Barry, we don’t get a lot of calls about Halloween. Over the years, it’s not something we hear much about. And this year is no exception. What we are hearing about from a lot of folks, though, is the continued frustration and concern about the use of taxpayer dollars to fund organizations like Planned Parenthood – the nation’s largest abortion provider.
A recent example is what’s taking place in Ohio where a local government body approved a $50,000 grant to Planned Parenthood to provide ‘sex education’ in public schools.
At the national level, as Planned Parenthood continues to receive hundreds of millions of federal taxpayer dollars each year, debate is intensifying over whether the organization should receive ANY federal funds in the future. In Congress, Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana has introduced H.R. 614 which would prohibit federal dollars from going to Planned Parenthood.
As this unfolds, I want to call your attention to an important case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Ninth Circuit – a multi-million dollar fraud case against Planned Parenthood affiliates in California.
We represent a former executive of the Planned Parenthood Los Angeles affiliate. He is now a federal whistleblower. And the allegations are very serious. Specifically, the allegation in this case is that PP affiliates in California illegally marked up the supposed cost of various birth control drugs when seeking government reimbursement, resulting in tens of millions of dollars of overbilling – at taxpayer expense.
The Los Angeles Times has reported on this case and noted that the overbilling began in the late 1990’s. The report points out that in just one year – 2003 – a state audit in California found at least $5.2 million in overbilling from just one of the nine state affiliates.
A federal court dismissed the initial lawsuit brought by our client saying the former PP executive did not qualify as a whistleblower. In our briefs filed in this case, we’re asking the federal appeals court to overturn that decision and reinstate the lawsuit. Our arguments are clear: our client does indeed meet the legal definition of a federal whistleblower under the federal False Claims Act (FCA) which forbids government contractors from submitting “false or fraudulent” claims for payment. The FCA also authorizes private individuals to bring suit against the offenders to recover the fraudulently obtained funds.
The FCA was designed to remedy illegal runs on taxpayer funds. And, no organization – not even Planned Parenthood – should be permitted to scam the public treasury for profit.
Barry, how about standing with us on this issue? How about filing an amicus brief supporting our position?
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