On July 5, 2019, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed dismissal of a qui tam lawsuit against several chemical manufacturers that set forth a unusual theory of liability: the relator alleged that the manufacturers violated the False Claims Act (FCA) by failing to self-report information about the dangers of their chemicals under the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) voluntary Compliance Audit Program.

According to the relator, the manufacturers should have self-disclosed certain information to the EPA, who in turn would have assessed civil penalties under the Toxic Substances Control Act.  By failing to do so, the relator alleged that the defendant manufacturers concealed their obligations to transfer property (the risk information) and money (the unassessed penalties) to the government.


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Earlier this year, Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates issued new guidance outlining the DOJ’s increased focus on individual accountability during civil and criminal investigations of corporate wrongdoing. The principles announced in the “Yates Memo” serve as the basis for revisions to the U.S. Attorney’s Manual – particularly the section outlining the Principles of Federal Prosecution of Business Organizations – released November 16, 2015. While many of the principles outlined in the Yates Memo and recent revisions to the U.S. Attorney’s Manual are consistent with DOJ’s prior practice and rhetoric regarding white collar investigations, the emphasis on individual accountability requires companies to consider carefully those aspects of an internal investigation with consequences on individual executives and employees.
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On March 31, 2015, DOJ announced a $10 million settlement with Robinson Health System Inc. (Robinson), a nonprofit operator of 10 Northeast Ohio healthcare facilities, including Robinson Memorial Hospital.

The settlement, announced a day before Robinson finalized a transaction involving its flagship hospital, stems from a June 2014 self-disclosure to the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, in which Robinson disclosed questionable financial relationships under Stark and the AKS, some dating back nearly 10 years, with more than 30 referring physicians. This self-disclosure stemmed from a due diligence review conducted while searching for a partner health system.


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