In 2009, Olympus Corporation of America’s newly named Compliance Officer quickly discovered that a pay-to-play kickback scheme was key to the success of the company’s sales and marketing success. He brought his knowledge of the scheme to the attention of the company’s top brass, offering Olympus the chance for redemption. He even worked to implement a comprehensive compliance program to stop the fraud in its tracks.
The company, however, chose profits over corporate responsibility, firing the Compliance Officer in 2010. The ousted executive eventually brought the company’s fraud scheme to the attention of the government. Kenney and McCafferty attorneys Tavy Deming and Kathryn Schilling represent the whistleblower in his suit against the company under the qui tam provisions of the False Claim Act (FCA).
In a historic achievement under the False Claim Act, Olympus agreed in 2016 to pay $623 million to resolve the whistleblower suit and charges that it gained market share dominance by continually violating the U.S. Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS). Court filings revealed that a corporate culture of fraud had permeated Olympus for years.
The outcome of this case is particularly significant because it could have been avoided if the company had responded to the whistleblower’s initial revelation of the scheme. According to attorney, Kathryn Schilling, “Our client is the only person to ever step forward and alert corporate executives, and then the government, to the kickback schemes Olympus commenced a decade ago. These schemes…most likely would have continued unabated had our client not alerted the New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s Office and DOJ to all he knew.”
Adds Tavy Deming, “This case is testament to the fact that without external fraud reporting avenues afforded by current whistleblower laws, corporate greed will go unchecked.” Thanks to the integrity of the Olympus whistleblower, and the expertise of Kenney and McCafferty attorneys, this case of corporate was exposed — and the government was able to recover $623 million for American taxpayers.
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