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U.S. Charges Medical Imaging Company With Paying Kickbacks In Return For Medicare Test Referrals

The United States has filed suit against Universal Imaging, Inc. (“Universal”) and its current and former owners, Phillip J. Young (“Young”) and Mark Lauhoff (“Lauhoff”), under the False Claims Act seeking $150 million in damages and penalties. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, many of the facts in the case were first brought to the government’s attention when whistleblowers, Dr. Richard Chesbrough, a radiologist, and his wife Kim Chesbrough, a former employee of Universal, filed a qui tam action against Universal.

The government’s complaint alleges that Universal, Young and Lauhoff, violated numerous Medicare rules relating to adequate supervision of diagnostic tests and generated 90% of their business by paying illegal kickbacks to numerous physicians. The U.S. Attorney announced that fourteen physicians, who were paid by Universal for referrals, reached a settlement with the government and will return $1.56 million in kickbacks.

The government’s complaint also names Dr. Gwendolyn Washington, a primary care physician, as a defendant. According to the complaint, Dr. Washington is alleged to have ordered dangerously high levels of tests involving the injection of radioactive material into patients in order to increase the amount of kickbacks she received. Dr. Washington was also named in related criminal proceeding which resulted in her sentence of 120 months in prison on charges of public corruption, health care fraud and conspiring to illegally distribute prescription drugs.

If you have any firsthand knowledge, information, or evidence related to any federal, state, county or city government fraud, you should speak with an experienced qui tam lawyer who can help you understand your legal rights and help you obtain the compensation you deserve.

If you have a claim, contact the Florida whistleblower attorneys at McCabe Rabin, P.A. for a free and confidential consultation by calling toll free at 877.915.4040 or e-mail kelly@mccaberabin.com.

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