The June 22 announcement of federal charges against 301 medical professionals accused of more than $900 million in fraudulent billing is a significant indication that the government is serious about increasing its pursuit of health care fraud indictments.
More Troops, Big Data and Watch Out, Corporations!
To be forewarned is to be forearmed. That ancient observation is especially true for those attorneys and health care providers who must deal with the massive power and breadth of the law enforcement arm of the United States government, the Department of Justice.
The roles of today’s corporate compliance officer are varied and many. Among other things, corporate compliance officers design or implement internal controls, develop policies and procedures to ensure compliance with numerous laws and establish employee ethics training programs. In addition, most compliance officers find themselves conducting internal investigations based upon complaints, some of which are anonymous. When faced with an anonymous complaint, one might initially think, “It’s an anonymous complaint, why not just ignore it?”
DOJ “Yates Memo” and release of 20-year study of white collar prosecutions suggest major changes in the way white collar crime is prosecuted and defended.
Two separate news items, each released on Sept. 10, 2015, are well worth noting by all practitioners of white collar criminal defense, general counsel for corporations, business executives and employees and, indeed, the general public.
The first news item, which has received the most media attention, is the new Department of Justice memo titled, “Individual Accountability for Corporate Wrongdoing.” The memo, authored by Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates and addressed to all of the divisions of the U.S. Department of Justice as well as every U.S. Attorney in the nation, has received a great deal of media coverage (e.g., a front page article in the New York Times). The Yates Memo, as it will no doubt be known, seeks to do nothing less than redirect all federal prosecutors, civil and criminal, to focus their efforts to an unprecedented degree on individual corporate executives and employees.
Otherwise, a ruling on the field may be overturned
The “play” has become as familiar as a forward pass. If not careful, however, your play may draw a flag and penalty.
When faced with a scandal, public companies, colleges or universities, and even the NFL, all seem to execute the same play: They rush to solemnly assure the public of their determination to get to the bottom of the issue and uncover any and all wrongdoing. In the same vein, the entity usually further proclaims that it has retained outside counsel to promptly, thoroughly and independently investigate the matter.