by Ben Vernia | October 25th, 2011
On October 19, the Department of Justice held its annual awards ceremony. Two teams handling False Claims Act cases won awards:
- The Attorney General’s Award for Fraud Prevention recognizes exceptional dedication and effort to prevent, investigate and prosecute fraud, white-collar crimes and official corruption. This year’s award is presented to the investigation and prosecution team which recovered more than $680 million on behalf of the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The investigation determined that the pharmaceutical manufacturers Abbott Laboratories, Dey Inc. and Roxane Laboratories reported falsely inflated drug prices relied upon by the Medicare and Medicaid programs to determine reimbursements to pharmacies. This litigation resulted in large monetary recoveries to the government health care programs, and its findings contributed to Medicare reform that eventually was passed by Congress, making the program less vulnerable to this type of scheme in the future.
Award recipients include, from the Civil Division Commercial Litigation Branch Fraud Section: Assistant Directors Renée Brooker and Jamie A. Yavelberg; Senior Trial Counsels Andy J. Mao and Laurie Oberembt; and Trial Attorneys Mark Justin Draycott and Rebecca Ford; from the Criminal Division Fraud Section: Trial Attorney Gejaa T. Gobena; from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts: Assistant U.S. Attorneys James J. Fauci, George B. Henderson and Barbara Healy Smith; and Auditor Patrick Ormond; from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida: Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mark Alan Lavine and Ana Maria Martinez; and Paralegal Irene R. Prager.
- A second John Marshall Award for Participation in Litigation is awarded to the team that obtained a successful global resolution in the complex investigation of Allergan Inc.’s illegal off-label promotion of Botox as a treatment for headache, pain, spasticity and juvenile cerebral palsy. The settlement of $600 million is the fifth largest recovery in an off-label marketing case, was resolved faster than any other case of comparable size and constituted a significant portion of Allergan’s revenues from Botox. Award recipients include, from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia: Assistant U.S. Attorneys Randy S. Chartash, Douglas W. Gilfillan, Christopher J. Huber and Sally B. Molloy; from the Civil Division Commercial Litigation Branch: Trial Attorney Edward C. Crooke; and from the Civil Division Consumer Protection Branch: Trial Attorney John W. Burke.