June 6, 2024
In a throw back to 1999, the US Department of Justice has finalized a $12MM settlement with a medical device company for hosting lavish parties and sponsoring Deer Valley ski trips, complete with free ski  jacket schwag, after a false claims action was filed by a whistleblower in 2019.  See  https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/medical-device-manufacturer-innovasis-inc-and-two-top-executives-agree-pay-12m-settle. Additional information posted by DOJ claims the manufacturer paid above fair market value rates for consulting, when, in fact, in some instances, no services at all were rendered.  The key allegation is remuneration received by spine surgeons was actually a fraudulent payment to induce use of the manufacturer's device. The whistleblower at issue worked directly for the manufacturer as a Regional Sales Manager.  

What is extremely interesting about this settlement is the fact the government required the 2 owner/operators of manufacturer to be personally on the hook and pay into the settlement amount...   

Key takeaway - if the deal smells too good to be true, it probably is. Run it by legal before you sign and don't accept free stuff from vendors - juice isn't worth the squeeze!