Department of Justice Follows Through on Threat of Individual Prosecution

Posted on Health Care Law News, White Collar News by author

Only weeks after Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates announced that the government was going to take a harder line against individuals in corporate fraud cases, the government has charged the former CEO of Warner Chilcott.

Carl Reichel was arrested in connection with a health care fraud, false claims and kickback investigation that has also lead to criminal and civil charges against the company. Mr. Reichel has been charged with conspiracy to pay kickbacks to physicians in connection with the promotion of Warner Chilcott drugs. The company has agreed to plead guilty to similar charges, as well as settle a related civil False Claims Act case, paying a total of $125 million in fines and penalties.

In a related action, the government obtained an indictment against a Massachusetts doctor for accepting kickbacks from Warner Chilcott in the form of speaker fees and free meals. The physician was also charged with allowing drug reps to view HIPAA protected patient information in connection with the marketing efforts, as well as lying to investigators.

These prosecutions only serve to underscore the need for physicians and corporate insiders to seek the advice of counsel when contacted by government investigators in health care investigations. The health care and white-collar defense attorneys at Nicholson & Eastin regularly handle the defense of corporations and individuals in federal civil, criminal and administrative investigations. If you are unsure of your rights and responsibilities as a corporate officer or a physician in connection with a federal investigation, please feel free to contact us.