Fraud, Qui Tam, Civil RICO
“Top-flight lawyers who are as good as it gets.” Chambers USA
Successfully Represented Global Contractor in High-Profile Qui Tam Trial: Secured victory for the world’s largest plastic pipe manufacturer in a high-profile qui tam case brought by over 40 intervening government agencies seeking over $2 billion in damages claims relating to alleged non-compliant PVC pipe. In a bellwether trial, successfully convinced the court to cap potential damages at $2 million before the jury was ultimately unable to agree that any damages were owed, leading to a mistrial. We then successfully obtained an order granting judgment as a matter of law in favor of the client, which order was upheld on appeal to the Ninth Circuit.
Successfully represented a Fortune 500 GovTech company and its subsidiary in a California False Claims Act case alleging that the defendants defrauded the State by delivering a website that was not accessible to users who are blind. Plaintiffs sought damages in excess of $60 million. After the defendants filed their motion for summary judgment, the matter was settled in principle for a small fraction of the claimed damages. Plaintiff’s motion for approval of the settlement is pending.
Represented Fortune 500 testing laboratory in multiple matters, including indemnity actions brought by former national health plan co-defendants in a federal False Claim Act case against the testing laboratory based upon alleged improper risk adjustments. Bird Marella previously settled the underlying qui tam action in 2014, settled one of two indemnity cases in 2022, and is actively defending the company in the other.
Averted $2 Billion Medicare Fraud Prosecution, Settled False Claims Charges: The government threatened to charge the client, the COO of the country’s second-largest publicly traded hospital chain, with an alleged $2 billion Medicare fraud and concurrent civil false claims act claim. After a thorough investigation and multiple presentations, the firm convinced the government that the client had not committed any fraud and the government dropped the criminal matter and negotiated a favorable civil settlement.
Won Dismissal of Federal and State FCA Claims: Lead counsel for mobile virtual network provider TruConnect, the fastest growing wireless Lifeline company in the United States, in a federal False Claims Act lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Won dismissal of all federal and state FCA claims without leave to amend. The relators’ allegations threatened close to a half-billion dollars in damages.
Favorably Resolved Eight-Figure High-Profile FCA Lawsuit: Lead counsel for a global non-profit provider of AIDS/HIV healthcare, prevention services, and testing in a high-profile False Claims Act lawsuit seeking eight-figure damages. Plaintiffs/relators alleged violations of the federal anti-kickback laws governing payments for patient referrals. Successfully moved to dismiss virtually all claims in the relators’ complaint, leaving only a narrow category of “claims for payments” relating to literally two patients, with very modest accompanying exposure. Case resolved favorably thereafter.
Defended Qui Tam Action Successfully for Renal Care Centers: We successfully represented a chain of kidney dialysis centers against qui tam allegations that the chain overcharged Medicare for drugs.
Favorably Settled FCA Case in Court of Appeal for CA Law Firm: Lead counsel for a prominent California law firm in a False Claims Act case of first impression, alleging the firm “fraudulently” induced its former client, a public agency, to disburse several million dollars in public funds. Bird Marella aggressively litigated the relator’s standing to pursue the case and obtained a writ of mandate from the California Court of Appeal, finding that the relator had a conflict of interest that precluded her from participating in agency decisions relating to the lawsuit. After filing summary judgment motions and persuading the Court of Appeal to stay all trial court proceedings, Bird Marella settled the case for a small fraction of the public funds at issue.
Convinced Government Against Filing Criminal Charges, Settled Qui Tam Claim:Represented an individual and several healthcare corporations that were targets of criminal investigations in several federal jurisdictions, as well as defendants in a parallel qui tam action. After several years of contentious proceedings, the firm persuaded the government in each jurisdiction not to criminally charge the individual client or his operating companies. Resolved the criminal case with a guilty plea by a defunct company and settled the civil qui tam on favorable terms.
Represented lead defendant, a national leader in the design and implementation of preventive care technology and health risk assessments, who was sued -- along with five national health plans -- by a former employee/whistleblower for purported violations of the federal False Claims Act. Successfully moved to dismiss the whistleblower's primary theory of liability (false certification), after which the client reached an agreement in principle with the whistleblower on a favorable settlement.
Favorably Settled Multimillion-Dollar Fraud Suit for Cannabis Company: Represented the largest cannabis products distributor in California in a parallel federal action and AAA arbitration. Plaintiff alleged it was fraudulently induced to invest $47 million as a result of the defendant's alleged failure to make certain financial disclosures and sought rescission of the parties’ $250 million merger agreement. Case settled on favorable terms pre-hearing.
Represented the largest car manufacturer in the United States and one of the largest in the world, and its automated vehicle subsidiary, in a fraud and breach of fiduciary duty action stemming from the company's $70 million acquisition of a Lidar company in an arbitration before JAMS. Obtained an arbitration award in favor of the company on all alleged claims for fraud and breach of the employment agreement.
Averted Criminal Charges for Hotel Chief, Settled Civil Fraud Charges: Defended a hotel executive in parallel criminal and civil litigation involving two of the largest hotel brands in the world, in connection with the executive’s launch of a new luxury division in competition with his former employer. After a federal grand jury investigation and filing of civil lawsuits alleging trade secrets misappropriation and computer fraud violations, convinced the government not to pursue criminal charges and negotiated a favorable civil settlement of all civil claims.
Resolved Parallel-Civil Charges for Medical Researcher: A senior scientist at a major pharmaceutical company faced parallel civil and criminal actions involving alleged violations of the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the Economic Espionage Act. In our representation of him, we obtained a “no charge” decision in the criminal investigation and the civil action settled on favorable terms thereafter.
Defended Tech Executive Jailed in China on Business Fraud Claim:The firm represented the chair of an electronics importing company who was arrested by the Chinese government for claims of financial fraud related to business contracts with a Chinese electronics manufacturer. Bird Marella secured the executive's release and resolved the international business dispute.
Reduced Risks in Brokerage Ponzi Scheme Mass Claims: The firm succeeded in forcing class / mass action claims into arbitration, which ultimately resulted in modest settlements or favorable awards in our representation of a regional brokerage firm. The matter arose out of the sale of limited partnership investments that allegedly were part of Ponzi schemes.
Dismissed Fraud Claims for Contractor on Summary Judgment, Upheld on Appeal: Served as lead counsel for a Fortune 100 engineering contractor in a breach of contract, negligence, and fraud action stemming from alleged delays in the construction of a Beverly Hills surgical center. The firm successfully obtained summary judgment on all claims after the plaintiff turned down a substantial settlement offer. Bird Marella handled the subsequent appeal before the California Court of Appeal and obtained an order affirming the summary judgment.
Settled Fraudulent Sales Claims Related to Recalled Product for Agricultural Producer: The firm served as trial counsel for the nation’s largest producer of sun-dried tomato products, in a jury trial concerning the fraudulent sale of thousands of gallons of adulterated olive oil, following a recall. We obtained a substantial settlement for the client midway through trial.
Achieved RICO Claims Dismissal as Part of Defense Win for Apparel Co.: We defended a leading apparel company in an action brought by former sales representatives alleging that they were defrauded on matters relating to compensation. The case was filed in federal court, but we prevailed on a contested motion to compel arbitration. We thereafter succeeded in having the RICO claims dismissed prior to evidentiary hearing, and then prevailed on the merits after hearing on the balance of the claims.
Won Summary Judgment for Corporation in RICO Claims by Creditors: The firm defended a nationally prominent company that promotes and sells corporations and corporate services against civil RICO claims. The claims were based on an allegation that the company conspired with clients in a scheme to defraud the clients’ creditors. Our summary judgment motion was granted.
Bird Marella is featured in the Daily Journal’s 2022 Winning Verdicts and Settlements list for its hard-fought litigation win in John C. Bedrosian, et al. v. Mohamed Hadid, …
Friday, February 11, 2022Go to the post
Bird Marella was recognized as a “Highly Recommended” law firm in California, for the fourth time in a row, by Benchmark Litigation. The publication is the definitive guide to America’s …
Tuesday, October 12, 2021Go to the post
Bird Marella prevailed in the highly-publicized trial against real estate developer Mohamed Hadid regarding the hillside mansion in Bel Air he illegally constructed. After years of hard-fought litigation, Bird Marella …
Tuesday, September 7, 2021Go to the post
Bird Marella attorneys Ekwan Rhow and Kate Shin successfully defended a prominent California-based bank in a JAMS arbitration case, defeating $100 million in alleged liabilities. The plaintiffs had …
Friday, August 20, 2021Go to the post
Principals Paul Chan, Benjamin Gluck, and Julia Cherlow achieved a significant victory for mobile virtual network provider TruConnect, the fourth largest and fastest growing wireless Lifeline company in the United States, in a federal False Claims …
Tuesday, March 30, 2021Go to the post
Principal Gopi K. Panchapakesan authored the Law360 article, “3 Ways Defendants Can Nip Civil RICO Claims In The Bud.” The article analyzes several recent cases that highlight strategies defendants …
Tuesday, December 8, 2020Go to the post
Bird Marella attorneys Paul Chan and Shoshana Bannett co-authored the article, “FCA Claims after Escobar.” Featured in the Daily Journal, the article provides an in-depth analysis of the …
Monday, January 28, 2019Go to the post