May 15, 2006
10 Million Dollar Penalty In HealthCare Case
A payment of ten (10) million dollars and the signing of a five (5) year Corporate Integrity Agreement are the terms in the settling of a case between the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) and Lincare Holdings Inc. and its subsidiary Lincare Inc. (Lincare). According to a press release of OIG here, "[t]he settlement resolves allegations that Lincare paid illegal kickbacks and violated the Physician Self-Referral (also known as Stark) Law.
The press release reports this settlement as the "largest ever for OIG under its civil monetary penalty authorities." It states that "OIG alleged that Lincare engaged in a nationwide scheme to pay physicians kickbacks to refer their patients to Lincare." The press release notes that Lincare "cooperated with OIG’s investigation that resulted in the settlement."
With a new prosecutor, new judge, and new defense counsel (see here), there may be a new resolution in the Quattrone case. The Wall Street Journal reports here that the parties are talking to each other.
Who Alerts the Government
The Washington Post reports here of an investigation of Rep. Alan B. Mollohan (D. W.Va.) . Mollohan has increased his wealth while in office and the question will be whether this increase involved unethical or criminal activity. The repercussions of this investigation have already been felt by him, although investigations can often be very trying on those being examined by the government, irrespective of the position of power that they may hold.
Like Tom DeLay, Mollohan is calling his investigation "partisan," noting the source of the initial information given to the government.
Should it make a difference what the source of the investigation is? Or should the bottom line be, did the individual violate the law or not?
May 14, 2006
The Skilling/Lay Closing Arguments
Today will be the government's first crack at closing. Normally the first government closing is a summary of the evidence - that is, from their perspective. One seldom sees the fireworks during this initial phase. The government will get a second round of closing (rebuttal) on Wednesday. The reason for the government going first and last is because they carry the burden of proving the accused guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Some questions remain:
- Will the government continue to take the position they have taken with Skilling and Lay at trial (these guys were on soapboxes providing false information); or will they now position themselves for the court giving a willful blindness or ostrich instruction?
- Will they refer to the Photofet evidence and will this be one of their key arguments as to why Skilling and Lay's testimony can't be trusted?
- Will they use all their time, or try and keep the closing as brief as possible? Will they continue to keep the case simple?