Whistleblower Wins Suit, Even Without Feds' Help
Usually, when the federal government refuses to join in your whistleblower suit, you give up. (Unless, of course, you're talking about whistleblower suits against the federal government.)
A pair of local attorneys decided to stick with their so-called "qui tam" (legalese for "whistleblower") suit, however, and they've won it.
The hell of it is, most of the money will still end up going to the feds.
Attorneys Joel Androphy and Sarah Frazier represented a Texarkana woman who blew the whistle on her employer, Rotech Healthcare, for screwing the government via fake Medicare payments.
Rice Owls Football vs. Army West Point
TicketsSat., Oct. 7, 5:30pm
Houston Texans vs. Kansas City Chiefs
TicketsSun., Oct. 8, 7:30pm
Houston Texans vs. Cleveland Browns
TicketsSun., Oct. 15, 12:00pm
TicketsSat., Oct. 21, 7:00pm
Rice Owls Football vs. LA Tech
TicketsSat., Oct. 28, 2:30pm
The feds had already settled some similar claims with Rotech, so they declined to take part in the suit. "Ninety-nine percent of the time the government says no, the cases disappear," Androphy tells Hair Balls. (Private attorneys don't have the vast resources or the intimidating reputation of the feds.)
It was announced today, though, that Rotech has agreed to pay an additional $2 million to settle the civil charges.
Most of that goes to the federal government, but the actual whistleblower, Sheila Bell-Messier, will get 27 percent, or $540,000.
-- Richard Connelly
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Houston, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.