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Client Advisory: Federal Focus to Elevate on Aggressive Affirmative Civil Enforcement

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United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York Plans to Elevate Focus on Aggressive Affirmative Civil Enforcement to Address Health Care, Environmental, Government Procurement and Civil Rights Violations

On September 2, 2016, United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian described in the New York Law Journal, his efforts to reshape the Northern District’s Civil Division by adding prosecutors and investigators to prioritize affirmative civil enforcement litigation to address false claims involving health care and government procurement, as well as environmental harms and civil rights violations.  With a view to “holding wrongdoers accountable” through “faithful stewardship of public monies”, the Civil Division enforcement recoveries targeting such fraud increased from zero in 2011, to approximately $33 million in 2012 to 2015.

Examples of the civil enforcement recoveries include:

Health Care: United States ex rel. Perlee v. Health Insurance Plan of Greater New York, et al, defendants included managed care organizations that were under contract with New York State to provide Medicaid services, and defendant New York City Human Resources Administration (“HRA”).  HRA improperly failed to terminate eligibility or otherwise close the many individual client identification numbers for individuals who had transferred out of the program, resulting in the managed care organizations continuing to receive monthly payments that were unjustified.  The civil enforcement action resulted in a $2 million settlement and a requirement that HRA establish a process to investigate and close Medicaid cases when individuals transfer out of the program.

Environmental: United States v. General Electric Company, civil enforcement action brought on behalf of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the New York State Department of Environmental Conversation against General Electric for violations of the Clean Air Act and the Resource Conversation and Recovery Act.  Specifically, General Electric, in connection with the ownership and operation of a Rotary Kiln incinerator with emissions in excess of permissible levels, paid $2.25 million to resolve federal and state claims.

Procurement: In a series of civil enforcement procurement cases, more than $11 million was recovered from commercial entities who, while competing for federally funded contracts, used a corporate pass-through or shell entity to obtain such contracts.

Thomas A. Capezza is a Director at Carter Conboy.  He has over 18 years of criminal and civil investigatory and litigation experience, including as an Assistant United States Attorney with the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of New York (Albany); an Assistant United States Attorney with the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Michigan (Detroit); as Enforcement Counsel with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission; and as an Assistant District Attorney with the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office.  He has broad experience with the investigation and litigation of matters involving health care fraud, pharmaceutical and FDA violations, financial fraud (including bank, wire, and mail fraud, and money laundering), securities and investment fraud, cross-border crimes, and violations of numerous other federal and state laws. Mr. Capezza can be reached at 518-465-3484 and tcapezza@carterconboy.com.

This Client Advisory is provided as a courtesy to the clients of Carter Conboy.  It provides general information and is not intended as legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship between Carter Conboy and the reader.  Should the reader desire additional information about the content of this Advisory and/or its application to a particular circumstance, please contact attorney Thomas A. Capezza.

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