Shook Associate Tim Moore has contributed several updates on developments in fraud and abuse law for the March 2015 Health Law Updates from The Florida Bar Health Law Section. His updates include summaries of three U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General advisory opinions as well as two analyses of decisions from the Fourth, Sixth and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeals.
Moore discusses the Eleventh Circuit's decision in a criminal case centered on an official at a company owned by the Haitian government who accepted bribes in exchange for favors, violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. At issue was whether the company is an "instrumentality" of Haiti under the statute, and the court concluded that he was.
Moore also summarizes recent decisions from the Fourth and Sixth Circuits that reject the Seventh Circuit's interpretation of the public-disclosure bar of the False Claims Act, which "instructs courts to dismiss claims 'if substantially the same allegations or transactions as alleged in the action or claim were publicly disclosed' in one of several statutorily-enumerated contexts, unless the government opposes dismissal or the relator is an original source of the information." The courts split on whether the disclosures made by government workers or contractors during an audit triggers that bar, with the Fourth and Sixth Circuits finding that it did not. Those courts join five other circuits in holding that "disclosure is not public when made only to or within the government."