According to reports, Tamika Nottingham filed the lawsuit in 2011 against Delores Freeman Thomas and New Season Clinical Services LLC. The lawsuit alleged Thomas falsely received $1.5 million from Medicaid by submitting false documents related to in-home therapy and mental health support from January 2010 to November 2011. The government alleged as many as 2,669 false claims were filed by the defendants, a violation of the False Claims Act.
In 2014, Thomas was sentenced to 15 months in prison after pleading guilty to one count of healthcare fraud. She was also handed a $25,000 fine and ordered to pay back the $1.5 million. Because Thomas was convicted, US Magistrate Judge Douglas E. Miller ruled she could not contest liability for damages.
In addition to Thomas, multiple New Season members were originally named in the suit, but Judge Miller dismissed charges against them. The New Season lawsuit is United States ex rel. Tamika Nottingham, et al., v. Delores Freeman Thomas, et al., case number 4:11-cv-00099, in the US District Court, Eastern District of Virginia.
Meanwhile, a whistleblower lawsuit filed against Sanofi is moving forward, with the whistleblower - former paralegal Diane Ponte - alleging she knew of instances in which Sanofi lawyers purposely destroyed documents instead of turning them over to plaintiffs in lawsuits. Ponte’s lawsuit initially alleged Sanofi schemed to pay $30 million in kickbacks for promotion of diabetes medication.
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Ponte’s lawsuit, filed in 2014, alleges Sanofi’s scheme involved inducing customers to prescribe their drugs and/or switch from selling similar drugs made by other companies to selling Sanofi’s medications.
This isn’t the first time Sanofi has faced claims of illegal kickbacks. In 2012, Sanofi agreed to pay $109 million to settle allegations of offering free units of a drug to encourage doctors to prescribe the medication.