Author: Kirk Schuler

Kirk Schuler

Kirk is a partner with the Trial Group in Des Moines, and practices across the country with Dorsey’s Government Enforcement & Corporation Investigations group. He was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Districts of the Northern Mariana Islands and the Central District of Illinois before joining Dorsey. As a former federal prosecutor, Kirk brings significant trial experience and advocacy skills to benefit Dorsey’s clients in all types of civil and criminal litigation and government investigations.

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Borrowers and Banks Beware: The New Year Brings the Nation’s First False Claims Act Settlement for Paycheck Protection Program Fraud

Kirk Schuler

On January 12, 2021, the Eastern District of California entered into a civil settlement with a Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) borrower and its CEO to resolve allegations of fraud.  The settlement stemmed from a $350,000 PPP loan that SlideBelts Inc., an internet retail company, received even though it was a prohibited borrower as a debtor in bankruptcy.  This is the first civil settlement for PPP-related...

In the First FCA Appellate Case of 2021, the Fourth Circuit Affirms the Dismissal of Relators’ Claims for Lack of Scienter and Failing to Engage in Protected Activity

Kirk Schuler

On January 8, 2021, in the first appellate decision of the year addressing a False Claims Act case, the Fourth Circuit affirmed the summary judgment dismissal of relators’ claims that a manufacturer of allergenic extracts violated the FCA.  Skibo v. Greer Labs., 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 508 (Jan. 8, 2021) (per curiam). Like most FCA cases that arrive in the United States Courts of Appeals,...

Looking Ahead: Enforcement Actions for Fraud, Waste, and Abuse Related to COVID-19

Kirk Schuler

As the public health and economic responses to COVID-19 dominate the headlines and traditional government enforcement actions slow, anticipate a significant increase in government enforcement actions, internal investigations related to corporate fraud, and qui tam (whistleblower) actions in the coming months.  The CARES Act contains appropriations for tens of millions of dollars for agency inspector general enforcement.  Leaders in federal law enforcement are telling us...

DOJ’s Procurement Collusion Strike Force Priorities Highlighted By Bid-Rigging Qui Tam Settlement

Kirk Schuler

In an article published late last year, Dorsey reported on the Department of Justice’s announcement regarding the formation of a new Procurement Collusion Strike Force.  The Strike Force focuses on the nexus between antitrust and public procurement, with the stated aim of targeting antitrust crimes “such as bid-rigging conspiracies and related fraudulent schemes.”  If there was any question whether DOJ was serious about targeting such...

Justice Department Touts FY2019 False Claims Act Statistics as Evidence of Administration’s “High Priority” Against Fraud, but the Numbers Show Less of a Priority on Qui Tams

Kirk Schuler

Earlier this month, the United States Department of Justice issued a press release to announce recoveries of over $3 billion from False Claims Act cases in FY2019. In making the announcement, Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt of the Civil Division emphasized, “The significant number of settlements and judgments obtained over the past year demonstrate the high priority this administration places on deterring fraud against the...

Dorsey Alert: HHS Regulatory Sprint May Impact FCA Enforcement Trends

Kirk Schuler

The False Claims Act (“FCA”) is an ever-present concern among health care providers and counsel, which is why it is no surprise that the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) recent “Regulatory Sprint to Coordinated Care” may impact FCA enforcement trends.  Dorsey’s Health Law Blog team has been closely monitoring the “Regulatory Sprint,” including the sweeping set of proposed regulations issued by the HHS...

Supreme Court Settles Circuit Split and Reads the False Claims Act Statute of Limitations Provision Broadly in Boon to Relators

Kirk Schuler

On May 13, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Cochise Consultancy, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Hunt, No. 18–325, and resolved a circuit split regarding the statute of limitations for an FCA claim brought by a relator between six and ten years after a violation, but less than three years after the government knew or should have known the relevant facts. The Court held...

DOJ Levels False Claims Act at Pharmacies to Combat Opioid Crisis

Kirk Schuler

This month the Department of Justice brought a “first of its kind” action against two pharmacies, their owner, and three pharmacists for allegedly dispensing and billing Medicare for prescriptions in violation of both the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and the False Claims Act (FCA).  See United States v. Oakley Pharmacy, Inc., et al., No. 2:19-cv-00009 (M.D. Tenn).  The action, seeking both injunctive relief and civil...

For FY2018, Justice Department Touts Nearly $3 Billion in False Claims Act Recoveries, Mostly From Qui Tams and Alleged Healthcare Frauds

Kirk Schuler

The Justice Department announced in a recent press release that it obtained more than $2.8 billion in settlements and judgments from cases involving fraud and false claims against the government. The vast majority of this amount—$2.1 billion—came from lawsuits filed by whistleblowers, or “relators” suing on behalf of the government, under the qui tam provisions of the False Claim Act (“FCA”). Included in the qui...

In One Decision, The Eleventh Circuit Creates Two Circuit Splits

Kirk Schuler

Rejecting the views of the Fourth and Tenth Circuits, the Eleventh Circuit held the FCA’s three year statute of limitations period in § 3731(b)(2) applies to a relator’s claim even when the United States declines to intervene, and in so doing held it is the knowledge of a government official, not the relator, that triggers the three year limitations period, rejecting the contrary view of...