Seattle Whistleblower Attorneys Help US Recover $18.5 Million in False Claims Act Qui Tam Case
Seattle Whistleblower Attorneys, Mark D. Walters of Bellevue, and Daniel D. DeLue of Seattle, Washington represented relator Ryan Sims, Snohomish, Washington in the False Claims Act case brought against LifeWatch Services, Inc. The Department of Justice issued a Press Release on March 23, 2012, United States Settles False Claims Act Allegations Against Illinois-Based Lifewatch Services (http://www.seattlewhistleblowerattorneys.com/united-states-settles-false-claims-act-allegations-against-illinois-based-lifewatch-services.html).
With the help of Seattle Whistleblower Attorneys DeLue and Walters, Mr. Sims filed a qui tam False Claims Act case under seal in December of 2009. The United States Office of the Attorney General and the Office of the Inspector General conducted a two-year investigation, and LifeWatch Services agreed to pay the United States $18.5 million over the next five years.
The qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act enable private citizens to bring claims against parties on behalf of the U.S. government, and receive a reward for coming forward with original information alleging fraud against the government. The U.S. government awarded Mr. Sims and the Ohio relator 18.5 percent (approximately $3.4 million) of the settlement under the False Claims Act’s qui tam provision.
Mr. Sims worked as a sales representative for LifeWatch Services, Inc., a remote cardiac monitoring company. Mr. Sims detected possible submissions of false claims to Medicare and other governmental agencies. Mr. Sims consulted with Seattle Whistleblower Attorneys and filed a sealed lawsuit in December 2009. Mr. Sims and Seattle Whistleblower Attorneys assisted and cooperated with the government’s investigation, and with a second relator in Ohio, who filed suit after Mr. Sims. The investigation lasted more than two years, and the U.S. government, Mr. Sims, the Ohio relator, and LifeWatch Services, Inc. reached an agreement to settle the case for $18.5 million.
Seattle Whistleblower Attorney Mark D. Walters stated, "At great personal risk to his career and livelihood, Ryan Sims came forward to protect U.S. taxpayers from paying millions of dollars in false Medicare claims. Daniel DeLue and I are thrilled to be a part of helping Ryan Sims pursue this False Claims Act case on behalf of the government and, ultimately, win this reward. Ryan Sims took a huge personal risk by coming forward and doing the right thing. He first lost his job and he nearly lost his home because, we believe, he spoke up and did the right thing. Ryan Sims is a hero."
"We are pleased to have been involved in this case and to have worked cooperatively with the Department of Justice here in Seattle and in Washington, D.C., to reach this settlement for our client and the United States. We must thank the attorneys and staff with the United States Attorney General’s Office. In particular, we are grateful for the assistance we received from Harold Malkin and Kayla Stahman, with the U.S. Attorney General’s office here in Seattle, Jeffrey S. Gleason, with the U.S. Attorney General’s office in Washington, D.C., and William J. Kennedy, with the Office of the Inspector General" stated Seattle Whistleblower Attorney, Daniel D. DeLue.
As part of the settlement, LifeWatch Services, Inc. denies that it engaged in any wrongful conduct. In addition, the agreement is not a concession by the United States that its claims were not well-founded.