WASHINGTON - Acculab Laboratories and its president/owner, Joseph T. DeGregorio, have agreed to pay the United States $461,000 to settle allegations that Acculab submitted false claims to Medicare, the Justice Department announced today. The settlement resolves allegations that the Sarasota, Fla.-based company, at the direction of DeGregorio, submitted claims to Medicare for laboratory services that were not ordered, were not provided, were not medically necessary or were improperly unbundled.
The settlement resulted from a qui tam, or whistleblower suit, filed by a private citizen against Acculab. As a result of today’s settlement, the whistleblower will receive $92,200 of the settlement. Under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act, private parties, called “relators,” can file an action on behalf of the United States and receive a portion of the proceeds of a settlement or judgment awarded against a defendant.
“It is the American taxpayer who is victimized when a provider submits false claims to Medicare,” said acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey S. Bucholtz. “Today’s settlement demonstrates that the government has no tolerance for such misconduct and will diligently pursue providers who refuse to play by the rules.”
The case was handled by the Justice Department’s Civil Division, Commercial Litigation Branch; and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.