The United States Department of Justice celebrates another win in the fight against Medicare Fraud by corporations. This time, it stemmed from a case against The SCOOTER Store Inc. based out of San Antonio. The SCOOTER Store Inc. will pay the United States $4 million, and give up many millions more in pending claims for reimbursement to Medicare.
This settlement is part of our ongoing commitment to fighting abuse of Medicare's durable medical equipment benefit," said Assistant Attorney General Peter D. Keisler.
The Scooter Store Inc. was accused of fraudulent medicare claims for their motorized scooter. The company ran a savvy tv and print advertising campaign that enticed seniors to call them regarding a mobilized scooter. The ads were very effective in getting the seniors to sign up and purchase the scooters. How could anyone refuse, when they were told that medicare and insurance would pick up the cost? The real problem began when the company coerced doctors into prescribing the mobile scooter as a medically necessary item. It does not stop there, The company would then bill Medicare for power wheelchairs which cost about $5000 to $7000. This was considerably more than the $1,000 to $2,000 advertised motorized scooter. If it could not get any worse, The Scooter Store Inc., sold used equipment as new and unnecessary additional accessories.
Thankfully, the brave whistleblower, a former Scooter Store, Inc., employee came forward with this information. As a result of this bravery, the whistleblower will be awarded the statutory amount of $3,228,251, according to the Department of Justice.The Founder of the Scooter Store Inc., Douglas Trent Harrison, will give up dividends from his company for the next few years and a $500,000 personal contribution. It is ironic that although the company was making fraudulent claims to the government based on misleading information, they had the courage to bring suit against the government for unpaid claims. The recent settlement that was agreed upon yesterday, cancels this out. They will now drop their case. It really takes courage to try and get away with a massive fraud like this and turn around and try to bully the government into paying you. I guess the adage "don't bite the hand that feeds you" applies here.
If you are a potential whistleblower with pertinent information on a corporation's wrongdoing in defrauding the government, contact our office to speak to Civil Justice Prosecutor, Brian F. LaBovick, Esq. All information will be kept confidential and you will be given an honest opinion about the strength of your claim.
Click here to read more on this case from the Department of Justice.