Maxim Settles With U.S. for $150 Million Over Fraud Probe

Maxim Settles With U.S. for $150 Million Over Fraud Probe

By David Voreacos

(Updates with U.S. attorney statement in 15th paragraph.)

Sept. 12 (Bloomberg) — Maxim Healthcare Services Inc., which provides in-home health and nursing services, will pay $150 million to resolve criminal and civil probes of fraudulently overbilling federal and state governments.

The U.S. Justice Department filed a criminal conspiracy charge in federal court in New Jersey against Maxim, and agreed to defer prosecution for two years. Nine people, including three regional account managers, have pleaded guilty since 2009 in federal court in Trenton, New Jersey.

“Fraudulent billing for services not rendered uses patients as pawns in a game of corporate greed that puts cash over care and wastes precious taxpayer dollars,” said Tony West, assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s civil division at a news conference in Newark, New Jersey.

Maxim, based in Columbia, Maryland, will pay a $20 million criminal fine and $130 million to resolve civil allegations under the U.S. False Claims Act and claims by 43 U.S. states. The civil recovery is the largest ever in a home health care fraud, West said. The False Claims Act allows private citizens to sue on behalf of the government and share in any recovery.

Read more here http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-09-12/maxim-settles-with-u-s-for-150-million-over-fraud-probe.html