" on Justia Law

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This case involved the competitive bidding for an airport advertising concession. After the completion of the bid process, plaintiff - the second-place finisher - brought this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983, alleging a conspiracy to violate plaintiff's equal protection rights during the bid process. The court concluded that plaintiff's conspiracy claim failed against defendants because the underlying proposed equal protection claim failed, lacking the sufficient identifiable group required. Therefore, the court concluded that the facts and inferences in this case pointed overwhelmingly in favor of defendants. Accordingly, the court vacated the district court's post-verdict order denying judgment as a matter of law and remanded with instructions to grant judgment as a matter of law to defendants. View "Corey Airport Services, Inc. v. Clear Channel Outdoor, Inc." on Justia Law

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Defendant, former commissioner in charge of the Environmental Services Department of Jefferson County, was convicted of charges related to federal-funds bribery for accepting cash from an engineering firm that contracted with the county for a sewer reconstruction project. Defendant subsequently appealed, challenging the sufficiency of the evidence supporting his convictions and the reasonableness of his prison term. The court held that the same evidence that supported defendant's federal-funds bribery convictions supported his conspiracy conviction. The court also held that defendant's sentence was procedurally and substantively reasonable. Accordingly, the judgment was affirmed.

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Taxpayer was awarded and received a net $5.25 million qui tam payment from the government as a "relator" in two lawsuits settled against a government contractor under the False Claims Act (FCA), 31 U.S.C. 3729-3733. Taxpayer asserted that the award was not taxable. The court held that the Tax Court correctly concluded that the entire qui tam payment award to taxpayer under the FCA was includable in gross income and that taxpayer was liable for the I.R.C. 6662(a) accuracy-related penalty.