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Office fills up coffers

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  • | 11:00 a.m. December 18, 2015
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The haul of recovered funds in federal law enforcement in the district that covers the Gulf Coast took a dip this year.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida, based in Tampa, collected a little more than $136 million in fiscal 2015, which ended Sept. 30, according to a statement. That's a big drop from fiscal 2014, when the office collected a record $367 million in civil, criminal and forfeiture penalties and monies.

The take this year includes $101.2 million in civil enforcement cases, according to the statement. Most of those were from alleged health care fraud. Around $35 million is in the office's Asset Recovery and Victims' Right Division, which goes toward providing restitution to victims of crimes.

Highlights in the collected funds for 2015 include:

Tampa-based Walter Investment Management Corp., in a decision announced Sept. 4, agreed to pay $29.63 million in fines for violating the False Claims Act. Prosecutors alleged that Walter, though subsidiaries Reverse Mortgage Solution Inc., REO Management Solutions and RMS Asset Management Solutions, submitted false reverse mortgage documents to the Department of Housing and Urban Development;

The office collected millions this year under False Claims Act charges from pharmacies that have allegedly engaged in a systemic fraud against military health care program Tricare;

Adventist Health System, the owner/operator of 11 health care facilities in the Tampa Bay area and others in central Florida, reached an agreement to settle two whistleblower lawsuits for $118.7 million. The payments settled claims that Altamonte Springs-based Adventist paid doctors for patient referrals to Adventist-owned hospitals, clinics and outpatient facilities in Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.


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