Olympus Settles Federal Kickback Case
Olympus Corporation agreed to settle a Federal lawsuit concerning illegal payments the company made to doctors and medical centers in exchange for obtaining business.
Olympus settled the case which was originally brought by a whistleblower under the Federal False Claims Act. The Federal False Claims Act permits whistleblowers (a corporate insider) to obtain a portion of the settlement when companies are found to have defrauded taxpayers.
Olympus agreed to pay $22.8 million to resolve charges that it colluded with doctors and health officials in Central and South America in connection with certain medical facilities purchasing Olympus Endoscopic Scopes and other medically related products.
It is alleged that as a result of the kickbacks Olympus sold $600 million in Endoscopes and other related medical equipment, yielding them $230 million in gross profits.
Olympus also gave a Midwestern hospital free use of certain equipment valued at over $1 million, in exchange for their business.
In addition, Olympus treated certain physicians lavishly including all expenses paid trips to Japan and paying doctors at least $10,000 while in Japan to give a lecture. The purpose of the kickbacks, or false payments, was to influence doctors in order to obtain contracts to sell medical equipment including the defective Endoscopic Scopes which are known to cause serious infections.
Olympus agreed to a three-year deferred prosecution wherein they will be granted a “no conviction.” if Olympus complies with the terms and conditions of the agreement.
The Federal officials commented that this was all due to the company’s greed.
Nadrich & Cohen, LLP is currently investigating Olympus Defective Duodenoscope claims on behalf of patients who underwent an endoscopic procedure, and subsequently developed a Superbug infection or other serious side effect.