Whistleblower Uncovers Merit Medical Kickback Scheme, Leads to $18 Million Settlement
In 2016, Dr. Charles J. Wolf filed a whistleblower complaint against Merit Medical Systems upon his resignation as the company’s chief compliance officer. Wolf, who made the False Claims allegation after years of witnessing violations that were “deeply ingrained in Merit’s culture” received nearly $2.7 million of the $18 million settlement that resulted from four years of ensuing litigation. The False Claims Act attorneys at Peter Angelos P.C. delve into the specifics of this significant settlement recently published in Law360.
Former Whistleblower Employee Uncovers Merit Medical Kickbacks
Utah-based Merit Medical Systems is one of the nation’s leading manufacturers of disposable medical devices. In 2016, they became the defendant in a qui tam case when former company CCO, Dr. Charles J. Wolf, filed a whistleblower complaint against the company, uncovering an in-depth scheme that rewarded doctors and hospitals kickbacks for using Merit Medical products on patients who were covered by federal health care programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare—Merit was defrauding the federal government in the process. These kickbacks included free vacations, advertising opportunities and consulting fees.
Merit Agrees to Pay Settlement of $18 Million, with Nearly $2.7 Million Awarded to Wolf
After years of litigation, Merit Medical paid $18 million to settle the case—of the total settlement amount, $2.65 million was awarded to Dr. Wolf for bringing the scheme to the attention of the Department of Justice, and the remainder of the settlement was returned to the Federal government and individual states that jointly funded claims Merit devices submitted to state Medicaid programs, according to the DOJ.
In the conclusion of the lawsuit, Dr. Wolf regarded that it was a “long, multi-years process” and that “sometimes you feel alone, like you’re the only voice,” but that he knew he was “doing the right thing.” To read the Law360 press release in its entirety, click here.
The Baltimore Qui Tam Attorneys at Peter Angelos P.C. Represent Whistleblowers
As Dr. Wolf suggests, it can feel intimidating to expose the fraudulent practices of a large and powerful corporation such as Merit Medical Systems, whose violations and deceitful kickback programs were instilled in the company’s processes and covered up for years. The qui tam attorneys at Peter Angelos P.C. hope that Dr. Wolf’s perseverance and substantial compensation for being a whistleblower encourages others to step forward if they are aware of similar corrupt practices within their organization. Our firm has successfully represented whistleblowers—it is essential to have skilled legal counsel by your side if you are prepared to file a claim. Call (410)-649-2000 to speak to a member of our firm about filing a claim. You can also contact our firm today at https://www.angeloslaw.com/contact/.