Author: Nathan Ebnet

Nathan Ebnet

As an associate in Dorsey's trial group, Nate Ebnet helps clients achieve their goals in complex commercial litigation. He represents clients in both state and federal court. Nate also provides pro bono legal services to low-income tenants.

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Second Circuit Holds that the FCA Applies to Regional Federal Banks

Nathan Ebnet

On November 21, 2019, the Second Circuit held that allegedly fraudulent loan requests presented to one or more of the Federal Reserve System’s twelve Federal Reserve Banks are “claims” within the meaning of the FCA. The court clarified that while personnel of those Federal Reserve Banks are not officers or employees of the United States, the Federal Reserve Banks themselves are agents of the United...

Another Qui Tam Suit Alleging a Scheme to Defraud by Reporting Inflated Drug Prices Survives Motion to Dismiss

Nathan Ebnet

Within the last five years, district courts in the Seventh Circuit have repeatedly denied motions to dismiss qui tam lawsuits brought under the FCA that allege a scheme to defraud government health programs by reporting inflated “usual and customary” prices for prescription drugs. By contrast, at least one district court in the Sixth Circuit recently granted such a motion under Rule 9(b). On March 7,...

HIPAA As a Basis for FCA Liability? One Court Says Yes

Nathan Ebnet

Until very recently, no case existed in which FCA liability arose from a violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”). But in United States v. America at Home Healthcare and Nursing Services, Ltd., Judge John Robert Blakely of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, allowed an FCA claim premised on a HIPAA violation to survive...

Northern District of Illinois Dismisses Whistleblower’s FCA Suit for Failing to Connect Allegations of Misconduct with Submission of False Claims

Nathan Ebnet

In United States ex rel. Keen v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc., relator Janice Keen sued her former employer—the pharmaceutical company Teva—for violations of the FCA.  According to Ms. Keen, Teva trained its sales force to misleadingly promote and sell a medicine used to treat muscle spasms.  Ms. Keen alleged that Teva’s deceptive practices caused physicians to prescribe the medicine in situations for which it was...

Texas Diagnostic Imaging Service Settles FCA Allegations for $3.5 Million; Whistle-Blower to Receive $596,700

Nathan Ebnet

A recent settlement illustrates the substantial recovery available to whistle-blowers under the FCA’s qui tam provisions. Those provisions allow a qui tam plaintiff to receive typically between 15 percent and 25 percent of the proceeds of an FCA settlement.  31 U.S.C. § 3730(d). The settling party—Preferred Imaging—is a Dallas-based company that operates independent diagnostic facilities in Texas, Illinois, and Kansas. Preferred Imaging performs procedures involving the administration of contrast...

District Court Rejects Government’s FCA Claim Seeking Return of Retained Benefits; Decides that Agency Policy Guidance Did Not Create an “Obligation” Under the Act

Nathan Ebnet

In an opinion issued earlier this month, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma refused to impose False Claims Act liability on a defendant who retained and invested his mother’s Social Security benefits after she went missing. The case adds to the growing body of law on the word “obligation” as it is used in the FCA; it also showcases the...

Sandia Corporation Agrees to Pay $4.7 Million to Settle Allegations Related to its Lobbying Activities

Nathan Ebnet

On August 21, 2015, the Justice Department announced that Sandia Corporation—owned by Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest defense contractor—agreed to pay $4,790,042 to settle allegations that it violated the Byrd Amendment and the False Claims Act by using federal funds for lobbying activities. The settlement with Sandia is a recent example of the Justice Department’s willingness to use the Byrd Amendment as a hook for...