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Imaging and medical equipment manufacturer Olympus agreed to pay a $646 million settlement for charges that it violated the False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback Statute – the largest Anti-Kickback settlement in history.
The company’s former compliance officer filed a whistleblower suit, claiming that the company paid kickbacks to healthcare providers in violation of the False Claims Act and the Anti-Kickback Statute in the form of grants, fellowships, consulting payments, free trips to Japan and other exotic locations, payment for recreational activities, no-charge loans, and free use of equipment. The action alleged that one physician received $400,000 in free endoscopes after he played a major role in persuading his hospital to purchase millions of dollars’ worth of Olympus products. The compliance officer was fired after he discovered the fraud and implemented a compliance program.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) charged Olympus with violating the Anti-Kickback Statute. The DOJ worked with the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the District of New Jersey. The case is United States ex rel. John Slowik et al. v. Olympus Corporation of the Americas, et al., Civ. No. 10-cv-5994 (D. N.J.)