Mobile x-ray company Trident USA Health Services has reached an $8.5 million civil settlement to resolve allegations that it participated in a kickback scheme with skilled nursing facilities.
According to a statement from the United States Department of Justice, Trident engaged in an illegal “swapping” arrangement in which it provided mobile x-rays to skilled nursing facilities below fair market value in exchange for “lucrative” federal health program referrals from June 2006 to September 2019.
Trident filed for bankruptcy protection on Feb. 10, 2019, seeking to eliminate the government’s ability to collect penalties from the illegal scheme. Despite this, the government still collected the $8.5 million.
“Companies that violate the False Claims Act through illegal swapping arrangements, or by any other illegal scheme violating federal laws designed to protect the public, will not find a safe harbor in bankruptcy court,” said Jennifer Arbittier Williams, first assistant U.S. attorney, in the DOJ statement. “The government will not relent or be deterred in our pursuit of justice for America’s taxpayers.”
Two Trident employees—Ravi Srivastava, the company’s former chief information officer and Peter Goldman, its former regional sales manager—alerted the government to the scheme. As part of their involvement, Srivastava will receive $2,018,750 and Goldman will receive $106,250.
“The whistleblowers and their lawyers provided vital and exceptionally valuable support to the government’s effort in this case, even after Trident’s bankruptcy put any recovery in doubt,” Williams added.